Three MVCSD scholars win scholarships at MLK Legacy Youth Awards
Three Mount Vernon City School District scholars were given awards at the African American Men of Westchester’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Youth Awards Luncheon on Monday, January 16, 2023.
Rayanu Adam and Roymichael Brisport, 12th grade students at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, won the William L. Carter Perseverance Award, which includes a $2,000 scholarship. Mohamadou Alou, 12th grade student at Mount Vernon High School, won the Social Action Award and a $2,000 scholarship. Fourteen total awards were given, ten $2,000 scholarships, and four $2,500 Albertina Bloom Scholarship Grants.
Rayanu Adam is the Vice President of his class at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, captain of the varsity track team, and serves as a student school board trustee for the school district. He also serves the community of Mount Vernon and beyond by sorting and giving away food to those in need with the LIFE Progressive Services Group. Additionally, he tutors Hispanic children in the Bronx with the Mexican American Students’ Alliance (MASA) NY Program.
“It’s just being the change that you want to see,” said Adam. “It doesn't have to be humongous. It can be just in your community: tutoring, handing out food. Starting from the bottom, and brick by brick it builds up. That to me is fulfilling Dr. King’s vision.”
As student trustee on the school board, Adam was instrumental in advocating for better-functioning shuttle buses for student-athletes and continues to give students a voice in the Board of Education. He considers this some of the most important work that he has done to serve others. He is also a member of My Brother’s Keeper, which empowers him to commit even more acts of service.
Roymichael Brisport also won the William L. Carter Perseverance Award. He has worked to improve his community in numerous ways, including interning at the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center. He is a volunteer for Sexual Assault and Family Education (SAFE) Guyana, and he helps coordinate food distribution to the homeless population in Linden, Guyana. He also sorts clothing and helps coordinate clothing schedule pick-up across Westchester County and New York City.
Brisport serves as a member of New York State Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins' Youth Advisory Council. He is a member of Westchester Alpha’s Suit-UP! Mentoring Program. He commits himself to community service through all of these organizations, and he wants to continue to help people. He plans to study biomedical engineering with a minor in prosthetics to give other people opportunities to live a fulfilled life.
“I feel like this award means that you’re supposed to continue to strive to be better, not only as a black man, but as a man for the rest of the community,” said Brisport. “The way I can continue to emulate Dr. King’s dream is by uniting the community as a whole. It can be small things like taking out the trash for your neighbor or doing community service.”
Mohamadou Alou founded the Knight’s Boutique at MVHS. He collaborates with teachers and other students to receive clothing donations from the school and community. They donate these clothes for free in a room at MVHS, where students can come in and ‘shop’ for their clothing. The boutique has everyday clothing as well as suits, prom dresses, shoes, and other formal wear. Through this, he can help people with less opportunities get nice clothes and feel dignified and stylish. Alou was born in Niger and immigrated to New York in 2020. Despite his short time here, he has worked hard to pioneer new ideas to help his school community.
“First of all, Dr. Martin Luther King and I have something in common: helping community," said Alou. "I like helping people in need. At first I was nervous (about the Knight’s Boutique) to be honest, but as soon as it started going and we started getting news I was like wow. I did not know it was going to be like that. To see kids shopping and getting what they like, that makes me feel good.”
With these scholarships, these three scholars will have additional support for books, housing, and more when they begin college in the coming year.
On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Mount Vernon City School District partnered with Aramark and the Masonic Progressive Lodge #64 of Mount Vernon in a Thanksgiving turkey drive. The drive provided a free full Thanksgiving meal to the members of the community.
Ndaba Mandela continues to follow in his grandfather, Nelson Mandela’s, footsteps and visited two Mount Vernon City School District schools to discuss how students can foster change in the world themselves on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
Students at Mount Vernon Honor Academy rejoiced with one another as they celebrated Thanksgiving with a brunch before the holiday break on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The feast included an assortment of food including bagels, sausages, muffins, pasta, complete with a charcuterie board and a sandwich station.
Students at Hamilton School gathered around to give thanks and appreciate one another before Thanksgiving break with a feast on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The arrangement of food included turkey, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and various desserts brought by families from the school community.
Coach Robert Cimmino was inducted into the Westchester Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Coach Cimmino received this recognition for his exceptional career coaching the Mount Vernon Knights varsity boys' basketball team.