The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program is a local non-profit organization located in Montgomery County, Maryland. The mission of The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program is to provide financial assistance for college or workforce development training programs to graduating high school seniors and adult learners who are very low-income and live in subsidized housing in Montgomery County, Maryland.
GOOD NEWS! THE BERNIE SCHOLARSHIPS AND EUGENE FORD, SR., ENDOWMENT (BSEF) AT MONTGOMERY COLLEGE
Thanks to the efforts of a strong supporter of The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program (BSAP), Eugene Ford, Sr., who donated a large sum annually to BSAP and bequeathed $100,000 upon his death, BSAP will now use those funds and some existing fund balance (total $110,000) to create this endowment. We will grow BSEF to provide scholarships to help offset educational and training expenses for low- and moderate- income students who live in subsidized rental housing in Montgomery County, Maryland, in perpetuity, many given in Mr. Ford’s honor. Eugene Ford, Sr., with businesses Edgewood Management and Mid City Financial, was a major developer of housing for low- and moderate-income residents in the eastern region of the United States. He recognized the need to provide support services and educational opportunities to his tenants. His properties are a model for similar housing across the nation. Mr. Ford’s strong Catholic faith was a large part in his commitment to assist low-income households. He served on many affordable housing boards, including the National Housing Conference, Homes for America, and Victory Housing. Eugene was chosen as “Person of the Year” by the National Housing Conference.
THE BERNIE SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PROGRAM (BSAP) Bernard L. Tetreault served for 24 years (1971 to 1995) as Executive Director of the Housing Authority, which became the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, MD. During that time HOC evolved from a traditional housing authority into a nationally recognized provider of subsidized housing and housing finance for low- and moderate- income residents. Upon his retirement in 1995, The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program was established. The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program (BSAP) is continuing its 26 years of scholarship awards.
We are pleased to welcome Ariel (“Ari”) Roque-Morales as BSAP’s new part-time Program Administrator. He has an AA Degree from Montgomery College and expects to earn a BS Degree in Computer Science from UMBC in May 2023.
Success Stories of Scholarship Recipients
WHITNEY WILLIAMS I am a daughter, sister, friend, and mentor to others. I was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland and of West African descent from Liberia and Sierra Leone. I grew up in a low-income community where I was exposed to various programs such as the Bernie Scholarship that assisted me through my undergraduate career. I recently graduated from Morgan State University where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. As of right now I am working as a OBGYN Medical Assistant and applying for my master’s in physician assistant studies. I also serve as a junior youth mentor in my community where I am dedicated to inspire and uplift young men and women. During the 2017-2019 academic school year I was a Bernie Scholar recipient where I used my award to fund my college expenses. My experience with the Bernie Scholarship committee has been a blessing, and I am more than grateful to be a former awardee. I believe that the Bernie Scholarship provided more than financial assistance for me. The Bernie Scholarship inspired me to excel in my studies and to create long-lasting relationships with the members on the board. The board has provided me a life-time mentorship that influenced my interest in joining the board. I want to continue to serve my community and be a part of the reason for future awardees’ success story. One of my main philosophies in life is that “sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination” which motivates me to be present in all my roles and responsibilities. My compassion for education, mentorship, and financial stability stems from my trials and tribulations that I have encountered throughout my life. I know that I am living proof that anything is possible in this life as long as you put your mind to your dreams.
DYLAN BROWN Growing up, my family was not the richest but my brother and I never wanted for anything my parents have always been my biggest support and motivation. My parents do not have degrees but they have emphasized the importance of education to me constantly. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English from Bennett College for Women on December 17, 2021. With the help of 5 Bernie Scholarship awards, I was able to afford my tuition and fees. What inspired me to choose my career path was my junior year of college I received an internship at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. When I began the internship, I knew that my ultimate goal for after college was to be a foundation for children, whether that be in the classroom or in other parts of the education field. During the internship, we touched on a few schools and KIPP was one of the schools we discussed and I immediately gravitated towards their mission and overall goal for children and education. I was able to apply to KIPP DC as a Capital Teaching Residents (CTR) and I am thrilled to begin this journey in the classroom! As a CTR, we are currently training to better prepare us for our classroom experience. The purpose of the CTR program is to allow future lead teachers to get a feel of the classroom while also learning how to become the teacher they aspire to be with the support from a current lead teacher. Honestly, so far so good with the CTR program I love everything that KIPP has to offer, for the staff and students. I actually had an experience today during training that made me have a “This is what I want to do with my life” moment our subject was equity and inclusion, we discussed how African Americans are viewed and how we carry ourselves for the image of others, and how as a teacher it is our job to teach students that there is no right or wrong way to live and it does not matter what your skin tone or your racial background is, everything can be done with ease as long as we set goals and put our minds to it. My biggest goal in life was motivated by realizing that oftentimes children’s voices are not heard because it is taught that as a child “You do not know what you are talking about” when in fact children are extremely knowledgeable and sometimes know more than the teachers, so with that being said, allowing myself to be that person for a child is why I am so motivated to keep working with children. I plan on staying at KIPP DC for a while, I enjoy the company and there are many opportunities other than being a teacher.
Diversity, equity and inclusion statement– We take a broad view of diversity, embracing diversity of age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, national origin, socio-economic background, and educational background. We value the qualities that make people who they are and recognize that every person brings a unique perspective. We welcome diverse attributes, as they are critical to our mission of increasing financial stability by providing higher educational opportunities for underserved members of our community. We strive to include diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the center of our work, as our goal is to create an environment where everyone from any background can thrive.