In spite of the glum economic news, the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund succeeded in presenting 45 awards at its annual ceremony on June 14, the largest number of scholarships given in recent years.
Parents, donors, school officials and board members, as well as the recipients attended the event, held at the PACE Auditorium of Mamaroneck High School. The 73-year old Student Aid Fund, which has a 16-member volunteer board comprised of members of the community, awarded two-year scholarships to high school seniors who are going on to college. An individual family’s financial situation is the sole basis for determining awards.
The scholarship money is raised through contributions from the community; during the 2009-2010 campaign, the Fund received approximately $200,000, about the same as in 2008-2009.
“The commitment of hundreds of individual donors, families, and organizations in our community and MHS alumni around the country makes this evening possible,” said Student Aid Fund president Susan Bell.
The keynote speaker was M’Ral Broodie-Stewart, a 2004 MHS graduate, whose Student Aid Fund award helped her attend Wellesley. She reminded the students how fortunate they were to go to a high school where almost all graduates attend college, and where they have the resources and support to make their dreams of higher education a reality.
She compared that with her experience working – as part of attaining her law degree at Georgetown University – at a Washington, D.C. public high school.
“My juniors knew nothing about the college process, about studying for the SATs. I couldn’t even ask them where the office of the semi part-time college counselor is located. I had thought that going to college was typical and unimpressive, but I was wrong.”
As award recipients sat riveted on the stage, Ms. Broodie-Stewart told them, “You are lucky to live in this town, to go to this school. To have been supported by your family, friends and teachers. The quality of one’s education should not be determined by something as fortuitous as your zip code, but unfortunately, it is. By attending Mamaroneck High School, you have been given an advantage and an opportunity in life that others do not have. You must make it your responsibility to use that advantage to pursue something significant.”
As the students, one-by-one, went up to receive their awards from Ms. Bell and the organization’s first vice-president, Alice Tenney, they seemed ready to shoulder that responsibility.
Those looking to give or find out more about the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund can go to www.mamaronecklarchmontstudentaidfund.org
Alina Tugend is on the board of the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund.