On May 15 over 100 past awardees, named fund honorees, trustees, affiliates and benefactors of The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle celebrated 50 years of awarding need-based scholarships to students in the community who need help to pursue their dreams - more than $3 million to over 1300 students since establishment in 1966. The Scholarship Fund is the largest provider of community-based scholarship funding for Concord and Carlisle students, including Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) METCO students. The Scholarship Fund makes awards from the generous donations of townspeople and through collaboration with affiliated organizations, assisting them in accomplishing their own missions of supporting the surprising number of students from our towns who struggle to afford post-secondary education.
As a highlight of the celebration, Charisse Gilmer Alouidor, CCHS Class of 2004, spoke of the establishment and goals of one of the 58 Named Fund Scholarships proudly maintained by The Scholarship Fund in honor and memory of loved ones, revered CCHS faculty, and honored townspeople. The Abby Memorial Scholarship was first awarded in 2015 in memory of Abdirauf “Abby" Abdullahi, a Somalian refugee who graduated in 2006 from CCHS through his participation in the METCO program. Tragically Abby was shot and killed in Boston in a case of mistaken identity two months before he embarked on his college career. Classmates admired Abby who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and recognized that only constant study, sweat on the basketball court, and seeking help when needed were the keys to his future. Ms. Alouidor addressed the young men and women in the audience when she said,
"We recognize that every day you are striving to prove your excellence and to set new goals, and we applaud you for that. But remember that there is always more to be done and in these times we live in, there are still many tough conversations that need to be had around violence, education and privilege. …. I challenge you to ask the question, "why" as often as possible. Understanding that there may be times when things seem impossible and you may be thinking why you CAN'T do something. Instead, think about "how you CAN" and why you "WILL". Solutions exist because of strong people who persist.”
The Scholarship Fund is grateful for the continued support from the townspeople of Concord and Carlisle, and looks forward to the next 50 years of supporting our young men and women who aspire to higher levels of education.