Thank you for your investment in the BFCFund’s goal of improving educational access and promoting wellness for students of color! Thanks to your generosity and that of an anonymous donor, we have awarded two inaugural scholarships instead of the one we had planned!
Even though we surpassed our expectations for year one of the fund, it was very tough to turn down the SEVEN other worthy candidates who applied. All of them were highly impressive! Rest assured that your donation has made a difference in the lives of students who have traditionally been hindered in their ability to access post-secondary education. We are counting on your ongoing support to keep investing in the lives of exceptional young people like our inaugural award winners, Mia Taylor of Chicago, Illinois and Yormelis Vazquez of Camden, New Jersey.
Mia, a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, will receive $1000 towards tuition and up to $1000 in support service funds. Yormelis, a freshman at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, will receive a $500 tuition scholarship and up to $500 in support service funds. Click the links below to read their stories:
MEET OUR AWARD WINNERS
“Until I was ten years old, silence was my best friend. Except for my immediate family, the rest of the world was totally deprived of my voice. I would nod, shrug, or gesture, using anything but sound to communicate. This silence wasn’t ordinary shyness; my silence was due to a childhood anxiety disorder called selective mutism. At home, I was free to be me. I’d sing, argue and ramble at all hours. Away from home, I was painfully mute. People who knew me then would have never imagined that communication would become my passion, my first love.”
“My childhood was dominated by adulthood; Instead of going outside or playing with dolls, I was helping my grandmother take care of my great grandparents in Puerto Rico. Every morning, I would wake up early just to watch my great grandpa feed the birds on the balcony, and during lunch, I ran home from school just to receive my great grand-mom's blessing. Eventually, the birds went unfed, and my great grandmother’s blessings became a memory that turned into a promise – I would never turn down opportunities that life presents.”
We held our first annual meeting in July to review our accomplishments and begin planning for the future. Read our annual report.
A NOTE OF THANKS
Speaking of the BFCFund board, I want to express heartfelt thanks to each member for their tireless work on behalf of this fund. Throughout the winter and spring, we met bi-weekly via phone under the leadership of Vice-President David Woo to establish ourselves and select our first two scholars. The board’s patience with me and with the process is a testament to each member’s character and commitment. This is a great group of people, and I know my late son Gabe, in whose memory the fund was launched, would be incredibly proud of what we’re doing and delighted that we’re doing it together. God bless you Carol Gifford, Sue Pak, Lola Olateju, Michael Scheller, and David Woo!
And again, thank you for your generosity towards this new effort. My family and I have committed to guarantee one scholarship every year, but we welcome your ongoing support to offer this unique scholarship to as many young people as possible!
Christine A. Scheller
Black Friday College Fund Founder and President