32nd Annual “Salute to Scholars” Reception

On June 9, 2012 at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, Queen City Foundation hosted the 32nd Annual “Salute to Scholars” reception honoring their “Class of 2012”.  This year’s Class, totaling 54 graduates, attended local independent day schools such as Cincinnati Country Day School, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, St. Ursula Academy, St. Xavier High School, The Seven Hills School, The Summit Country Day School and Ursuline Academy.  As in the past, all Queen City Foundation graduates will be pursuing higher education at four year colleges i.e. The Ohio State University, Miami University, Amherst College, Loyola Marymount University,  Denison University and University of Dayton, just to name a few.

Queen City Foundation Board Members and supporters gathered with students and their families to celebrate with this year’s graduating class. Each member of the “Class of 2012” received a “Certificate of Recognition”, and a “Personalized Pen and Pencil Set” commemorating the event.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, Vice President of Museums. Cincinnati Museum Center, gave a very inspirational and thought provoking speech that was received enthusiastically by both students and parents.  Dr. Matthews is a published poet and read her latest work titled “Woman of the Bones”, which we have posted on this website.   Please take a moment to read this poem, I guarantee it will inspire you. 


Woman of the Bones
by Tonya Maria Matthews

mamma told me to remember my bones
a wishbone to see my way through
a jawbone to talk my way through and
a backbone to stand strong on my way through whatever

 daddy told me to remember my bones
a wishbone to mark my path
a jawbone to make my point and
a backbone to maneuver my way into the sunlight
and stay there

 when they came for me
i chose my wishbone
they did not come with burlap sacks and blindfold
they did not come with auction block weights
to measure my worth against their gold
they came with mean spirits
and meaner words about me
they came with my history of failure
they came to make me doubt my destiny
i was on the ground and sightless
my heart my hopes my ego
beat flat

 and then i remembered: i got a bone for that

 nana told me to remember my bones
a wishbone, so i would always wonder when i needed to
a jawbone, so i could whisper when i had to and
a backbone, so i would never waiver even when expected to

 when they came for me
i used my jawbone
i heard them whisper failure in my left ear
and fool in my right
i heard them whistle worthless into the winds above me
and witless into the waters below
a tongue salted with stutter
a lip peppered with uncertainty
choking suffocating sputtering
unable to pronounce victory
i felt my voice fall sour and crack

 and then i remembered: i got a bone for that
even pawpaw and my sister
and my brother
told me
to remember my bones
a wishbone for visioning
a jawbone for figuring and
a backbone for striding strengthening
and situating myself firmly in the struggle

 so when they came for me

 backed my backbone into battle
they pushed on my weakness
they pulled on my fears
they smacked into my insecurities
and hit every single one of my tears
but i never went down
i stayed in full combat 

by now i knew better: i knew i had a bone for that

because ancestors and neighbors
even street poets and the postman
told me too
so i am telling you
remember your bones

when they come for you
bend your wishbone into their black like a blade
if your light shines, they will be afraid
clamp your jawbone to bite off a finger or two
a hand like that will never feed you
make your backbone straight

you will not break
you will not break
you will not break

 they may their bring swords and swears
their knives and naysayers
they may bring their bricks
they may bring your brokens

 they will certainly bring their stones

 but when they come for you, stand strong
tell them you are a woman of the bones