Bronx, NY (June 7, 2016) - Bronx Community College (BCC) of The City University of New York, announced today the establishment of the Kalief Browder Memorial Scholarship in honor of the BCC student who was imprisoned at 16 in Rikers and held without a trial for three years, two of which were in solitary confinement. The announcement comes a day after the one year anniversary of Kalief’s death. The scholarship will provide the recipient with a full year’s tuition as well as access to both on campus and outside counseling and support systems. The first scholarship recipient is 46-year-old Beverly Emers from the South Bronx, as announced today.
“The Kalief Browder Memorial Scholarship is providing assistance to a formerly incarcerated student pursuing a degree at BCC,” said Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe, President of Bronx Community College. “Support for the scholarship fund will allow us to permanently endow it, making funding available in perpetuity for future students looking to transform their lives after incarceration.”
“Kalief Browder’s case, shocking though it may be, is by no means an exception. There are untold numbers of African American and Latino men – and women – in the Bronx borough who have been victimized by the criminal justice system simply because they could not meet bail or afford quality legal defense that could prove their innocence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “BCC’s Kalief Browder Memorial Scholarship recognizes the determination formerly incarcerated students have in seeking to transform their lives by earning a college degree. It promises to make it easier for more students to stay on track and graduate.”
“We can think of no better way to memorialize Kalief Browder than though a scholarship in his name offered at a school he came to love,” said Ululy Martinez, member of the BCC Foundation Board of Directors.
Beverly Emers was in and out of prison for six years for drug offenses, having last served nearly 11 years ago. She began her first days in college at BCC in the spring of 2015, focusing her studies in human services. She is active on campus as a member of the Student Government and the Get PSyCh’D program which helps students with mental health issues.
“I am so grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and know that this opportunity will help me continue to make positive contributions to my community,” said Beverly Emers. “My goal is to continue my education and use my life's experience to inspire, encourage, assist and advocate for people in my community.”
The scholarship is available to full-time Bronx Community College students, in good academic standing, committed to transforming their lives after incarceration. Students were selected from an application and essay process by a BCC committee.
A Kalief Browder Memorial Scholarship fund has been established in an effort to permanently endow the scholarship and ensure that those with similar experiences to Kalief have the support they need in the future. The scholarship can be supported here: