Rep. Wheatley establishes scholarship to honor former Speaker K. Leroy Irvis


State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey have created a new annual scholarship fund for needy students in Allegheny County.

The new scholarship will be the Speaker K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship Fund, named after the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House and Representatives, and the first African American Speaker of the House in the United States.

Reps. Wheatley and Gainey will each donate $2,500 to fund the scholarship, which will be housed within and administered by NEED, the oldest community-based, nonprofit, minority, higher education assistance program in Pennsylvania. NEED’s vision is to unlock the power of education by helping youth meet their highest potential and enhance their quality of life, thereby strengthening the Pittsburgh regional economy.

Both representatives also agreed to host an intern annually as part of the scholarship program.

“Former Speaker Irvis left a tremendous legacy of fighting for social justice and civil rights,” Rep. Wheatley said. “He dedicated his life and talents to improving the lives of the people of the commonwealth. I am hopeful a scholarship in his name will help fund the education of future African American leaders to follow in his footsteps.”


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