For Immediate Release:
Senior Communications Coordinator
ROXBURY – ALKU, in partnership with Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), has announced that Naesoj Ware, a student at John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, is the recipient of the 2021 ALKU Scholarship. The $30,000 award, payable over four years, is given to a rising high school senior who plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. The recipient must benefit from a positive mentoring experience with an adult, be involved in their community, display leadership in and outside of school, and demonstrate financial need.
This is the seventh year in a row that ALKU—a highly specialized consulting services firm, and MMP—the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding quality youth mentoring in Massachusetts, have awarded this educational scholarship. The ALKU Scholarship was created by ALKU Founder and CEO Mark Eldridge, who is a member of MMP’s Governing Board. Ware was selected as the 2021 recipient by ALKU’s Scholarship Committee which is comprised of ALKU employees who are personally involved and dedicated to the mentoring cause.
“Each year, we receive dozens of applications from deserving students in Massachusetts. It is always a tough decision, but this year’s committee was extremely confident in choosing Naesoj Ware,” Maddie Eldridge, ALKU’s Marketing Manager and Scholarship Committee member said on selecting a 2021 recipient. “Naesoj blew us all away not only with her drive, ambition, and goals she has set out for herself but also her relationship with her mentor Marsophia Ducheine. Naesoj is exactly the type of individual we look for when searching for the ALKU Scholarship recipient. All of us at ALKU and MMP are thrilled to award her with this scholarship and welcome her into our family.”
Ware met her mentor, Attorney Marsophia Ducheine while interning at the Roxbury Defenders Unity. “As a young woman of color, it was not only inspiring but encouraging to see a Haitian American woman in her role,” Ware wrote of Ducheine in her scholarship application. “The relationship between my mentor and I is significant because we learn and teach one another. In many ways, we depend on each other to grow, especially in the setting we worked in together. Without my mentor, I’m not sure I’d be as progressive or confident in all my endeavors,” Ware stated highlighting the impact her mentoring relationship has had on her development as a young person.
Ware, who lives in a single-parent household, has faced many obstacles to get to where she is today. “I have struggled to get equal academic and employment opportunities. The demographics of my community are mentally, emotionally, and physically limiting. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, where gang violence and financial instability are prevalent,” Ware wrote. Despite her difficult situation, Ware used her struggles as motivation to push herself academically, as well as civically. She continuously maintains two to three jobs and extracurriculars alongside her schooling and community engagement. Her experiences with The Center of Teen Empowerment, Madison Park Development Corporation, and the Boston Student Advisory Council developed into passions, inspiring her to make social and economic change in her community.
This drive to invoke change has been with Ware since a young age. At one 11 years old, Ware started a charity in her elementary school advocating for student voices with the support and guidance from mentors. This set the groundwork for Ware to start G.I.R.L.S (Girls in Real Life Sanctuary) at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. This program is meant to cultivate the minds of girls aged 12 to 16 and show them the limitless possibilities in life and is inspired by Ware’s own experiences of being a young black woman in Boston, MA.
“The fact that Ms. Ware has achieved a great academic record, worked two jobs, all while simultaneously uplifting her community—specifically the young people in Boston—is a testament to where Ms. Ware’s passion and values lie,” Marsophia Ducheine, Ware’s mentor wrote in her letter of recommendation.
With the help of the ALKU Scholarship, Ware is hoping to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. to pursue a Political Science degree with a Pre-Law concentrate. “It is important that I continue my education and devote myself to reforming current systems and institutions that oppress people of color,” -Naesoj Ware.
The 2021 ALKU Scholarship will be awarded on October 5th at MMP’s Cheers for Champions virtual event. To register or donate, click here: https://e.givesmart.com/events/mu6/
Founded in 2008, ALKU is a specialized consulting services firm, focused on deploying highly skilled consulting resources in the Technologies, Healthcare IT, Life Sciences, and Government sectors. ALKU ranks as one of the fastest-growing firms within its industry. Since inception, ALKU has consistently received national recognition for its industry-leading growth, company culture, and success. Learn more about ALKU here: www.alku.com
About Mass Mentoring Partnership
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is committed to ensuring that every young person in the state has access to quality mentoring relationships, regardless of who they are or where they live.
MMP is a statewide capacity-building organization that partners with corporate, public, and philanthropic entities to drive critical resources to a network of more than 370 mentoring and youth-serving organizations, representing more than 50,000 young people. www.massmentors.org