White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Jandon Foundation on Wednesday announced the recipients of scholarships in the 2018 Jandon Scholars program.

The program, now in its 19th year, awards $12,000 over four years to Westchester public high school seniors who meet certain academic requirements and financial eligibility guidelines, to help them complete their college educations.

This year’s 15 scholarship recipients were celebrated at a ceremony at the Rotunda of the Board’s Legislative chambers Wednesday afternoon.

“You all have a lot to offer,” said Alec Cecil, son of Jane and Donald Cecil of Harrison who founded the program in 1999. “We want you to get through school and go on to successful careers and have families and to contribute to your communities and hopefully to the world. You are exceptional young people.”

At the ceremony, Board Chair Ben Boykin urged the students to remember the moment as a turning point in their lives.  “This is a moment in your life and I want you always to remember this.  20, 30, 40 years from now, remember this moment because this is putting you on the path to success,” he said.

One of the distinctive aspects of the Jandon Scholars program is that it follows students through their college careers.  Awards are provided in annual, increasing increments, and scholarship recipients have access to a network of hundreds of alumni who have come through the program.

Below is a list of this year’s Scholars, the high schools they attend and the colleges the will be attending:

  • Stephanie Trejo, Fox Lane High School -- SUNY New Paltz
  • Emily Urias Velasquez, Fox Lane High School -- SUNY Cortland
  • Angelina Ragin Rivera, Lincoln High School -- Fordham University
  • Natanya Beckford, Mount Vernon High School -- Hofstra University
  • Crystal McFarlane, Mount Vernon High School -- Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Ashley Freeman, Nellie Thornton High School -- College of Saint Rose
  • Raphael Morris, New Rochelle High School -- SUNY Delhi
  • Valentina Loaiza, Peekskill High School -- Cornell University
  • Camila Orellana, Peekskill High School -- University at Buffalo
  • Dejanelle Smith, Roosevelt High School-- Lehman College
  • Asia Thomas, Roosevelt High School Early College Studies -- Lehman College
  • Taylor-Jayne Knight, Sleepy Hollow High School -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Erick Lojano-Quispe, Sleepy Hollow High School -- Syracuse University
  • Jennifer Ortega-Salazar, White Plains High School -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Develyne Petion, White Plains High School -- SUNY Oswego

Special thanks were extended by both Alec Cecil and Ben Boykin to Jandon Scholars Program Coordinator Melanie Montalto for her 15 years of work with the program.

(PICTURED ABOVE: 2018 Jandon Scholars with members of the Cecil Family and the Westchester County Board of Legislators; Photo Credit: Teresa Toscano)

About the Jandon Scholars Program

The Jandon Foundation believes that quality education should be accessible to all students, irrespective of their financial background. Together, with the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the Jandon Foundation administers the Jandon Scholars program, which seeks to level the playing field by supporting and encouraging promising young students from low-income families in their pursuit for higher education.

In the spring of each year, the Jandon Scholars Program awards 15 college scholarships.

The Jandon Scholars receive a total of $12,000 over their four years in college. To encourage students to complete their education, the Jandon Scholars Program offers an increase in the amount of the scholarship for each year the students remain in school. Students receive $1,500 their first year, $2,500 their second year, $3,500 their third year and $4,500 in their fourth and final year. These funds are given directly to the students to ensure the award will not diminish other financial opportunities. Students are required to submit their grades each semester in order to receive the next term’s scholarship funds. In addition to the scholarship money, Jandon Scholars are treated to social events during the year for networking, advice and support.

The Jandon Foundation is a private foundation created by Jane and Donald Cecil of Harrison, New York.  The Cecils funded the Mount Vernon “I Have a Dream” program in 1987 and began funding the Neuberger Museum of Arts’ “Writing Through the Arts” program in 1993.  The Foundation’s primary philanthropic interest lies in education with particular interest in helping students from financially disadvantaged and under-educated families succeed.