Westchester Black Scholars Advisory Committee

Fay Fagan - The Founder and Chairperson of the Black Scholars of Westchester Committee

About Us, Our Mission & Vision

For the last thirty-two years the Black Scholars Community Partnership Initiative has worked to offset the negative images so often associated with African-American youth by honoring them and their academic achievements

We are a coalition of 21 Westchester County based African-American organizations dedicated to promoting, supporting, and rewarding excellence among African-American students.

"There is a disheartening tendency in public discourse to focus on low achievers and drop-outs and to foster the misconception that all Black youth aspire to be athletes, performers, and drug dealers".

Friends who Share Our Mission

We thank all of the following board members and their associate organizations for their unwavering support for the students, teachers, and schools. Their dedication and committment is deeply appreciated, and we look forward to working with them in the future:

Our Board Members

Renee D. LeGendre
Carolyn Henderson
Charles Bogguess
MaryJane Barboza
Marilyn Gee
Dr. Brenda L. G. Smith
Dr. Michael Geisler
Inez D. Robinson
Lena Anderson
Juel Hodge
Gwendolyn Lymon
Renee D.LeGendre
William Ross
Frank Williams Jr.
Ian Sharpe
Sr. John F. Campbell
Donovan Beckford
Gertie L. Tippitt
Edwin Bowman

Black Scholars Community Partnership Initiative c/o The Urban League of Westchester 61 Mitchell Place White Plains, NY 10601 The Black Scholars Community Partnership Initiative will host its twenty-eighth annual Black Scholars Reception on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, during which time approximately 150 graduating high school seniors will be honored for outstanding academic achievement throughout their high school experience. This year’s speaker, Mandi Nyambi, a former Black Scholar, is currently a Junior, studying at Harvard College. She is a premedical student and a degree candidate in the department of Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. A graduate of Woodlands High School in 2011, Mandi was 4th in her graduating class. At Harvard, she has been involved in a number of activities and organizations, which include the Black Students Association, Association of Black Women, The Harvard Crimson and the Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisers. A lot of her free time is spent either doing research in a limb regeneration lab in order to complete her senior thesis or pursuing her love of photography. According to Mandi, “If there is anything I have learned since going to college, it’s that students of color should never hesitate to pursue their passions. Minority students have consistently proven that there are few things they can’t succeed in, once they put their minds to it.” After receiving her undergraduate degree, Mandi plans to go to medical school in order to develop a career as a surgeon in either the field of Oncology or Gynecology and Obstetrics. Her ultimate goal is to use her expertise as a resource for organizations like Doctors Without Borders and other non-profit international organizations.

Brenda L. G. Smith, Ed.D.

According to Ms. Fay L. Fagan, Black Scholars Partnership Initiative Chairwoman, “We are very fortunate to have Mandi as this year’s keynote speaker. She has an exemplary record of academic excellence and service to her peers and the community. Additionally, our Black Scholars Partnership is a way of highlighting our young people and making sure that there’s an incentive for them to keep doing better.” Ms. Fagan also expressed gratitude to the following organizations that comprise the Black Scholars Partnership Initiative: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Iota Omega and Zeta Nu Omega chapters; Delta Sigma Theta, Westchester Alumnae; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; The Links, Incorporated - The Greater Hudson Valley Chapter and The Westchester Chapter; Manhattanville College; Westchester Club of the National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.; National Black MBA Association-Westchester/Greater Connecticut Chapter; National Pan Hellenic Council, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. – Beta Alpha Alpha; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. – Omicron Iota; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity – Beta Psi Sigma Alumni Chapter; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.; National Association of Black Accountants; Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators; The Urban League of Westchester, Inc.; Westchester Community Opportunity Program; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Gamma Xi Zeta Chapter; and the National Council of Negro Women, Westchester Section.

Fay L. Fagan, Chairperson

Individual Financial Sponsorship

Each year through a cooperative effort with the principals and guidance counselors from 21 county high schools, the Black Scholars of Westchester Community Partnership sponsors an annual recognition reception at Manhattanville College for African American high school seniors. Your gift helps the Partnership provide scholarships, book awards and essay contest prizes to the honored scholars. A highlight of the event is the awarding of the prize for “Motivating Teacher of the Year” , who is selected based on essays written by our scholars. Your financial contribution will help us continue to provide our students with the financial and techncial support they deserve as they begin their college careers.

Financial Giving & Donations

The Black Scholars Community Partnership was formed to dispel the myth that few African-American youth aspire to academic achievement. Leaders from 21 community organizations have come together to address this issue facing African American communities in Westchester County. We invite you to join us in this mission. Your tax-deductible contribution helps to fund scholarships to deserving students, awards to the teachers that motivate them to academic and civic excellence, and our annual recognition program. We need your help in this effort. Please select from the various level of support below. We thank you for your generous contribution.

About the Selection Process

Students selected for the Black Scholar of Westchester epitomize the highest level of scholarship and achievement. We welcome your expression of interest in a Black Scholar nomination. 

Students are selected as Black Scholars based on the cumulative GPA during all years of high school.  A 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required to qualify for this recognition. Recommendations are solicited from high school principals and guidance counselors for scholar candidates. If you, a relative or an acquaintance have an academic record that meets these qualifications to be named as a Black Scholar of Westchester, we encourage you to print the following announcement and share it with your principal and guidance counselors, and ask that they submit your nomination to the address below: 

Black Scholars Community Partnership Initiative c/o Urban League of Westchester 
61 Mitchell Place 
White Plains, NY 10601

The following tips on How to Do Well in School are borrowed from the Web site, wikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Well-in-School. More practical and useful advice can be found there.

Please mail your contribution to:

Black Scholars Community Partnership Initiative 
c/o Urban League of Westchester 
61 Mitchell Place 
White Plains, NY 10601