Westchester Black Scholars

Westchester Black Scholars Advisory Committee

Our Mission and 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".

Our Partners
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:

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority - Renee D. LeGendre

    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority - Carolyn Henderson

    Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity - Charles Bogguess & Craig Woodward

    The Links - MaryJane Barboza, Marilyn Gee & Dr. Brenda L. G. Smith

    Manhattanville College - Dr. Michael Geisler

    National Association of Negro Business & Professional Womens Club - Inez D. Robinson

    NAACP of White Plains & Greenburgh - Lena Anderson

    National Council of Negro Women - Juel Hodge

    Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators - Gwendolyn Lymon

    National Pan Hellenic Council - Renee D.LeGendre

    Omega Psi Phi Fraternity - William Ross, & Frank Williams Jr. & Ian Sharpe Sr.

    Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity - John F. Campbell

    Westchester Community Opportunity Program - Donovan Beckford

    Zeta Phi Beta Sorority - Gertie L. Tippitt

    Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

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

Our Press Release

By Brenda L. G. Smith, Ed.D.

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.

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.

For additional information, contact:

Fay L. Fagan, Chairperson

(914) 699-8874

How you can support our youth
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.

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.

Please mail your contribution to:

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

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.

Have your necessary materials all the time. You don't want to be unprepared for sudden note-taking or a pop quiz by discovering you forgot your pencil/pen/eraser/etc.

Jot down notes. Notes are your guidelines and basically the information you need. Keep that in mind before deciding that the lecture your teacher is giving you is only good for lulling you to sleep. Be sure to write down everything the teacher puts on the board or talks about, even if they have already reviewed it! If a teacher is reviewing anything, then they probably think that it is important, and that means you should too! If the teachers writes something on the board and they underline it chances are it's important or it will be on future tests. Rewrite notes. Yes this may sound boring and time consuming but it's been proven to help you remember more of what you wrote down. It also help you to figure out problems you might have had in the class.

Revise at home. Do this in a quiet place with no distractions. If the computer is in your room take it out or go to another room! Don't study with the radio on! It might help you write more but on the day of the exam the only thing you'll remember will be the lyrics.

Believe it or not, homework is not meant to torture you! It's a way of controlling and making progress outside of the classroom. This isn't very comforting the night you have two essays and algebra to do, though, so remember to do the actual homework and keep up with the workload. No homework = little chance of good grades (and that's what we're aiming for, right?)

Do a practice test at home and school. Take breaks now and then. Be careful if your mind has a tendency to stray, however; if you do thirty minutes of studying/homework and then watch T.V. for an hour, you're not getting much done. Space yourself so you don't feel tired but you're actually being productive.

Revising with your friends during free time can help keep you and them focused and may be handy. But everyone's different: if by studying with your friends you sit with an open textbook and gossip, it's better to work alone. Know yourself and your habits.

Ask for revision guidebooks which may help you in classes which you are struggling.

Learn from your mistakes. Pay attention in class when something is being corrected. Mark your work clearly and carefully so that it is useful in preventing other errors in the future.

Make sure you put effort into your work. If you have to write an essay on a book and all you do is restate some of its reviews, then you are not likely to get a perfect score. But if you actually write what you think about the book, then your grades will probably be better.

Study during the summer. It sounds nerdy, but trust me, it's not that hard! Buy or borrow a book from the library that covers a subject at your grade level. (If you are going to grade 10, borrow a grade ten textbook.) If possible, get a textbook rather than a workbook because usually they will explain things better than in a workbook. You don't need to answer the problems or questions in the textbook, all that you should do is read about the new stuff you will be learning, and make sure you understand it. I'm not kidding, this will help A LOT when school comes, and all you need is several days of your time during summer vacation.