Elsie E. Richardson Scholarship selects winners for 2017-2018 academic year

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January 4th - Three bright and ambitious college freshmen from Bedford-Stuyvesant were awarded the 2017-2018 Elsie E. Richardson Scholarship. This is the second year of the scholarship founded by Richardson’s granddaughter, Celeste Moses. The award pays homage to Ms. Richardson’s legacy of civic mindedness and public service. The $1,000 prize is awarded to applicants who wrote about their commitment to community and resilience in the face of adversity. This year’s winners are Aziza Pope, Israel Ali, and Carlos Mayers.

All three are enrolled in their first semester of college.

Aziza Pope, an alumna of Brooklyn High School of the Arts, studies Biology at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC.  When asked about her post-college career aspirations, Aziza said she wants to be a dentist. “I want to help my community access the dental care they need at affordable prices,” she says. “I like to see people smile.”

Israel, an alumnus of Benjamin Banneker Academy, is attending Albany State University in Albany, NY and studies computer science. Alluding to the scarcity of minority students in STEM fields, Israel says part of his motivation in choosing his academic major is to show other people in his community that “people who look like them can learn about technology and use it as a force for positive change.”

Carlos, an alumnus of Xaverian High School, is also studying computer science at Hampton University in Hampton, VA. He says he wants to serve his community as an entrepreneur and a technology educator. “People in our communities have an attitude that starting a technology business is beyond their capabilities,” he says. “I want to show them it can be done.”

The dreams of this year’s winners, inspired by the bold activism and perseverance of Richardson, is a good indicator of the future for Bedford-Stuyvesant. Celeste Moses shares these words to the scholarship winners, “On behalf of the family of Elsie Richardson, I would like to thank Restoration in keeping her legacy alive. Elsie Richardson was such a believer in the youth whom she would encourage to believe that they can achieve any goal regardless of circumstances and/or obstacles. With that said, good luck to the scholarship winners.”

We wish these young people great success in their pursuit of higher education and their desire to give back to their community.


Carlos Mayers

Israel Ali

Aziza Pope