Congrats to our Inspire Scholarship Recipients!

Four Teen Program Participants Awarded Renewable Scholarships to the College of their Choice

We know our students are superstars but, this year, a talented, hardworking group of teenagers really took the cake! High school seniors Monserrat Ambrosio, Melkyn Acosta, Natalia Baez, and Steven Contreras –all of whom have been WHEDco participants since early childhood– have just been awarded Inspire Scholarships of up to $25,000 per year to attend the colleges of their choice.

Melkyn and Natalia began their lifelong involvement with WHEDco in preschool as students at our Early Childhood Discovery Center; Monserrat and Steven became WHEDco participants in kindergarten while attending our Afterschool Enrichment Program at PS/MS 218. All four have experienced the breadth of our education and youth development programming through high school, culminating with their 4-year journey through our Teen Program college access initiative.

WHEDco’s Teen Program sets students in grades 9-12 on a path to college by providing academic assistance, SAT prep, college counseling, peer education leadership opportunities, internships, and more. Every year, a few of our Teen Program participants apply for the Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship, which provides an exclusive opportunity for high school seniors affiliated with the Garden of Dreams Foundation to advance their educations and realize their dreams.

This is the largest group of Inspire Scholarship recipients WHEDco has ever had. The students were thrilled –and surprised– to learn they’d been selected.

This year, the Garden of Dreams Foundation awarded 17 renewable Inspire Scholarship awards (ranging from $10,000 up to $25,000 per year) to students who plan to pursue higher education in the 2019-2020 academic school year. Currently, there are 76 Inspire Scholarship recipients – including the Foundation’s first graduating class this spring as well as the Class of 2023. Since the inception of the program in 2015, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has committed over $2.5 million is college scholarships and continues to provide additional student resources throughout the year.

Congrats to our teens! We wish you all the best as you embark on your college careers at Columbia University (Monserrat Ambrosio), the State University of New York at Albany (Melkyn Acosta), Lafayette College (Natalia Baez), and Fordham University (Steven Contreras).

Special thanks to Garden of Dreams for helping to make their dreams come true!