Skip to main content

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 12, 2021
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

Board of Regents Recognizes Two Students Receiving Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarships

Yonkers, Greenburgh Students from My Brother’s Keeper Communities Honored

The Board of Regents today recognized two outstanding New York State students receiving Vice Chancellor Emerita Adelaide L. Sanford Scholarships at the Board’s April meeting, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced. The scholarship is named for Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, the first African American, as well as the first woman, to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Through Dr. Sanford’s generosity, it is awarded annually to exceptional My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows and graduating high school seniors from a NYSED-recognized MBK community. This year’s recipients are Giovanni Almonte of Yonkers City School District and Kenedi Catoe of Greenburgh Central School District.

“New York State MBK has been an unbroken chain of hope, knowledge, strength, and courage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and these students are an inspiration to their communities in upholding those tenets,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young said. “They are well-positioned to be the leaders we need today and to represent the next generation of leadership in New York. I’m sure that both Giovanni and Kenedi will achieve their hopes and dreams through their continued hard work.”

“I often say that you have two hands—one to help yourself and one to help others—and these students are shining examples of putting that into action,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Even in this darkest of times, by being part of the MBK initiative they have discovered how powerful it is to commit to strengthening yourself and your community. They are working to not only raise themselves up but to do the same for others by serving as mentors. I congratulate them on this award and on their bright futures.”

“This has likely been the hardest year of these young peoples’ lives, and in confronting the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and tremendous nationwide civil unrest, they have answered the call to action,” Vice Chancellor Emerita Sanford said. “They hold themselves to the standards and ideals of their highest potential, working to change and shape the culture in exciting ways. I am so proud and honored to provide this opportunity for Kenedi and Giovanni as they begin the next step in their journey.”

Dr. Sanford is the former Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents and served on the Board for more than 20 years. She is also Honorary Co-Chair of the Work Group to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color, in recognition of her unwavering leadership and ongoing meaningful contributions to this effort.

The annual scholarship is awarded to My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Fellows and graduating high school seniors from a NYSED-recognized MBK community. Scholarship funds can be used to assist with tuition, fees and books, and will be awarded annually over four years while the student is enrolled in college.

Giovanni Almonte is a graduating senior from Saunders Trade and Technical High School in the Yonkers City School District where he is the President of the school’s MBK chapter and a NYS MBK Fellow. He has challenged himself by taking honors classes, including AP Psychology, College Link English and Regents Chemistry. Yonkers Superintendent Edwin Quezada has chosen Giovanni as an ambassador to represent the City of Yonkers and Giovanni has taken the opportunity to speak to his community in an effort to raise consciousness of social racism and to organize events to fundraise for this endeavor. Giovanni plans to study Marketing and Finance and to obtain a Business degree from Capital University.

Kenedi Catoe is a graduating senior at Woodlands Middle/High School in the Greenburgh Central School District where she advocated for and was an integral part of creating My Sisters Keeper (MSK). Kenedi serves as President of the Woodlands Middle/High School National Honor Society and also the Student Council. She also serves as Treasurer of the Class of 2021 and is a member of the WMHS varsity golf and basketball teams. Greenburgh Superintendent Dr. Tahira DuPree Chase chose Kenedi as her special guest and to deliver the keynote speech to district staff, faculty and administrators on opening day of this school year, where Kenedi delivered a message of hope and understanding. During her out of school time Kenedi participates in several civic engagement organizations serving as a member of NYS Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins’ Youth Advisory Council, the Co-President of the Youth Empowerment Council for Change (YECC) of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, Treasurer of the White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP Youth Division and as a Youth Ambassador on the Commissioners’ Youth Council at the Department of Community Resources at the Theodore Young Community Center. After graduation Kenedi plans to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to study Computer Engineering. 

Visit the Department’s My Brother’s Keeper website for details on this movement and for information on how to subscribe to the MBK Newsletter, “Changing the Narrative.”