Yale and City to Honor New Haven Students Receiving Carson Scholar Awards

Four New Haven students have been named Carson Scholars and will be presented with $1,000 scholarships by Dr. Ben Carson, Yale Vice President Bruce D. Alexander, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., and New Haven Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo at a special awards presentation on Friday, April 11.

The presentation will take place at 2 p.m. at the Dixwell-Yale University Community Learning Center, 101 Ashmun St. The media are invited to attend.

New Haven students being honored are Cody Barlow (grade 4) at Wexler-Grant Community School, Dimas Brown (grade 5) at Christopher Columbus Family Academy, Nyghel Byrd (grade 10) at Metropolitan Business Academy and Darcy Yankowich (grade 10) at Hill Regional Career High School.

The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. was founded by renowned brain surgeon and Yale alumnus Carson and his wife, Candy, as a way to reward students in grades 4-11 who demonstrate academic promise (3.75 GPA or higher) and humanitarian service. Carson Scholars receive honorary medals, certificates of recognition and scholarships for their college educations. The scholarship funds are invested until a check can be given directly to the college in which the student ultimately enrolls.

This year, the scholarship funds came from Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Yale College Class of ’51 and from personal contributions made by Bruce Alexander and his wife, Christine. This is the second year New Haven students have been awarded Carson scholarships.

“The Carson Scholars Fund provides an invaluable opportunity for community members to support high achieving local students. We hope to see an increase in the number of Carson Scholars each year,” said Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs and campus development.

Carson is best known for his pioneering work with conjoined twins. He heads the department of pediatric neurosurgery at the John Hopkins Medical Institutions and is dedicated to what he calls “another kind of healing,” not just of the physical body, but of society.  Carson’s autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” describes his early life of poverty, low self-esteem and poor academic performance — and the changes he made to reach Yale College and then medical school at the University of Michigan.

“We are grateful to Dr. Carson for using the powerful lesson of his life to reach out to our young people,” said Mayo. “He shows our students that nurturing your academic potential and staying on track with school is the best way to succeed in life and there is no better illustration of that than his own very successful career. I also want to thank Bruce and Chris Alexander and Yale for championing the Carson Scholars program here in New Haven.”

For more information about the Carson Scholars Fund or to help sponsor a New Haven Carson Scholar, please contact nhstate.affairs@yale.edu.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325