After cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Student Awards Recognition Reception returned to life on May 10, 2022. Approximately 600 students, friends, family, scholarship donors, college faculty, and staff gathered for the reception. The traditional event celebrates the philanthropy of countless donors and the academic excellence of SUNY Broome students.
Three hundred and twenty-three scholarships were awarded to students during this event — the most scholarships given to date. Scholarships can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, with a few covering the total cost of tuition.
The SUNY Broome Foundation, which raises money from those invested in SUNY Broome’s mission, provides over $1.5 million in student support each year. In total, the Foundation contributes approximately $2 million annually to financially bolster students, assist faculty development and programming, improve the campus experience, and otherwise support the college.
In a speech at the reception, Richard Allman, SUNY Broome Foundation President, noted that from the very beginning, “the Foundation’s main priority has been to raise private support from alumni, faculty, staff, and our community to ensure the success of our students.” Therefore, the scholarship reception, he added, is a marvelous blend of “recognizing the hard work of our students while also congratulating and thanking our generous donors, dedicated faculty and staff, and our student’s families and friends for their support.”
For many donors, funding a scholarship is a way to create a positive legacy for a loved one. A scholarship established in tribute to someone honors their name, creates an opportunity for their story to be retold and assists a worthy student with higher education.
A Brand-New Scholarship
One notable scholarship, given for the first time this year, is the Antonio & Domenica Dream Scholarship. Antonio and Domenica immigrated to the United States with a dream of a new life for themselves and their children. Despite having little formal education, the couple believed faith, hard work, and education would unlock their success. The scholarship, established by their family, is for international students who dream of a better future for themselves and work hard to achieve their goals.
Mary Macharia, a recipient of this scholarship and a nursing major, told her supporters that she plans to intern at a local community center after graduation. After that, she has ambitious goals back in her home country of Kenya. Mary says she wants to “be a voice for the women and girls facing female genital mutilation. My nursing degree is a tool needed to equip me with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to teach my community to abolish this act and offer counsel to the affected individuals. I want to focus on being an effective advocate and empower women to stand and fight for their rights and to abandon FGM.” She thanked her donors, adding, “Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope, one day, I will be able to fulfill my dream of helping vulnerable women, children, and students achieve their goals… just as you have helped me.”
Francia Beriguete, the other Antonio & Domenica Dream Scholarship recipient, is also a future nurse. She said, “this scholarship is going to allow me to focus more on my schoolwork because [the scholarship’s donors] have reduced my financial burden. [This] generous and thoughtful gift will allow me to pursue my dream of becoming an RN.”
SUNY Broome student launches her career in the Air Force
Another noteworthy scholarship recipient is Dani Bryan. The engineering science major graduated just this spring. “I have a passion for military service,” Dani remarked, “but also for encouraging more women to enter the field of engineering and the military.” Dani combines these loves with her passion for aerospace and airplanes. She said, “I grew up going to airshows with my family. We also frequented air and space museums across the country, and I have always enjoyed them. I am fascinated by the technological leap in aircraft through World War I and World War II.”
Dani received two scholarships from SUNY Broome, the BCC Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in Math and the Francis and Lillian Paul Transfer Scholarship. Yet, another significant and unexpected award also arrived at the scholarship reception. Mrs. Goodwin, a surprise visitor to campus, honored Dani with acceptance into the United States Air Force Academy.
She was one of 900 applicants for a position in the Air Force Academy. Dani had been nominated for both the Navy and Air Force academies. Yet, with her love for aircraft, Dani’s choice was easy.
Dani points out that SUNY Broome helped her find this path. Because of her scholarships, she’ll start at the academy with fewer loans and be able to pay for textbooks, technology, and uniforms. She adds, “getting rewarded for my academic achievements also gives me another level of confidence in my ability to succeed.”
“The leadership experiences and education I received at SUNY Broome helped bolster my resume. As a result, I was offered an appointment to the Air Force Academy for the Class of 2026,” Dani said. She added, “My goal is to serve as an officer in the Air Force for at least the required five years after the academy.”
Stories of Scholarship Winners
Every scholarship recipient has a story of perseverance and dreams to share. Here are just a few of them.
Errica Samuels, a single mom with an 8-year-old son, was awarded the Baccalaureate Scholarship. With a heart for wayward kids and adolescents in foster care, Errica hopes to have her own practice to help them one day. “I am so humbled and thankful to you all for this amazing chance to earn a scholarship! It is the first time for me [to win a scholarship], and I am so proud of myself for how far I have come in regard to my education,” she says.
Claudia Chermak received the Jack Sherman Toyota Presidential Scholarship. Claudia is an aspiring healthcare professional, working on two degrees at SUNY Broome, and is considering medical school. She is also the captain of the college’s inaugural women’s track and field team. Claudia told her donors, “With this extra financial assistance, I feel better prepared to explore my options and pursue ambitious educational and career goals. Winning this scholarship also affirms that I am on the right track academically, which boosts my self-confidence.”
Samuel Ward says that, as a non-traditional student, “trying to knock the dust off my brain has been challenging, but also invigoratingly fun!” He plans to jump into a career as a computer technician after he graduates. He says, “My deepest gratitude to the donors for their assistance in allowing me to achieve a second wind in life.” Samuel was honored with the Dr. Leopold Eckler Award for Excellence in Computer Studies and the Bruce R. Schermerhorn Veterans Appreciation Scholarship.
You can find more student stories on the 2022 Scholarship website, plus the entire list of recognized students. The college is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our Hornets.
If you are interested in establishing a scholarship, contact the SUNY Broome Foundation. If you are a student looking for scholarship information, visit the scholarship website. Most SUNY Broome scholarship applications begin in the spring (typically in January). The application for the Second Chance Scholarship opens in the fall (typically in September).