Memphis High School Students Win $1,000 Scholarships and Meet Penny Hardaway

MEMPHIS, TN – (February 1, 2017) – Ten Memphis-area high school students each will receive a $1,000 college scholarship for writing one of the Top 10 essays in the second annual Penny Hardaway Essay Contest sponsored by Memphis-based Monogram Foods.

In addition to the scholarship funds, which can be used at any accredited college, community college or trade school of their choice, the essay winners will meet with Memphis basketball legend, Penny Hardaway, during the University of Memphis vs. Temple basketball game Sunday, February 12, 2017, at the FedEx Forum.

The top 10 essay writers are:

     o Kaila Durden – Arlington High School

     o Matthew Moskowitz – Houston High School

     o Davaria Pearson – MLK Jr. College Prep High School

     o JaMarques Parker – Middle College High School

     o Tess Kelley – Concord Academy

     o Alyssa Stephens – Arlington High School

     o Janna Zayed – Fayette Ware High School

     o Rose Barth – Horn Lake High School

     o Nathan Smith – Germantown High School

     o Michael Kollatz – Kingsbury High School

Ninety other students who submitted essays will also attend the game and meet Penny Hardaway.

The Penny Hardaway Essay Contest hosted by Monogram Foods was open to all 11th grade students attending high schools in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Crittenden, and DeSoto counties. Almost 250 students submitted 500-word essays focused on how Hardaway’s strength of character and perseverance helped him become a successful professional basketball player who returned to Memphis to make his hometown a better place to live.

“Penny Hardaway has been a wonderful friend and great spokesperson for our brand, King Cotton, for many years,” said Karl Schledwitz, Chairman and CEO of Monogram Foods. “He is an excellent role model for local high schools students because of his strong character and commitment to his community. We are so glad that these winning students have this chance to meet him.”

The scholarships and game tickets are provided by the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Monogram Foods.

About Monogram Foods: Founded in 2004 with the purchase of King Cotton and Circle B brand meats from Sara Lee Corporation, Monogram Foods is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. and manufactures and markets top-quality food products. Among these are a full range of meat snacks, corn dogs, pre-cooked bacon, smoked sausage, appetizers, pet treats and other value-added meats. Monogram Foods’ brands include Wild Bill’s, O’Brien’s, Trail’s Best, Hannah’s, Bull’s and licensed brands Bass Pro Shop’s Uncle Buck’s, Johnsonville, Butterball and Team Realtree. Monogram Foods is a major co-packer and private label provider for strategic partners throughout the nation. Monogram Foods operates facilities in Virginia, Minnesota, Indiana, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

For more information, please contact: Blair Jackson, Communications Coordinator,, or (901) 654- 2869