Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RBMS Update: Meet Our Scholars

As you know, the centerpiece of the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund is the $1500 memorial scholarship that we grant to a college-bound NYC highschooler who is committed to the fight against racism, sexism and homophobia. What you may not know is that this year, the Fund's selection committee made an unprecedented decision to bestow the award upon not one but two applicants.

After careful deliberation, we were unable to decide between two exceptionally strong applicants. One had an amazing story of triumph over adversity, detailing how she maintained her drive and her grades even as she and her family while navigated NYC’s homeless shelters. One spoke eloquently about how he coordinated a series of social outings to help ease racial tensions in his school. Check out their bios below!

Kenneth Jeffers
A native of Westchester County, Kenneth is a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he plans to major in Business Administration-Finance and Mathematics.

An honors’ student for all four years at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx, Kenneth graduated with honors and received numerous academic awards. While a high school student, Kenneth was active in varsity track as co-captain, feeding the homeless, organizing clothes and coat drives, and cleaning the neighborhood parks.

Giving back to his community is very important to Kenneth, which is why he has served as a peer tutor to at-risk students. He was also active in the Sunday school at his church, where he sang in the choir for seven years, often serving as a youth speaker.

“I have been truly inspired by Rashawn Brazell’s legacy because we shared similar values and morals of valuing family and academic excellence and giving back to the community. Mr. Brazell was a young man who was dedicated to high ideals and principles of compassion for others. I hope to use my gifts to help others as Rashawn Brazell did.”

Dashana Payne
Born in Colon, Panama and raised in New York City, Dashana is a freshman residing on the Brooklyn campus of St. Joseph College, where she plans to major in Biology.

A natural leader, Dashana served as a Student Council representative and as Captain of both track and cross country teams at Erasmus High School. Outside of school, she volunteered countless hours at Brookdale Hospital, where she was able to pursue her lifelong passion for helping others.

While maintaining an impressive academic record, Dashana currently manages to participate on her college’s Hispanic Awareness Club, Students Joined Through Christ, the Science Club and the Off-Campus Housing Council.

“I lived in a shelter for most of my life and if I had a person like Rashawn there to help me I would have been extremely grateful. From that experience, I know how many people out there are looking for a person like Rashawn. I want to be that person.”

These young folks are the reason we at the RBMF do what we do. If you want to join us in creating opportunities for growth and mentorship for the next generation of scholars and activists, contact us today!


Blogger Darius T. Williams said...

This is lovely!

9:34 AM  
Blogger WhozHe said...

Excellent way to remember and to recognize others working towards a brighter tomorrow.

3:37 PM  
Blogger C. Baptiste-Williams said...

great choices for this memorial scholarship

6:40 PM  

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