Earlier this month, Person-to-Person board members, volunteers and staff gathered to salute members of the graduating class of 2011. The college and university graduates live in New Canaan, Norwalk, and Stamford, and attended schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York State, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. They majored in a range of subjects, including accounting and media arts, audio engineering and microbiology, business administration and criminal justice, communications and elementary education.
They are a diverse group of young women and men with one thing in common -- each was able to realize his or her dream of higher education with the help of a college scholarship award from Person-to-Person.
With remarks that were both poignant and humorous, current P2P board member and scholarship committee chair Rebecca Wilson (a past recipient of P2P scholarships) acknowledged the accomplishments of all 28 graduates while urging them to reach back to give a helping hand to those who will follow.
We salute you all. Asha Bryce (Hofstra University); Christian Burke (Institute of Audio Research); Maria Cadena (University of Connecticut); Melinda Cadet (Long Island University); Cynthia Charles (University of Hartford); Fritz Chery (University of Connecticut); Juan Fabian (University of Connecticut); Brendy Franco (University of Connecticut); Keisha Freeman-Hill (Howard University); Revay Gordon (Temple University); Juanita Gyamera (Wesleyan University); Jessica Hoover (Eastern University); Mark Hylton (Industrial Management & Training Institute); Anne Jecrois (University of Massachusetts); Lisa Lacen-Romero (College of the Holy Cross); Kevin Lauture (University of Connecticut); Valeria Lopez Salazar (Manhattanville College); Jordan Lorrius (Eastern Connecticut State University); Thomas Michael (University of Connecticut); Diana Morris (Boston College); Shanice Owens (Quinnipiac University); Jazmin Powell (Mitchell College); Keisha Riley (Norwalk Community College); George Sanchez (University of Connecticut); Amanda Smith (Roanoke College); Ray Smith (University of New Haven); Jonathan Vergara (University of New Haven); Tara Williams (St. John's University).
Over the past five years -- through the Harriet McCorkle Scholarship Fund, the Lockhart Family Charitable Trust Scholarship, the Napolitano Family Scholarship Fund and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship -- P2P has offered a path to self-sufficiency for hundreds of students by granting scholarships totaling more than $1.7 million.
Person-to-Person Inc., a nonprofit agency, was originally established in 1968 by St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien. Its mission was simple: to bring together the needs of people in disadvantaged areas of nearby communities with the resources of people in Darien and the surrounding areas, thereby providing basic emergency services to low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County. A volunteer-driven agency, Person-to-Person is committed to helping clients achieve self-sufficiency through practical help, advocacy, education and problem-solving initiatives. Programs include emergency assistance, campership and scholarship. In 2010, Person-to-Person helped 22,431 people avert crisis and make ends meet. These efforts are made possible by in-kind donations, a force of more than 2,000 volunteers and financial contributions.
More information can be found on the web at www.p2pdarien.org or by calling 203-655-0048.