Making College a Reality

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The Stern Memorial Scholarship Luncheon is truly a rite of early summer. Like so many traditions, certain pieces and circumstances will vary from year to year but the end result is reassuringly consistent.

That result is yet another collection of young women and men who have proven resilient in the face of overwhelming challenges and who offer powerful inspiration because of their success in reaching for excellence. Every year, they lift us by proving that zip codes don’t determine destiny.

The Stern family—represented on this day by Rob and Yuka Stern and their son, Ren—continues to generously fund two critical scholarships that year in and year out make a college education reality for some very talented New York City teenagers. The Jean L. Stern Memorial Scholarship is a tribute to her service to The Children’s Aid Society as a longtime trustee. Providing financial assistance for college-bound young people was a passionate commitment for her. And she was the one to establish the Wick Stern Memorial Scholarship, to honor the memory of her son by celebrating eight students who have demonstrated courage and perseverance, and overcome obstacles in pursuit of their higher education.

This year’s winners, who will attend a number of excellent schools next year, such as Vanderbilt University, Ithaca College, Daemon College, and Gettysburg College, are:

The Jean L. Stern Memorial Scholarship:

  • Terrell Dixon - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS
  • Alexa Laboy - Hope Leadership Academy
  • Brandon Michael - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS
  • Denny Pena - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom HS

The Wick Stern Memorial Scholarship:

  • Kenny Alarcon - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
  • Ruth Alozie - CAS Carrera Program
  • Beatrice Denkyi - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
  • Aiesha Hibbert - CAS Carrera Program
  • Khaddya Jobe - Hope Leadership Academy
  • Ciarra Leocadio - Hope Leadership Academy
  • Shailon Pinder - Hope Leadership Academy
  • Idania Ramirez - Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School

Many thanks to the Stern family and all of the scholars who inspire us with their fortitude.