Queens BP announces scholarships after celebrating with college-bound seniors in Rockaway

A College March was held at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills. (Photo by Argenis Apolinario Photography)

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced that the African American Heritage Scholarship Program is back for the third straight year. High school seniors interested in pursuing higher education can apply through Jan. 9.

The winners will be awarded by the Borough President’s African American Heritage Committee during Black History Month in February.

“College should be accessible to all, not just a few with the means to afford it,” Richards said. “It’s an honor to bring the African American Heritage Scholarship program back for another year, as we help break down the financial barriers that can make attending college difficult or even impossible. Several of our borough’s brightest high school seniors will receive valuable scholarships as part of the program, which will help enable them to put their own stamps on African American history.”

(Photo by Argenis Apolinario Photography)

All of the scholarship winners will receive monetary awards they can use to cover expenses related to their post-secondary studies. Nine students won scholarships during last year’s edition of this competition, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Only Queens residents are eligible for the scholarships.

To learn more about the scholarship and to apply at the BP’s website here and by sending their transcripts by email to Director of Economic Development Shurn Anderson at [email protected] or by fax to 718-286-3134.

Richards made the announcement on Dec. 16, two weeks after he joined more than 200 high school seniors at Channel View School for Research in Rockaway Park for the College March, an annual ritual started by the NYC Outward Bound Schools Network. More than 2,000 seniors nationwide take part in the celebratory event, parading college application materials and letters to local post offices or mailboxes, as hundreds of fellow students, teachers, school marching bands, community members and elected officials cheer them in with homemade posters.

“To each student who slipped their college application into that mailbox, you’ve already made so many people proud,” Richards said. I can’t wait for that acceptance letter to arrive on your doorstep.”

Councilwoman Joann Ariola said she “had a blast” attending the annual event.

“The College March at Channel View is a beautiful tradition that lets us all honor the seniors who are preparing to graduate this year,” Ariola said. “Being able to participate in this celebration was a true honor, and it’s really great to see all of those smiling faces as they get ready to enter the next chapter of their lives.”

In addition to Channel View, the College March was also held at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills and the Institute for Health Professions in Cambria Heights.

“The seniors who marched today were just freshmen when the pandemic hit, so it felt really joyful to be able to celebrate their perseverance and honor their dreams for the future,” NYC Outward Bound Schools CEO Vanessa Rodriguez said. “It’s also a day to acknowledge the incredible support systems — the families, teachers, coaches and counselors — who truly believe in and see the potential for greatness in every student.”

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