Joined on the court by Knicks legend Walt “Clyde Frazier,” the first recipients of the Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarships received a warm ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd during the Knicks game Wednesday night. (Dave Saffran/MSG Photos)
We feel fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with the Garden of Dreams Foundation and Madison Square Garden. For many years, our teens have benefited from programs they’ve sponsored, such as MSG Classroom, and the many experiences and opportunities those organizations have offered.
This year, Garden of Dreams Foundation took their generosity to an entirely new level with the Inspire Scholarships. The program offers renewable college scholarships of $10,000 annually to high-achieving teens coming from lower-income areas throughout the New York City area. Each scholarship has a total potential value of $40,000. Teens involved with one of the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s 25 partners are eligible.
Our kids seized this incredible opportunity and secured four of the scholarships. We’re so proud of these young men and women as they prepare to begin their own college journeys:
Alana Cowan has been a Just Ask Me (JAM) Peer Educator for three years, helping to spread health and wellness information that is critical to teens. She has conducted workshops on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV prevention, and self-esteem. She is a school theater production actor who also serves as the president of the student government. In the fall, she will take her many talents to the Pennsylvania State University, where she will major in journalism with a concentration in fashion.
Toddara Galimore (pictured left of Walt Frazier) has been a stand-out leader at the UA Institute (UAI) in Brooklyn as well as an active CAS-Carrera participant for the past seven years. She has participated in UAI’s Summer Work Study Program, the Summer Youth Employment Program, and she has taken overnight and day trips to visit colleges. Toddara plans to become a pharmacist and will be making her final college decision in the next week or two.
Nyuma Gumaneh (pictured second from the left of Walt Frazier) has been an active member of Hope Leadership Academy since her freshman year, when she dove into the many opportunities offered there. In the Peer Education program, she led workshops on violence prevention, cultural diversity, and financial literacy, ultimately earning the highest level as Peer Fellow. She honed her public speaking skills through JPMorgan Live and Street Law. And she recently completed MSG Classroom, learning some of the intracacies of journalism, video production, and broadcasting. This is just a sample of what she’s accomplished at Children’s Aid, all of which will prepare her when she attends TKTKTK this fall.
Brian Polanco has been a member of our Hope Leadership Academy and is a standout student at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, currently ranked second in his class. He’s a great peer educator and has participated in a number of programs including JPMorgan LIVE, which introduced him to the finance industry; Street Law, a collaborative initiatve between Children’s Aid and New York Law School; and Corporate Workplace, where he worked at the prestigious law firm Pavia & Harcourt. He’s attending SUNY-Albany in the fall with an eye on a career in the law.
Congratulations to these young men and women!