Youth Enrichment Services (YES) is proud to report that 100% of YES high school seniors successfully graduated this year and will continue on to college. One of the ways that YES maintains this record of success is by supporting our youth financially through the Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship.
Every spring, a committee comprised of YES board members, volunteers, and alumni select a small group of YES high school seniors to receive the Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship. Scholarship recipients are chosen based off of their application, leadership skills, academic promise, financial need, community service, and commitment to YES’s mission. We are proud to announce the 2018 Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship recipients below.
Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship Recipients
18-year-old Dorchester teen, Tarell Longsworth, first became involved with YES in 6th grade, when him and his older brother, Tariq, enrolled in YES’s Operation SnowSports ski and snowboard program. After learning how to snowboard with YES, Tarell deepened his involvement with YES by joining the College Prep and Career Exploration programs. Tarell served as an Outcomes Intern at YES in 10th grade. After completing his internship, Tarell joined YES’s teen staff as an Assistant Track & Field Coach at Moakley Park in South Boston. For the past four years, Tarrell has coached and served as a positive role model to hundreds of Boston youth as an Assistant Coach.
Tarell’s journey with YES culminated with him telling his personal story at YES’s Gala in April. Tarell was selected to be one of two YES teens to speak at the Gala. Reflecting on his time with YES, Tarell shared, “I have been able to take on a leadership role and gain valuable skills through my participation in YES. My experiences with YES have inspired me to be a better leader and role model for kids in my community.” Tarell will attend Southern New Hampshire University on a full scholarship in the fall, where he will pursue a degree in Business. After graduating college, Tarell aspires to become a leader in the business sector.
17-year-old Dorchester teen, Van Nguyen, has been involved with YES’s Leadership Corps program for over three years. As a Leadership Corps member, Van taught Boston youth how to ski while serving as a positive role model. This year, Van was selected to speak at the YES Gala in April. Van spoke about the positive impact that YES has had on her life. Van told the crowd, “YES has made an incredible impact on my life, allowing me to conquer my fears by showing me how to be brave.”
Van says her experiences with YES have inspired her to fight for equal opportunity for all. She says, “My commitment to my community, especially to youth of color, is why I believe in the mission of YES wholeheartedly. Not only does YES seek to uplift youths from low-income families and marginalized communities, it propels these young people to challenge stereotypes and embrace their identity unapologetically.” Van will attend Occidental College in Los Angeles in the fall, where she will major in Critical Theory & Social Justice. After college, Van plans to contribute to her community as an attorney.
17-year-old Jamaica Plain teen, Varsha Perkins, has been participating in YES programs since 8th grade. As a middle school student, Varsha participated in YES’s Operation SnowSports and Girls Outdoor Adventure Leaders (GOAL) programs. Varsha says her involvement with YES’s girls-only program helped her build self-confidence and shape her into the young leader she is today. Varsha continued to develop her leadership skills as a Teen Leader with the GOAL program, a role she filled from 2015 – 2018. In this capacity, Varsha helped plan and lead activities for GOAL and served as a positive role model to the girls. She says, “ I want to show other girls that as long as they are confident, they can do anything.” Varsha has also worked as a teen staff member with YES’s Outdoor Adventure program for the past four summers.
Looking back at her time with YES, Varsha says, “YES has changed and prepared me for the better – helping to prepare me for my next steps in life.” Inspired by her experiences working with youth at YES, Varsha aspires to become an elementary school teacher and will be attending the College of New Rochelle in the fall.