ABOVE: David Lattin, Rodney Ellis, Major General Mary Saunders, Kathy Taylor, Cliff Branch and Ralph Cooper
The Evan E. Worthing Sr. High Alumni Association hosted their inaugural EEW ‘Legends’ event and fundraiser this past Sunday, February 19th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel–Galleria. The star-studded event, which had a theme of “Protecting the Legacy 2017 and Beyond!,” was held to recognize and honor graduates of E.E. Worthing who have made a difference in our communities and in the world, and who have excelled to become some of the most notable ‘role models’ of our time.
More importantly, the inaugural event was held to educate current students and the surrounding communities about the rich history of those who have graced the halls of E.E. Worthing, while fighting the odds of racial division. By knowing that these notable men and women have accomplished greatness as graduates of E.E. Worthing from past to current date, it allows the current students of E. E. Worthing to feel proud as they stand on the shoulders of their predecessors, while knowing they can do it as well.
The eight honorees on this grand evening were Cliff Branch, former NFL player with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders; Milton Carroll, business owner and Board Chair of CenterPoint Energy; Ralph Cooper, sports commentator and TV/Radio personality; Rodney Ellis, former State Senator and current Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1; David Lattin, former NBA player with the San Francisco Warriors and Phoenix Suns, and most recognizable as one of the star players on the Texas Western Miners NCAA championship team that was featured in the movie ‘Glory Road’; Major-General Mary Saunders, U.S. Air Force; Mike Singletary, former NFL player with the Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears and former Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers; and national recording artist Kathy Taylor.
The Master of Ceremony for the ‘Legends’ event was Len Cannon of KHOU-Channel 11 News. The event was the brainchild of Jackie Jackson, who is a E.E. Worthing alum and the President of the EE Worthing Alumni Association.
“I am so proud to be a part of the rich legacy of Worthing High School,” said Jackson. “I knew it was important for us to do this event, because there are so many people in the neighborhood, and so many students, who aren’t aware of the many successful people who attended this great institution. After this event, we know that we are one step closer to making sure everyone knows, especially our current students and the surrounding communities.”
Worthing students, under the guidance of Ms. D. Charles, were in attendance and performed the duties of host and hostess; provided the entertainment; and introduced the honorees.
The students who participated in the program and presented the ‘Legends’ were Cedric Jones-12th Grade (Branch); Elvin Quioto-12th Grade (Carroll); Kiera Gardner-10th Grade (Cooper); Darius Hines-10th Grade (Ellis); David Carter-10th Grade (Lattin); Duyen Nguyen & Hazel Gerry-10th Grade (Saunders); Ke’Shon Williams-11th Grade (Singletary); and Cedric Pippins-10th Grade (Taylor). The greeters were Ja’Tavion Taylor; Nastassja Richard; Darielle Rousselle; Christian LeMond; Kelvin Foster; Jehu Jimenez-Ortiz; Kobe Metoyer; Fany Zetina; Makayla Robinson; and Zakihya Edwards. The entertainment was provided by Hazelyn Carter-Cornelius Elementary (A Tribute to Black History); Lemuel French (Song-accompanied by Reginald Stevens); Marquijonae White, D’Wayne Gabriel and Aveyon Smith (D.O.P.E. “Driven On Positive Energy” Dancers); and by Ivory Globe (Lift Every Voice and Sing).
During the introduction of David Lattin, Worthing student David Carter, with the Linked Learning Program, walked to the podium and had to take it all in. After clearing his throat, Carter stated that he had spoken to someone before the event who had asked him what school he attended. When he told them he attended Worthing, Carter stated that the person’s comments were not favorable. Upon attending the event and listening to the impressive resumes of the Worthing graduates who were being honored, Carter had a change of mind concerning his school.
“Being in the room tonight showed me something different about my school,” said Carter before introducing Lattin. “Look at God!”
The school has a lot of history. Mr. Evan E. Worthing, for whom the school is named after happened to be a White philanthropist and ‘Negro’ landlord who left his estate to Houston Public Schools in 1952 for the sole purpose of improving the Sunnyside community. Attorney Emory T. Carl stated “Mr. Worthing studied how to develop the best possible mediums of helping to improve society through better education for Negro girls and boys.”
The sponsors for the inaugural event were Centerpoint Energy (Title), H-E-B (Green) and Apache (Gold).
The Evan E. Worthing Sr. High Alumni Association plans to continue to use this event to show gratitude towards Mr. Worthing and showcase his legacy on behalf of the generous contributions he decided to make many years ago, that continue to have a longstanding and positive effect on every single E.E. Worthing student, graduate and the surrounding community.
The Evan E Worthing Alumni Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, continues to provide financial support to E.E. Worthing through scholarships and programming initiatives. The Alumni Association has provided over $75,000 in scholarships and programming initiatives to students graduating and enrolling in schools of higher learning over the past (8) eight years.
Their next signature fundraising event will be their 6th Annual Night of Jazz on April 30, 2017, at the Bayou Event Center in Houston, Texas.