Benita Ann Rollins-Gay
Benita was born in Urbana, Illinois. Her parents were MSGT. Thomas C. and Frances C. Rollins. She attended J.W. Hayes School in Urbana, Urbana Junior High School, and graduated from Urbana High School. She received her B.S. degree in Comprehensive Business Education and Business Administration from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Then, she earned her Master's Degree in Business Education and Business Administration from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.
During her 19 years of teaching high school and coaching girl’s track at Jefferson Senior High School, Benita implemented many programs in the Dayton, Ohio school system, such as starting the Career Education Program. She was also selected by the State of Ohio to write the Teacher Competency Testing for all teachers in the State of Ohio, which is still being used today.
Her community service started after the death of her husband and her return to Champaign, Illinois. She was Vice President of Martin Luther King Elementary School PTA, the first Black Woman President of the City of Urbana Schools PTA, serving from 2001-2002, and was on the Board of Directors of A Woman's Fund. She has received numerous awards in the field of education, such as the President’s Award from the Jefferson Township Board of Education.
Benita is a survivor of Breast Cancer and counsels women who are currently struggling with it. She was a Family Counselor at Don Moyer Boys and Girl's Club in Champaign. She is currently the Crisis Line Coordinator at Community Elements (formerly Mental Health Center of Champaign County), providing emotional support, information, referrals, and suicide prevention. She is also a facilitator for Children’s First at Family Service, and a Tax Specialist at H&R Block.
Her memberships include: National Council of Negro Women, Ohio Education Association, Black Social Worker, Crisis Intervention Specialist, among others. She was also Area Chair Person of the research on the status of Black Women with the Southeastern Area Missionary Society and a member of the Louanna Riley Missionary Society. She is also a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church and is president of the Usher Board, Steward, and a member of the Missionary Society where the wrote a book on the Research and Status of Black Women. She is active in the NAACP, Central State Alumni Association, Vice-President of Urbana School District 116 Board, and serves as a Regional Leader of the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.
Benita is the proud mother of three children: Jonte' Miesha Rollins, Jasmine Gay and Javarius Dunlap-Gay.