White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators and the Jandon Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of scholarships in the 2020 Jandon Scholars program.

The program awards $12,000 over four years to Westchester public high school seniors who meet certain academic requirements and financial eligibility guidelines, to help them complete their college education.

One of the distinctive aspects of the Jandon Scholars program is that it follows students through their college careers. Awards are provided in annual, increasing increments, and scholarship recipients have access to a network of hundreds of alumni who have come through the program.

Board Chairman Ben Boykin said, “Earning a Jandon Scholarship is a remarkable achievement under normal circumstances. To have earned such a distinction in this very difficult time, when the normal conventions of school have been disrupted by COVID-19, is a testament to the perseverance and strength of character of this year’s Scholars. We congratulate them, and we know that this wonderful program – including the mentorship of previous scholars – will help these fine students continue to achieve, whatever circumstances the future may hold.”

The Jandon Foundation’s Alec Cecil said, “Our Jandon Scholars have achieved so much under unprecedented circumstances. We are proud to be making an investment in these Scholars, and to be in a position to provide them with financial support and mentorship. Seeing their determination, fortitude and commitment to their educations, I know that the investment we make in them is an investment in a brighter future for us all."

This year’s Jandon Scholarships are the first to be awarded since the passing of Donald Cecil, who established the Jandon Scholars program in 1999 to help Westchester students from low-income families attend college.

Chairman Boykin said, “Don Cecil was a wonderful man who did so much for the community and for so many deserving students for decades. While we mourn his passing, we know that the life and achievements of the students Jandon has helped, and the future students Jandon will help, will be testaments to Don’s vision for generations to come.”

Below is a list of this year’s Scholars, the high schools they attend and the colleges the will be attending:

  • Sandy Salazar, Fox Lane High School – Barnard College
  • Crystal Padron, Lincoln High School – Lehman College
  • Michelle Portillo, Lincoln High School – SUNY Stony Brook
  • Kayla Fagan, Mount Vernon High School – Fordham University
  • Melane Tejada, Mount Vernon High School – SUNY Stony Brook
  • Aaliyah Wright, Mount Vernon High School – SUNY Binghamton
  • Litzy Valdovinos, Nellie Thornton High School – Lehman Collage
  • Okoe Garcia Toribio, Palisade Preparatory High School – Fordham University
  • Keyla Alarcon , Peekskill High School – Manhattanville College
  • Enoc Guartambel, Peekskill High School – Fordham University
  • Ebany Tapia, Peekskill High School – Pace University
  • Inmay Weinstein, Peekskill High School -- SUNY Albany
  • Lisbel Feliz Garo, Roosevelt High School – SUNY Binghamton
  • Jennifer Mora, Saunders High School – Manhattan College
  • Kimberly Mourao-Franco, Sleepy Hollow High School – SUNY Binghamton

Click here for slideshow of scholarship recipients.

About the Jandon Scholars Program

The Jandon Foundation believes that quality education should be accessible to all students, irrespective of their financial background. Together, with the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the Jandon Foundation administers the Jandon Scholars program, which seeks to level the playing field by supporting and encouraging promising young students from low-income families in their pursuit for higher education.

In the spring of each year, the Jandon Scholars Program awards 15 college scholarships, and
the Jandon Scholars receive a total of $12,000 over their four years in college. To encourage students to complete their education, the Jandon Scholars Program offers an increase in the amount of the scholarship for each year the students remain in school. Students receive $1,500 their first year, $2,500 their second year, $3,500 their third year and $4,500 in their fourth and final year. These funds are given directly to the students to ensure the award will not diminish other financial opportunities. Students are required to submit their grades each semester in order to receive the next term’s scholarship funds. In addition to the scholarship money, Jandon Scholars are treated to social events during the year for networking, advice and support.