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Ben Block, Environmentalist

Ben Block, Environmentalist

Posted: 04.29.15

Jerome G. and Annette S. Zimmerman Foundation Fund Interest-Free Loan recipient Ben Block
Benjamin Block has dedicated his young career to raising awareness and preserving the environment. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Ben earned a Fulbright Fellowship in Peru. In partnership with the Amazon Conservation Association, he joined efforts to protect forests of the Peruvian Amazon threatened by illegal gold miners and loggers. In Peru, Ben also worked to develop educational materials about sustainable business practices.  Ben earned two bachelors degrees from the University of Maryland; a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

After graduating in 2007, he interned with Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), where he witnessed how policies plant seeds of change in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. At PGW, Ben helped thousands of low-income residents reduce their heating bills and improve the safety in their homes. Ben is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration with a Certificate in Public Finance from the University of Pennsylvania.  He received an interest-free loan from the Jerome G. and Annette S. Zimmerman Foundation Fund at Central Scholarship.  We are proud to highlight Ben as April’s Scholar of the Month.



Katy, Aspiring Physician

Posted: 02.23.15

Scholarship recipient Katy Eslami
February’s Scholar of the Month, Katy Eslami, is in her senior year at the University of Maryland. In the fall, Katy taught courses in chemistry and was appointed as co-chair for the Recruitment Program at the University of Maryland. Through the post, she meets with prospective students and parents to help them with the college application process. Katy is also a student advisor for the Pre-Health Advising Office where she works with students interested in a medical career. Last but not least, she works as a research supervisor in the Emergency Room at George Washington Hospital.

Katy is navigating the medical school interview process and looks forward to making an informed choice soon about where to begin her medical training after graduating with her bachelor’s degree this spring. Katy writes, “Thanks to Central Scholarship and generous donors, I was able to pursue every interest during my junior and senior year at the University of Maryland. If it wasn’t for this scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to continue my volunteer positions and also attend medical school interviews due to financial restraints. This past semester, I have been more thankful for this generous gift than ever.”

Hadja, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 06.30.14

Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust recipient Hadja Barry and her father
Hadja Barry’s family is from West Africa.  When Hadja graduated from high school, she worked at a day care center because she enjoys helping others.  She decided that healthcare was a field worth looking into since she wanted to help others and begin a career with the potential to move up in the future.  Hadja’s mother is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and Hadja decided to follow in her footsteps with the hope of becoming a Registered Nurse down the road.  Hadja writes, “I just don’t want a job—I want a career! I am the oldest of four and putting a burden on my parents isn’t something I want to do.”  Hadja applied to Central Scholarship in hopes of earning a scholarship to help pay for CNA/GNA training.   We awarded Hadja with help from the Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust and Hadja completed her CNA/GNA certificate training this year.  She is pictured with her father above.

To apply for certificate training scholarships, click here and scroll down to “Career or Technology Training Students.”

Ryan Murrill, Morehouse College Graduate

Posted: 11.19.12

Central Scholarship recipient Ryan Murrill

Every month, we feature a scholarship recipient on our blog.  November’s Scholar of the Month, Ryan Murrill, ran for Student Government during his freshman year at Morehouse College.  “The whole concept of developing a campaign platform, getting volunteers, and writing speeches was foreign to me,” he writes.  So Ryan reached out to upperclassmen already in Student Government and with their support, he ran a successful campaign and was elected Sophomore Class Secretary.   “Without the supportive and nurturing atmosphere that Morehouse afforded me, I may not have developed the confidence and eagerness to become involved in a student leadership position.”

Ryan speaks highly of Morehouse College and imagines himself joining the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Shelton Spike Lee, and Dr. Maynard Jackson — all Morehouse alumni.  Ryan was accepted into the Adam Scholar Program, a yearly commitment of 300 community service hours in the Atlanta community.  Through this program, he had the opportunity to give back to the community and be introduced to the Fulton County Superior Court Ambassadors Program.  Since Ryan hopes to continue to law school after leaving Morehouse, he decided to work at the court house and assist the court grant writer in getting drug rehabilitation programs approved.  Ryan is passionate about repeat offenders, illiteracy, employment, and substance abuse.

Following graduation, Ryan decided to take an interim before law school and gain work experience.  He is working as a public finance paralegal at a Baltimore law firm.  He plans to enroll in an LSAT prep course soon and take the exam in 2013.

Sharon Fakheri is our Scholar of the Month

Posted: 04.12.12

Charles Crane Family Foundation Scholarship recipient Sharon Fakheri
Sharon Fakheri is a student at Ner Israel Rabbinical College where he maintains a 4.0 GPA.  His passion for Jewish studies is evident.  Sharon grew up in Iran where furthering his Jewish Education was not a possibility.  In order to obtain the education he wanted, Sharon left his family and moved to the United States.  After receiving news that Sharon was awarded with a scholarship, he wrote, “The scholarship that Central Scholarship has provided for me has been a tremendous help.  I look forward to setting more goals and achieving more.  This scholarship will help me give back to the community in ways that I have been waiting and hoping to do.”

Charles Crane Family Foundation Scholarship recipient Sharon Fakheri at a College Cash 101 seminar
Sharon received the Charles Crane Family Foundation Scholarship here at Central Scholarship.  The Charles Crane Family Foundation Grant Program provides scholarships of up to $5,000 to students pursuing Judaic studies full-time at accredited institutions in the United States and Israel.   It is one of several scholarships with applications that remain open until May 1, 2012.  You can find the application right here.

Central Scholarship recently announced that the Charles Crane Family Foundation committed another $50,000 to this program in order to help more students afford an education.

Brandon, Scholar of the Month

Posted: 12.01.11

Central Scholarship recipient Brandon Smith

Brandon Simon graduated from Indiana University earlier this year.  Outside of school, Brandon spent time volunteering as a peer tutor in a Microsoft class at school.  His major in finance and minor in economics helped him obtain a summer internship at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Pikesville, Maryland between school semesters.  Brandon also made time to be a member of two honor societies on campus —  Phi Sigma Theta and Sigma Alpha Lambda.

As part of his volunteer work, Brandon worked with  the Net Impact Sustainable Business Club to raise money for a local women’s shelter, the Middle Way House in Bloomington, which helps victims of domestic abuse.  At Central Scholarship, we look for students who give back to their community and want to serve others.  Scholarship recipients like Brandon make us proud to be able to assist in paying for their college education.