The MetroTech Business Improvement District (BID) last week announced they were giving away 25 college scholarships of $1,000 each to local public high school seniors who choose to attend colleges in Downtown Brooklyn.
“The program is one where the BID wants to give back to the community that supports the businesses in Downtown Brooklyn – the shoppers,” said Michael Weiss, executive director of the MetroTech BID.
“This is an innovative way to support public education while encouraging students graduating from local schools to also attend college also in the area,” he added.
Graduating seniors enrolled at Benjamin Bannaker, Brooklyn International High School, Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Brooklyn Technical High School, George Westinghouse High School, Pacific High School or Science Skills Center – all in the Downtown Brooklyn area -- will be eligible for the awards.
The Downtown Brooklyn area colleges the seniors must attend next year include Polytechnic, St Frances College, the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, the New York City College of Technology, St. Joseph’s, and Pratt Institute.
Students must graduate this year and selection will be determined by each high school, based on academic achievement and school or community service.
“We’ve already gotten names from Brooklyn Tech and the Brooklyn International High School,” said Weiss.
A board of advisors, consisting of local elected officials, is in formation to provide advice regarding future administration of the program.
Among these officials are Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Councilmembers Letitia James and David Yassky, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblymembers Joseph Lentol, Joan Millman and Hakeem Jeffries, and Reps. Edolphus Towns, and Nydia Velazquez.
The program will be funded by the BID out of its assessment revenue and no public dollars will be used, said Weiss.
Victoria Aviles, of Bridge Cleaners and President of the MetroTech BID, said the business community in MetroTech feels a special responsibility for giving back to the community which shops, works and otherwise frequents the area.
“We wish to encourage our local young people to continue to develop their skills with a view towards having them remain in Brooklyn while in college,” she said.
Weiss noted the 25 $1,000 scholarships are straight cash awards.
“All a student has to do is present evidence of registration at one of these colleges and the funds will be released directly to the students,” he said.