Many high school seniors are starting a new chapter in their lives as they prepare for higher education. This is a busy and exciting time of the year, especially for the Adolescence Division at Children’s Aid.
On Friday, June 21, in an inspiring and emotional ceremony, 18 young people began the next stage of their journey with a scholarship in hand. The teens—surrounded by parents, friends, and supporters—gathered to celebrate their accomplishments as they accepted their scholarship awards, posed for pictures, and shared their stories.
“Today is such a big event to celebrate my achievements,” said Aeshatou Samassa who plans to attend New York University and study nursing. “I’m grateful to be a recipient of The Golf Classic Scholarship and so excited about continuing my relationship with Children’s Aid.”
The Master of Ceremony, Belle Le Grand, a 2015 Gluck-Dyja Scholarship recipient shared a passionate story about her time in high school and thanked Tom Dyja and Suzanne Gluck who established the Gluck-Dyja Family Scholarship. Belle was tearful as she expressed her appreciation and talked about the impact Tom and Suzanne’s support provided to lessen the worry as she made her way through college.
Mohamed Kamal Umar, a 17-year-old who graduated from Bronx Career and College Preparatory High School said, “I’m really excited because the scholarship will help me with my tuition, and I won’t have a huge debt when I finish school.”
He smiled as he talked about what it meant to be selected as a recipient. He said having “perseverance, persistence, and diligence was important and would take you places.”
The class of 2019 were awarded scholarships totaling nearly $82,000 from: The Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship, The Jean L. Stern Scholarship, The Gluck-Dyja Family Scholarship, The Richard R. Dieterle Memorial Scholarship, The Golf Classic Scholarship, and The Irving Zarember Scholarship.
The evening offered the group of young women and men the chance to consider their future and begin their journey on the path to excellence and success, with just a little less financial stress.
“I’m grateful for the scholarship with Children’s Aid, it has opened a lot of doors for people in community schools and I know I will really benefit,” said Frankie Williams, an 18-year-old from Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School.
When asked how he felt about the event and what was most special to him, he simply answered, “this moment.”