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2019 Jandon Scholarship Recipients Announced

Jandon Scholars

White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Jandon Foundation on Tuesday announced the recipients of scholarships in the 2019 Jandon Scholars program.

Also, in a special ceremony, legislators, joined by County Executive George Latimer, former County Executive Andy Spano, and current Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the program and the family of Donald and Jane Cecil, who founded the program.

The Jandon Scholars Program was founded in 1999 by the Cecil’s Jandon Foundation working in cooperation with then County Executive Spano’s office. Since 2010, the program has been administered by Jandon and the Board of Legislators.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Board Chair Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) presented a Board proclamation honoring the program and the Cecil family. Boykin said, “Today is an extra special day. Not only are we celebrating 15 new Jandon Scholars, but the 2019 class marks the 20th year of the Jandon Scholarship Program. This amazing family, the Cecils, have dedicated 20 years of their time, energy, and a lot of money, towards the higher education of Westchester’s students. With today’s announcement of 15 new scholars, the Jandon Foundation has awarded a total of 286 scholarships since the program began.”

Boykin also read a letter of recognition from Governor Andrew Cuomo and offered special thanks to Program Administrator Melanie Montalto.

Scholarship recipients were then honored in a ceremony of their own. Special certificates were presented by Alec and Leslie Cecil to each of this year’s 15 scholars.

Alec Cecil praised the scholars saying, “You’ve all achieved much, often under difficult circumstances, yet you have much more to do.” He added, “We are making an investment in you and through you an investment in the country and the world.”

The Jandon Scholars program awards $12,000 over four years to Westchester public high school seniors who meet certain academic requirements and financial eligibility guidelines.

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:

• Esther Antonetti, Palisade Preparatory High School -- City College of New York
• Tasheem Brown, Mount Vernon High school -- University of Rochester
• Adanech Christopher, Fox Lane High School -- Syracuse University
• Yaqueline Flores, White Plains High School -- Mercy College
• Leonardo Garcia, Saunders High School -- Manhattan College
• Brian Garcia Hernandez, Lincoln High School -- University of Rochester
• Jean Carlos Hernandez Orellana, Riverside High School -- SUNY New Paltz
• Sarinah Jean Baptiste, Roosevelt High School -- Lehigh College
• Seth Moody, Lincoln High School -- Hofstra University
• Jocelyn Ortega, Peekskill High School -- Binghamton University
• Ygor Pereira, Mount Vernon High School – University of Southern California
• Carolyn Ramos, White Plains High School -- SUNY New Paltz
• Dontae Richards, Mount Vernon High School -- University of Connecticut
• Brandon Thomas, New Rochelle High School -- SUNY Cortland
• Erika Yupangui Sigua, Port Chester High School -- Cornell University


Jandon Scholars

(L to R: County Executive George Latimer, James Michael, Leslie Cecil, Donald Cecil, Alec Cecil, Leg. Kitley Covill, Board Chair Ben Boykin, Leg. Christopher Johnson, former County Executive Andy Spano. Also present but not pictured or not visible: Vice Chair Alfreda Williams, Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky, Legislators Margaret Cunzio, Nancy Barr, Catherine Borgia, Damon Maher, Terry Clements and David Tubiolo; PHOTO CREDIT: Jaevon Boxhill)

(PICTURED ABOVE: The 2019 Jandon Scholars in the Board Chambers with members of the Cecil Family, members of the Jandon selection committee, program administrators, and members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators; PHOTO CREDIT: Jaevon Boxhill)


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.


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