Scholarly seniors receive college scholarships and lifelong mentorship

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Double congrats to seniors Michael Williams and David Mardakhayev. The scholarly seniors are this year’s recipients of the 2017 Milken Scholarship Award.

The boys will each receive $10,000 along with a lifelong mentor system that includes career-related counseling, assistance in securing internships, and opportunities for community service.

David has moved over his tassel and graduated from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Bensonhurst.

An aspiring engineer, he is a true Renaissance man. He is a Cloud Peak Project Fellow, New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient, and National Honor Society member, vice president of Roosevelt’s robotics club, a section editor for Roosevelt’s school paper, a Roosevelt student ambassador, and a volunteer at New York Methodist Hospital.

David will study electrical engineering at New York University in the fall.

Michael is a graduate of Millennium Brooklyn High School in Park Slope who hopes to change the world through storytelling. On his website,, he has explored the Rastafari religion of his mother’s native Jamaica. He is a youth advisory board member for Cyphers for Justice, has worked with BRIC Arts Media in planning and facilitating Concrete Stories, and spent last summer studying film production at Stanford University and journalism at Princeton University.

Michael has served as class president, is a member of the National Honor Society, and is on his school’s High Honor Roll. He also serves as an admissions ambassador and student board of directors representative for The Opportunity Network and has volunteered with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

Michael plans on attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, where he’ll study journalism and law.

The Milken Scholars is a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation. Winners are selected after a rigorous nomination, application, and interview process and based on academic performance, community service, and leadership.

The scholars will attend a three-day summit this summer in Los Angeles with more than 100 fellow scholars, including new recipients.


Brooklyn’s Finest

WellCare of New York, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc., honored 34 officers of the New York Police Department, four of which hailed from our fair borough. The officers regularly find ways to support the communities they serve. Each day, officers perform the duties one would expect, such as public safety, law enforcement, and traffic management. However, in addition to preserving the peace, police officers are working in partnership with organizations in the community to enhance the quality of life in New York City through smaller, more personal ways.

Our Finest included Lt. Acu Rhodes of Park Slope’s 78th Precinct, Detective Walter Brant of Cypress Hills, as well as Detective Felicia Richards and Capt. Terrell Anderson.

“We are grateful that WellCare has taken the time to recognize the impact our officers have on the lives of people in the community,” said Chief James A. Secreto of NYPD Housing Bureau. “Many police departments around the country are waiting for this kind of sign of appreciation. WellCare gets it. Thank you, WellCare.”

Standing O says thank you to the men and women who serve our city every day.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. [765 61st St. at Eighth Avenue in Bensonhurst, (718) 439–2220].

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Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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