The 36th Annual Wilbur Ray Scholarship Dinner will be held on April 8, 2022 at the Jacques Reception Center in Middletown, NJ and will celebrate the awarding of scholarships to fifteen different students and three 2022 honorees: Commissioner Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners; President of Brookdale Community College, Dr. David M Stout; and the Brookdale Community College Police Department.
The awards dinner is held each spring to celebrate the diversity and importance of the civic engagement of students and professionals who attend the college or work in the communities served by Brookdale Community College.
The awards are named after the late Wilbur Ray, a former Brookdale Police Sergeant and an active volunteer in the Long Branch community. The scholarship continues Ray’s legacy by allowing black students attending Brookdale to apply. For the 2021-2022 academic year, 20 scholarships totaling $10,000 were awarded to 15 Brookdale students to help pay for tuition and books.
Brianna Anderson, Belmar, NJ, is a business major graduating this spring and joining Rutgers through the Rutgers-Brookdale transfer program. She is currently the vice president of the Black Student Union, which she believes should be a safe place for all students to learn about the adversities, qualities and history of black culture.
“Opening a food truck is my dream right now, and every class I complete gets me one step closer. This grant will fund my final course at Brookdale, for which I am very grateful,” Anderson said.
Anderson is one of fifteen Brookdale students who received the Wilbur-Ray Scholarship for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.
The additional recipients of the Wilbur Ray Scholarship are Belinda Asamoah, Jesus Calle Bula, Brianna Doremy, George Esdalle, Sauncherei Greene, Awatif Hassan, Ariadny Nascimento, Rebecca Li, Taiphane Orange, Jean Paul, Jasmine Rainey, Kettlyn St. Louis, Mina Saleh, Jayda Sharp.
The diversity of the scholarship holders is a conscious cornerstone for the success of the programs.
Jasmine Rainey, of Asbury Park, NJ, is a respiratory therapy major and will be graduating this spring. She hopes to pursue her studies with a bachelor’s degree and one day own her own business.
“This scholarship will help minimize my overall tuition balance, alleviate financial stress while income is at risk and education is a priority,” she explained.
Rebecca Li, Freehold, NJ, studies social sciences and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She plans to transfer to Rutgers to continue her studies in Business Analytics and Information Systems.
“The scholarship will help fund my studies at Brookdale so I have time to focus on my interests in programming and data analysis,” she said.
George Esdalle, Neptune, NJ, is a trained singer and concert singer with the Brookdale Concordia Chorale. One of the classes he enjoys at Brookdale is singing lessons with Cynthia Springsteen-Balme. After earning an associate degree in 2023, his goal is to continue his education with either a bachelor’s degree in engineering or humanities.
“Brookdale is a great school,” said George Esdalle. “I’m a semi-retired ironworker who decided to go back to school at age 63 for a degree. I have many technical educations and trade school educations but I have always dreamed and hope to graduate from college. I am 65 and the additional help from the scholarship will help me supplement my retirement income and expenses.”
Proceeds from the dinner support the Wilbur Ray Scholarship Program, which has awarded numerous scholarships to students throughout its 36-year history.
General admission is $80, couples admission is $150, table is $10,700, and student admission is $35. To obtain a ticket to this popular event, contact Michelle Stathum at email@example.com or postal check payable to Brookdale Community College Foundation, ATT: Michelle Stathum, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738. The 36th Annual Wilbur Ray Dinner form.
For more information on the Wilbur-Ray Scholarship go to https://www.brookdalecc.edu/wilbur-ray.
Brookdale Community College is the county college of Monmouth County. It offers over 70 academic programs, online courses, a robust schedule of student activities and clubs, partnership opportunities with elite four-year universities and local businesses, and the services needed to succeed. For more information about Brookdale, visit www.brookdalecc.edu.