Queens Borough President Helen Marshall stressed the importance of education, stating that if you give young people the opportunity to get an education, they well.
Marshall praised the students for their outstanding performance in academics as she presented five students with scholarship grants during an African American Heritage Month Awards Reception in the Borough Hall conference room, on Feb. 6.
The high school seniors were required to meet strict academic requirements that included questions on advanced college placement, honors classes awards, extra-curricular activities. Their volunteer work and community service as well as internship experience make them eligible.
An essay that described their greatest academic achievement, and personal achievement, completed the rigorous process to obtain the $1,000 top winner, and the $500 runner-up award.
The winners were Gabriela Campoverde and Aliya Johnson of Townsend Harris High School, Jada Gyening, Bayside High School, Alexia Rivers, St. Francis Preparatory School, and Nadia Thomas, The Marcy Lewis Academy.
Andrew P. Jackson, co-chair of Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center was the master of cermonies at the event, which also honored outstanding community leaders.
They included James and Helen Sanders: RCL Enterprises who received the Business Award, Guyanese Maurice Braithwaite, who was honored with the Civic Award, Bill Jacobs who received the Cultural Individual Award, and Nettie Johnson-Burgess who was presented with the Educational Award.
The Borough President’s Special Recognition Award went to Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, president of York College CUNY.
The South Ozone Park Beacon MS 226, delivered a powerful inspiring spoken word poetry session celebrated the evening. The poems were “Dream Big” by Angelika Peacock, “A Dream Differed” and “I, Too” by Precious Branch, “The N Word” by Camay Barrett, “Living The Dream” by Saher Mahmood, “Our Greatest Fear” by Kye Weaver and “Civil Rights” by Melech Meir.