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Program Manager Spotlight: Angela Harrison

Angela Harrison

Program Manager Spotlight: Angela Harrison

Posted: 02.27.20

Specialty: Career Training Application Process

Since joining Central Scholarship in 2006, Angela Harrison has been an integral part of the career training application and award process. She spends most of her time reading grant applications and interviewing applicants who are hoping to receive a scholarship.

What does your day-to-day look like?

It changes a lot throughout the year, except for managing our career training application and award process. I spend several days every month reading grant applications, evaluating documents, and interviewing students. In the spring and summer, after the application deadline for degree-seeking students, that’s pretty much all I do, all the time! After the student awards ceremony in August, I’m focused on student records, making scholarship payments, and preparing for our yearly audit. We do a lot of our community outreach in the fall and winter, like college fairs and our College Cash presentations. That’s also the time when I’m preparing data reports for our board and donors and updating our application for the coming year.

What is your favorite aspect of your role?

Reading applications and doing student interviews, no question. So many amazing people apply for our funding. I’m lucky to get to spend time getting to know them.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing our students go on to success and hearing their stories. That’s one reason I really enjoying working on our data reporting; it’s great to see those success stories translate into hard numbers over the years.

What careers have past recipients gone on to?

So many! We’ve funded teachers, social workers, engineers, computer programmers, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, lawyers, rabbis, therapists, writers, accountants, actors, professional musicians, and plumbers.

Thanks, Angie, for all your hard work and dedication!

Paying it Forward

Posted: 01.27.20

Freddy Freedman grew up in Baltimore, in a Jewish Orthodox home and he knew he wanted higher education in his future. He started looking at colleges in 10th grade. He now attends Salisbury University and is studying philosophy. “College is place for personal and professional growth. I’m thankful for Central Scholarship and I’d love to have a scholarship that I fund myself one day,” said Freddy.

 

Helping People Help People

Posted: 01.21.20

We are pleased to feature Jennifer Cook this month. She became a social worker because of her passion for helping others. In 2018, she was the winner of the Student Loan Pay Down which paid up to $30,000 of her student debt. Jennifer was expecting to pay her student loans for the rest of her life, but Central Scholarship relieved that pressure. “Central Scholarship is honestly a guardian angel. They believe that education is a right, not a privilege and that gives me a lot of hope. Knowing they are [here for students] makes me feel a lot less alone,” said Jennifer.

 

From Left: Nicole Tadzong, Ndeh Tadzong, Jill Kamenetz, and Fru Tadzong

Heritage and Home

Posted: 11.20.19

When Ndeh was young, his father would frequently ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and even though his answer would change from firefighter to architect to physician, he knew for sure that he wanted a profession that helped others.

At the age of ten, Ndeh Tadzong’s parents sent him to Cameroon Protestant College (C.P.C.) Bali, a boarding school in Cameroon, West Africa. It was a drastic change from his life in the US. But living with his schoolmates away from home allowed him to have deeper exposure to his cultural heritage, therefore helping him to understand himself better and thus the impact he wanted to have on the world.

In his fourth year of boarding school, Ndeh campaigned and was elected to the position of Assistant Health Prefect. He was a student assistant to the school nurse. If the nurse was not available, ailing students sought out Ndeh’s help for an array of health issues. He ran a basic health assessment, took students to the hospital if they needed to go, and brought them food.

“Cameroon Protestant College Bali taught me to be disciplined, independent, and responsible,” Tadzong said, “Discharging my duties as a Health Prefect confirmed to me that I wanted to become a physician. It was quite a privilege to help students get better.”

In 2017, Ndeh moved back to The States and finished out his junior and senior years at Randallstown High School. He knew he wanted to pursue engineering and medicine in college, so his guidance counselor told him about Central Scholarship.

We were so impressed with Ndeh’s application and story, we awarded him the Kevin Kamenetz Scholarship in August 2019. He entered UMBC in the fall and is expected to graduate in May 2023 with a degree in chemical engineering. We look forward to the positive impact he will make on the world!

From Philosophy to Public Health

Posted: 11.14.19

Kashay grew up in a community in Baltimore City where affordability of healthcare, health literacy, and access to consistent care prevented people from flourishing at home, work, and school. She didn’t recognize the disparity in access to healthcare until she began socializing with her peers who lived in more affluent areas and realized the differences between communities.

In 2015, Kashay heard about Central Scholarship from her high school college counselor. She received her first award in 2015 which helped with her undergraduate costs at Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore, where she graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and a minor in Biology. When she was accepted to graduate school, she decided to reapply for a Central Scholarship award to offset the cost of her degree. She is incredibly grateful for the support she has received from Central Scholarship and ecstatic to graduate from Johns Hopkins with a Master’s in Health Administration in 2021.

