Where Are They Now?: Elsie E. Richardson Scholarship Winners 2017

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Aziza P.

Israel A.

Since 2015, the family of the late community activist Elise E. Richardson and Restoration have awarded an annual scholarship to deserving students from Bedford-Stuyvesant to help them pursue their higher education dreams. This award carries a special resonance in light of Restoration’s new credo: “Dream & Do.”  This is not only a motto, but a call to action for young people be the change they seek in society. Israel Ali and Aziza Pope received the scholarship last year. We decided to follow up on how these two young people had fared since winning the award in 2017.

Israel, a Computer Science major at Albany State University in Albany, NY, says about his college experience “So far, so good.”  Finding coursework that was relevant to his major was easier than he thought. “I was lucky enough to have a great counselor that helped me to get into the classes I needed,” he says.  After choosing the right classes, he realized that he would have to study more than he did in high school. One of the challenges he faced was managing his newly found freedom. “I discovered that 8a.m. classes are not for me. It was one thing to have an 8a.m.-3p.m. schedule in high school, but in college you have to learn to manage time between work, studying, and socializing.” His goals for the next year are becoming a Resident Advisor at the freshman dorms, mastering time management, and getting deeper into his studies.

Aziza, a Public Health major at St. Augustine University, in Raleigh NC, excelled in her first year of college with a 3.92 Cumulative GPA. Moving from New York City to Raleigh, NC one of the first lifestyle shocks she encountered was not being able to eat whenever she wanted to. “The dining hall closed early, and we were not allowed to cook in my dorm building,” she says. “I had to rely on restaurants/fast food quite a bit.” She took introductory Public Health courses and performed community service with her professor and classmates. ”The scholarship helped me pay for my textbooks for both semesters. I am grateful for that because books are very expensive,” she says.  For her sophomore year, Aziza is excited about joining the band and furthering her studies in Public Health.

We could not be prouder of Aziza and Israel and all the other students who have received the scholarship. Celeste Moses, daughter of Elsie E. Richardson, says, “On behalf of the family of Elise Richardson, I would like to thank Restoration for keeping her legacy alive. Elsie was a strong believer in the power of youth. She always liked to encourage young people to believe they can achieve any goal regardless of circumstances or obstacles. My best wishes to all scholarship winners!”