Jackson shared her experiences as a student of color attending a predominately white private school as an Oishei Scholar and she urged students to continue to push through barriers and to stand strong in a sometimes hostile world. Recounting her years in high school, college, as a mother and now as a teacher, she described her challenges and triumphs as a black woman in a white world. She credited the scholarship opportunity that helped her attend Mount St. Mary’s as a catalyst that helped shape who she is today.
The Oishei High School Scholarship program, established in 1998 in partnership with the Education Collaborative of WNY (EdCo) offers an educational opportunity to local students of colors with a financial need. The highly selective scholarship funds the full four-year tuition of one incoming freshman at each of 14 local private high schools. The Foundation had invested more than $10 million and supported more than 300 students in the Scholarship program over its 21-year history.
Jackson’s remarks came amid the celebration of both our newest Scholarship recipients and our current Oishei Scholars at the luncheon held at Hotel Henry Urban Resort. Incoming freshman, along with their parents, grandparents and other special guests, as well as current students and their school representatives attended the annual event. In a room festooned with balloons bearing the school colors of all the participating schools, new scholars were welcomed and graduating seniors were honored.
After brief remarks, Foundation President Robert D. Gioia and Board Chair William G. Gisel, Jr. honored the newest scholars including:
- Khayri Salter (Amherst Middle School) will attend Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School
- Noel White (Tapestry Charter School) will attend Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart
- Adrienne Steele (Dr. Lydia T. Wright School) will attend Buffalo Seminary
- Deng Yak (City Honors) will attend Canisius High School
- Gianna Williams (Stella Niagara Education Park) will attend Cardinal O’Hara
- Fiona Tournour (St. Peter & Paul) will attend Mount Mercy Academy
- Aquila Ali (Tapestry Charter School) will attend Mount St Mary Academy
- Olga Ineza (The Catholic Academy of Buffalo) will attend Nardin Academy
- El iana Tadeo (Westminster Community Charter School) will attend Nichols School
- Chase Welch (Westminster Community Charter School) will attend Park School of Buffalo
- Jamell Dallas (Maritime Middle School) will attend St. Francis High School
- Carlos Calderon (Buffalo Public School #81) will attend St. Joseph’s Collegiate
- Luis Bermudez (Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament) will attend St. Mary’s High School
Students of color entering high school in the 2020-2021 school year are eligible for next year’s scholarships. Go to www.edcowny.org to learn more.