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Blackstone/Franklin awards $33K+ in scholarships

by Michele D.  Maniscalco
Thursday Jun 29, 2017

2017 B/FSNA scholarship recipients. Photo by Michele Maniscalco
2017 B/FSNA scholarship recipients. Photo by Michele Maniscalco  

The Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association (B/FSNA) scholarship committee gave out a total of $33,500 in awards to 12 rising high school seniors and three continuing college students at a reception on Tuesday, June 20 at the Gallery at Art Block, 725 Harrison Avenue.

The scholarships are given to South End residents to assist with books, student fees and other expenses. The scholarship program was initiated in 2006 by former B/FSNA president Andrew Parthum and has grown exponentially over the years in both the number of recipients and the dollar amount of the awards.

Parthum's contribution to the community was recognized with a proclamation from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, read aloud to guests by Office of Neighborhood Services liaison Sam Chambers. Leading up to the reading of the mayoral proclamation, Chambers said, "Andrew is so caring and we are so proud that he started this."

Parthum praised the volunteers "who have taken up the scholarship ball and run with it. Every year, we've exceeded expectations that I had. It's because of half the people in this room who have [put in] the time and effort to make this what it is today. I want to thank the scholarship committee for all of your time and effort."

Committee members took turns presenting the scholarships and sharing some of the students' interests and achievements. Introducing recipient Nicholas Antoine, a student at Bristol Community College who will transfer to Mount Ida College this fall, committee member Mark Ott described Antoine's volunteer work at IBA and his enthusiasm for his major, funeral home management.

"It's not very often that you hear someone say they want to go into funeral home management and it's not often that you hear them talk about it with the passion that he does. I look forward to not seeing you for a long time," Ott quipped. Parents beamed with pride in their children's hard work. Margo Wilder, whose daughter, Angel Wilder, will use her scholarship at Bridgewater State University this fall, said, "I wore sunglasses so no one would see me crying."

The 2017 B/FSNA scholarship recipients are: scholar-athlete Raeonah Miles-Willis, who graduated from Charlestown High School and will attend Syracuse University this fall; Edwin Martinez, a mentor and counselor at St. Stephen's Youth program and graduate of John D. O'Bryant High School, who will enroll at U.Mass. Dartmouth this fall; a volunteer at the Room to Grow program and graduate of Cathedral High School, Volinda Tellewoyan will enroll at Manhattanville College this fall; Boston Latin School (BLS) graduate Marguerite Blair, who volunteered as a tutor for other students, will enter Pomona College in the fall focusing on math and chemistry; Carl-Isaak Krulewitch, who performs with a jazz trio, graduated from BLS and will follow his passion at Berklee College of Music this fall; U.Mass. Boston student Hayley Calderon received her second B/FSNA scholarship this year as she continues her education in Political Science; Olaide Junaid will use the scholarship as she continues her education at Colby Sawyer College with plans to pursue graduate studies in physical therapy; an athlete and member of student government at Josiah Quincy Upper School, Kenny Mei will enroll at Northeastern University this fall; Shona Ortiz, a BLS graduate who enjoys reading, writing, drawing and playing guitar and ukulele, will attend Bowdoin College this fall.

Three students, Jason Liu, Josie Ortiz and Kesanet Tesfazion, each received $3,500 Andrew Parthum Scholarships, which honor students for serving the community as well as for academic accomplishment. Ortiz volunteers with the Crossroads for Kids program and received the President's Volunteer Service Award. She graduated from Snowden International High School and will attend U.Mass. Boston this fall. Tesfazion was one of a group of teens from the St. Stephen's Youth Program who beautified Ramsay Park, inspiring Mayor Walsh to commit $1 million to its renovation. A graduate of Boston Latin Academy, she will attend U.Mass. Amherst this fall. Liu, a graduate of Lincoln Sudbury High School, volunteers with the Square Roots program at Castle Square Tenants Organization and will attend U.Mass. Boston this fall.

Angel and Margo Wilder. Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  

Parthum scholarship recipient Jason Liu and friend Lily Tang. Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  

Scholarship recipients Carl-Isaak Krulewitch and Hayley Calderon, right. Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco  


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