In a vibrant celebration of academic excellence and community empowerment, the Black Educators Committee (BEC) hosted its 55th Annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony on May 18.
The educational halls of the Freeport Memorial Library served as the backdrop for the event, where the BEC bestowed $22,000 in scholarships upon 22 recipients. Each deserving high school senior received $1,000. The event stood as a testament to the dedication and achievements of the young scholars, whose futures were brightened thanks to their heartfelt essays submitted to the BEC Scholarship Committee.
The scholarships were categorized into 10 different fields, and this year marked a record number of presented scholarships. The ceremony commenced with an inspiring keynote address delivered by Brock Mayers, followed by the presentation of the scholarships.
While most scholarship recipients hailed from Freeport, there were also students from other Long Island towns and the five boroughs. Scholarship Chairperson Arlene Blaize-Easter expressed her admiration of the efforts by this year’s students to earn the awards.
“We’re excited to watch the students and just give them the accolades that they deserve,” Blaize-Easter said. “They worked very hard. They have impressive resumes. They’re going to some of the finest universities in the country. We can’t wait to celebrate them.”
BEC member Wendy Jackson echoed this sentiment and expressed her admiration for the exceptional qualities exhibited by the students.
As the event drew to a close, the recipients embraced a profound commitment ceremony, symbolizing their dedication to fostering educational excellence. In addition to the valuable scholarship funds, they were honored with lifetime memberships to the BEC. With hopeful anticipation, it is envisioned that these accomplished individuals will one day rejoin the organization, carrying forward the torch of scholarship and education to empower future generations.
Following the ceremony, students expressed their gratitude and a sense of honor in becoming part of the BEC. Jazmine Trenchfield, a recipient of the Community Service Award, conveyed her excitement at the event about contributing to the 55-year legacy of the BEC.
“I am very excited for her and all of the recipients because they deserve it,” Jasmine’s Mother, Vera Trenchfield said. “They work hard, and some of the top kids in the school district, and because of this award, they will continue to receive help to support them as they go on today financially.”
The Black Educators Committee was founded in 1968 by James Crittenden and Harding Morgan, amid the turbulence of the 1960s, to help Freeport High School students in their academic careers in high school and beyond.The committee’s mission of fostering and improving community relations, engaging in educational and empowering community-service projects and events, and helping deserving students pursue higher education has not changed.
The organization is funded by membership dues and fundraisers, and several of its scholarships are provided by benefactors who include present and former school administrators, instructors, staff members, community residents, and local businesses. To learn more, go to BlackEducatorsCommittee.org.