Five hardworking students from low-income households were rewarded for their efforts with the First Scholarship Plus award during a recent ceremony.
Brooklyn Studio Secondary School (8310 21st Avenue) Valedictorian Elira Duro is among the recipients. The students describes her life’s as walks over “wobbly bridges.”
She faced hardship when her family came here from Albania in the late ’90s. She spent most of her childhood using the kitchen as her bedroom, as the family didn’t have the means to find a bigger place.
However, she struggled on to learn the English language and succeed in school.
Later, after a visit to Albania, she rediscovered her first language and decided to take greater pride in her cultural heritage. Now, she mentors young Albanians living in New York. She also fundraises for those in need in her native country.
Her teachers recognized her passion and dedication and she was nominated for the scholarship. After receiving the good news, she plans to attend New York University in the fall.
Scholarship Plus is a scholarship program founded in 2010 to give financial assistance and support for promising New York City high school graduates who come from low-income households. The program provides students with support, such as paid internships and mentoring throughout their time at college.
A highlight of the event was the celebration of five teachers who were in turn nominated by a scholarship winner. The teachers were introduced by their students and each received a certificate and an honorarium. For Duro, that teacher was Destiny Kangas.
The class of five Scholarship Plus winners stated that they want to study medicine, law and science because these are the subjects with which they can ameliorate the hardships of others.