Kashay’s interest in pursuing a career in public health came from her background in philosophy. Aristotle introduced the notion of eudaimonia, or human flourishing. He argued that human actions are all based on our desire to flourish, which is the highest good attainable in life. She pondered the variety of circumstances people could find themselves in, which would prevent them from attaining eudaimonia. The health inequities she witnessed, growing up, was certainly a roadblock.

Her philosophy is that every individual has a right to flourish over their lifetime—a feat that cannot be accomplished without attaining and maintaining a certain threshold of health. Kashay has made it her mission to increase health care access and equitable delivery of health care services to encourage all human beings to flourish.

We continued to be inspired by the work she does and impressed by her diligence. Keep up the admirable work, Kashay!

Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Posted: 11.05.19

Devon was about 10 years old, growing up in Baltimore City, when he first decided he wanted to go to college. He had always been a gifted child, but when he learned about engineering through the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program it sparked an interest that would begin to shape the rest of his life.

Central Scholarship first crossed paths with Devon when he attended a College Cash® event to learn about navigating college affordability. He was hesitant to attend because he wasn’t sure how the session could possibly help him reduce his financial burden. Those concerns disappeared as soon as he walked in the door. He was able to learn how to understand financial aid letters, how to find scholarships, what makes a strong essay, and the importance of networking. He left College Cash® feeling energized.

“After reviewing what I had learned, I felt like I won the lottery. I had learned all of the keys to winning a scholarship. I was so excited and I felt like I would eventually burst if I did not share my newly obtained knowledge.”

Devon is currently finishing up his senior year at Morgan State University as an electrical engineering major where he has been an outstanding student, interned at Intel and Facebook, and became President of his fraternity, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Under his leadership his Iota Phi Theta was awarded Chapter of the Year by the Eastern Region and Organization of the Year by Morgan State University. He has become a remarkable leader, setting the bar high for his chapter, and has used his platform to develop programs that promote scholarship and leadership among students.

His involvement in Iota Phi Theta also showcases his strolling and stepping talents and just one of the many reasons we are so proud to call Devon a Central Scholarship scholar!

Bagels with Jerry

Posted: 11.04.19

We enjoyed our Fall gathering of Bagels with Jerry, a biannual event that connects Central Scholarship donors with scholarship recipients who have been on the receiving end of donors’ generosity. “It’s also about getting to know our donors better and finding out why our mission is important to them,” said Jan Wagner, President of Central Scholarship. “We have incredibly loyal donors and we want to extend our appreciation.”

We were honored to host Rachel Goodrich as our student speaker. Rachel is studying social work/counseling as a master’s degree student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In addition to her full-time studies, Rachel also works as a Career Navigator for the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development in Baltimore City.

Rachel exemplifies Central Scholarship award recipients. She is an academic standout and laser-focused on her career pathway. Within the next five years, we will know Rachel as a Licensed Social Worker committed to helping Hispanic youth in a Baltimore healthcare institution. Further along in her career, Rachel hopes to have a private practice as a mental health practitioner. We are proud to be part of Rachel’s education and career aspirations.

Rachel is a recipient of the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Scholarship Fund, and we thoroughly enjoyed connecting her with our generous current and prospective donors. We look forward to the next event in Spring 2020!

Philanthropy Spotlight: Tim Redmond and the Benefits of Donor-Advised Funds

Posted: 10.21.19

Since joining the Board of Directors, Tim Redmond has been a passionate supporter of Central Scholarship. He originally came to us at the suggestion of Alvin Katz, founder of the CPA firm KatzAbosch where Tim worked, who knew his expertise in not-for-profit organizations would be a huge asset to Central Scholarship’s financial management. Tim’s financial acumen has left a lasting impact on operations and he now serves as the current Treasurer of the Board of Director’s.

Tim’s philanthropic priorities have been greatly influenced by his family of teachers who focused on helping kids learn and grow but faced many obstacles along the way. He naturally gravitated towards supporting organizations like Central Scholarship that help improve educational and job development opportunities for all students. We recently sat down with Tim to talk about his experience as a member of the Board of Directors and the reasons he chooses to manage his philanthropy through a donor- advised fund.

How would you describe the impact Central Scholarship awards and interest-free loans have on our students?

I went into my relationship with Central Scholarship understanding the impact that scholarships and interest-free loans have on students.  From my own past experiences I gathered that these scholarships and interest-free loans do a great job “chipping” away at the cost of obtaining post-secondary education, but after hearing the personal stories of students who receive scholarships and interest-free loans, it amazed me how just providing a little can be THE difference in obtaining post-secondary education, job training, etc.; and really be the key to unlock someone’s potential and help them build the life they have envisioned.

