Vermont Business Magazine The Boys & Girls Club of Burlington awarded $80,000 in scholarships to 41 Club members on Thursday, May 16th as part of the Annual Pomerleau Scholarship Awards. The event celebrated the achievements of these hardworking students and the powerful legacy of Tony Pomerleau’s philanthropic work in the community being continued by his family.
These students will attend college at their secondary education institution of choice. The event highlighted two first-generation recipients who commented on how support from this program has been powerful in helping them to build a better future for themselves
Hussein Mubarak, B&G Club executive director Tanya Benosky, Mauwa Felekeni and Senga Felekeni, both of whom are going to Castleton University. Mubarak is headed to Plymouth State (NH). Photos courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Burlington.
“I hadn’t seen numbers before when I first started school and I didn’t I know any English. Education was the key to my future. I believe in miracles and I’m accepted here just the way I am. The Boys & Girls Club has changed my life and they helped my voice to be heard. I am proud that I have been accepted to Castleton and will be studying biology.” - Mauwa Felekeni
This scholarship program is in its sixth year of awards provided by the Pomerleau Family Foundation. The long term vision of the Boys & Girls Club is to provide a complete scholarship to a Vermont State College to assist children in overcoming significant obstacles in life. The event was attended by Pomerleau family members, children, students, the Boy & Girls Club staff, as well as a representative of Senator Leahy’s office.
“Congratulations to the 41 recipients of Burlington’s Boys & Girls Club 2019 Early Promise Scholarships, along with future and past award winners. This program is an inspiring example of how our young people can thrive, given the opportunity. The growth of this program also attests to the great work the Club is doing to support these young people and help them succeed in life. I am proud to be a strong supporter of the Girls & Boys Clubs around Vermont and the nation. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee I remain committed to providing the resources to help Boys & Girls Clubs help our future generations” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
All recipients are graduates of the Club’s Early Promise program, an academic improvement program that helps members improve their performance in school with the ultimate goal of a wider range of post-secondary options and, eventually, better economic opportunities. The program is one of the most important initiatives of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington and is founded on the belief that education is the most powerful opportunity available to help create healthy, vibrant lives.
“Hope grows into success. Our dad came to this neighborhood to change his life. It is important that we continue to support his legacy through making education possible for those who have obstacles in their way,” said Ernie Pomerleau. “We made this program to help hope succeed and want to congratulate and recognize everyone involved. There is a true sense of gratitude for what you’ve accomplished.”
The Early Promise Program begins as early as kindergarten, and culminates in high school with activities such as exploring career options, navigating the college application process, and touring campuses. The Boys & Girls Club has made a promise to provide scholarships to these recipients every year.
The Pomerleau Family Foundation supports the local community in honor of Tony Pomerleau to over 50 organizations. The Foundation strives to make a difference through contributions and involvement in various organizations, boards, and foundations
Boys & Girls Club of Burlington’s mission is to empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to discover their full potential as caring, engaged, responsible community members.
Source: Boys & Girls Club of Burlington 5.21.2019