Emily K Scholars March Forward
There were reporters, community members, and the winningest coach in basketball history at the Center, but all eyes were on the 140 plus students in the Emily K Center’s K to College programs. First through eighth grade Pioneer Scholars, and the high school students in the Scholars to College program, marched into the Final Four gym to celebrate another successful year of academic programming putting them squarely on the path toward college.
Marching in from youngest to oldest, students took their seats while parents and well-wishers looked on. The younger students were eager with anticipation to learn who would win the coveted Dream-Do-Achieve awards given for academics, character and leadership.
High school students followed next and the audience stood in respect as the seniors entered the gym, wearing a variety of colored caps and gowns from their various high schools. Although they attend school daily at different places, the seniors could not be closer, having formed a tight bond over their four years together at the Center in pursuit of college acceptances.
Executive Director, Adam Eigenrauch, welcomed the guests and thanked the lead tutors, counselors and volunteers for their unwavering dedication and support of the students.
Awards were then announced by Coordinator of Educational Programming, Heather Hindin. Glenn Green, Faith Merritt and Mishel Gomez were honored for their leadership. A second group of awards was presented to students who exhibited outstanding character. Caleb Omari, Kevin Astudillo and Tivin Harris were the recipients in this category. The final group of award winners was acknowledged for superior academics. Adeja Cheek, Nicole Innocencio and Dasha Selezneva received the coveted academic awards for having a commitment to school achievement, pursuing academic interests with passion and showing a genuine interest in improving themselves intellectually.
Keynote speaker and Emily K board chair, Coach Mike Krzyzewski, acknowledged the hard work of all of the students and then paid tribute to the 15 seniors for their outstanding accomplishments. According to Ashlea Hitchcock, Programming and Partnerships Coordinator, the group received 30 college acceptances and more than $500,000 in scholarship funds.
“You are here, having the opportunities you do, because of the people who have come before you, your parents, grandparents or others, those people who have sacrificed for you to be here. As you go off to college, hold those people close to your heart. Never forget what they have done and if you do that you will be successful, for them, and for yourselves,”Krzyzewski said.
The seniors each received a sweatshirt from the college they will be attending in the fall and the well wishes of the entire Emily K Community.