What is your favorite thing about Central Scholarship?

I think working with a Board of extremely talented, intelligent and most of all, caring individuals who really are seeking for positive change in both students’ lives, as well as within the post-secondary education system.  The confluence of supporting students now as well as shaping the market for students of the future is appealing work (plus…we just have a lot of fun working together).  And of course, can’t leave out the wonderful feelings provided by hearing student success stories!

Why did you decide to open a donor-advised fund and how does it impact your giving?

I opened a donor-advised fund after hearing a presentation from Fidelity on the benefits of operating such a fund a few years back.  The donor-advised fund seemed like a great low-cost, low barrier-to-entry alternative to setting up a giving vehicle.  For someone like myself (who didn’t have millions to setup a large foundation) it was a great way centralize and control my personal tax deduction while still being able to make grants to organizations that I support. Just a small contribution was required to setup the fund and the contributions may be invested, which has been great as it allowed my initial and follow-up contributions to grow and expand the amount of assistance they can provide.

Would you recommend that other donors open a donor-advised fund?

I would recommend to others to setup a donor-advised fund for the tax convenience and planning aspects, the investment-returns they provide and their ease of opening and operating.  Additionally, just this year I learned you can schedule future and recurring grants out of the account – which allowed me to pick the organizations I want to support and schedule these grants in advance.  This has reduced the already-low administration time of operating the account while also making me feel comfortable knowing I have supported the organization I wished to assist.

 What are your parting thoughts on the importance of giving?

I would encourage everyone to (as much as they can) give of themselves (time, talent and money) to others; this is what has brought a lot of meaning, purpose and joy into my life.  And if you are seeking to support an education-focused not-for-profit organization, Central Scholarship is a name I would strongly urge you to consider!

Dezmond Covington: A Vibrant Voice in the Baltimore Community

Posted: 09.23.19

In 1964, Andre De Shields won a financial award from Central Scholarship as a senior at Baltimore City College. The scholarship allowed him to pursue music which eventually led him to Broadway. In 2019, he won a Tony Award for his performance in Hadestown.

Almost two generations later, in 2019, Dezmond Covington, a senior and a member of the Morgan State University Choir, performed for De Shields and an audience of Central Scholarship supporters. It was a momentous experience providing a glimpse of the talent that has been coursing through the veins of Central Scholarship for generations.

Dezmond Covington has been a Central Scholar since 2016. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, he has been awarded $15,000 to help fund his education. Since 2016 Covington has become an RA at MSU and was recently inducted into the Morgan State University Chapter of Collegiate 100 Organization, an organization focused on empowering African American youth.

Dezmond attributes his tenacity and passion for education to his mother, “All of the encouragement she has given me for so long to push past being mediocre had finally stuck,” he said. “She wanted me to know what true, self-made success looked and felt like.”

We’re honored to support such impressive students like Dezmond on their journey to success. Hopefully, in 50 years, a scholar will be performing for him at a Central Scholarship event!

Honoring André De Shields

Posted: 09.03.19

It never ceases to amaze us to see how accomplished our scholarship recipients become and it’s them that inspires us to continue our work. On June 9, 2019 we were once again reminded of this when we watched former Central Scholarship recipient André De Shields win a Tony Award for his performance as Hermes in Hadestown.

Mr. De Shields’ history with Central Scholarship goes back to 1964 when he received a scholarship from us as a senior at Baltimore City College. The scholarship enabled him to pursue his higher education and lead him on a path to Broadway. Central Scholarship President, Jan Moylan Wagner, remembered, “The leadership of Central Scholarship saw great promise in André. In the 1960s scholarships were one of the few forms of financial support that enabled talented people to attend college.”

Central Scholarship’s community of supporters and students were uplifted by Mr. De Shields’ achievement and on Monday, August 19, 2019 he came home to Baltimore where we honored him with our first ever Alumnus Award for his demonstration of unparalleled tenacity and talent. The celebration was held at Mt. Lebanon Baptist church where we enjoyed performances by Dezmond Covington, current Central Scholarship recipient, and Taylor Jackson, both Morgan State University Choir members, and Baltimore Symphony Musicians Rene Shapiro and Lior Willinger.

Of course, the highlight of the event was Mr. De Shields himself who offered a very hopeful message.

Our celebration of Mr. De Shields capped off his day of festivities where Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of Baltimore earlier in the morning. Mr. De Shields is a reminder of the importance of the enduring value of education. We are honored to share his hopeful message.