David Richardson

A 2021-2022 Phillips Alumni Scholar

David Richardson is a recent graduate of Danville School in Vermont. In his freshman year there, he was introduced to Interact Club. He said, “I immediately was hooked onto the idea of volunteering and helping others throughout my community. Over the course of the school year, we had the opportunity to do a supply drive for an animal shelter, and volunteer in a
homeless shelter.” Building on his involvement in Interact Club, David became a leader in Student Leaders For Voice and Change, which he described as “a group in our school designed to help create change in our educational environment through the voices of student advocates.”

David was also very involved in student government as Vice President and President of his class, which led to two years of service as a school board representative. In his seat on the school board, David affected positive change and discovered his purpose. He reflected, “It was at this moment I found my passion for what I wanted to do in my life. I loved advocating for change in my community, and after I graduate college, I hope to be able to do the same thing on a state and federal level.” Regarding his time at the University of Vermont, where he is currently enrolled, David stated, “While at UVM, I hope to be able to learn from some of the best professors in the country, and participate in activism on campus and in the Burlington community.”

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Kimberly Owens

A 2021-2022 Phillips Alumni Scholar

Kimberly Owens is a recent graduate of Boston’s John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science. There, she was a member of O’Bryant Push Up, a peer leadership program that works to prevent substance abuse among young people and to advocate on public health issues. Kimberly recalled, “One of my favorite events with Push Up was giving testimony to the Boston Health Commission about why they should ban menthol products. I spoke about my mother and niece who both have asthma and live in apartments where there was no smoke free policy. I was able to tell them about how my niece passed away from asthma and how the pollution from cigarettes only complicated [her] asthma more while she was alive.” During high school Kimberly also engaged in activism as a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, where she was able to raise awareness of youth housing insecurity in the city of Boston.

Kimberly recently enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She plans to be a lawyer one day, “to do pro bono cases for Black and other marginalized communities.” She said, “I hope whatever career path I go down I am able to improve my community.”

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Mohamed Elsankary

A 2021-2022 Phillips Alumni Scholar

Mohamed Elsankary traces the roots of his care for others to helping his family distribute packages of food to the less fortunate while celebrating Eid on visits to Egypt. That experience, he said, “inspired me to find ways I, too, could assist in the same ways my parents would. This led me to volunteering in my own community around New Haven, Connecticut.” He found service opportunities at Hamden Hall Country Day School through the Interact Club, at soup kitchens around New Haven, and at his mosque’s community center.

Recently, he said, “I also worked with a student-led organization named FLY/LinkCT in an effort to connect virtually with inner-city students from New Haven Public Schools to offer
them homework assistance, but most importantly, someone to talk to during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Distance learning prevented children from being the social and talkative souls they naturally are so it was really important to me to interact with them aside from doing schoolwork.”

This fall, Mohamed began his college career at Trinity College. He plans to eventually become a dentist, “working to provide others with the oral care they need.” He would like to run a free clinic in New Haven one day.

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Kayvona Brown

A 2021-2022 Phillips Alumni Scholar

Kayvona Brown is a first-year student at The University of Conneticut Storrs this fall, having graduated from Stamford High School in the spring. After benefitting from the help of volunteers at an afterschool program she attended in her youth, Kayvona was determined to give back once she was able. She explained that in high school, “I devoted my free periods to tutoring 9th graders on how to write essays and understand the format of an essay. I also spent my afternoons before work tutoring lowerclassmen in Sciences, such as Chemistry and Biology… I knew what it felt like to not understand a text, a passage of a book, or a stoichiometry equation. I wanted to be the one to help others get to the place where they did.” Kayvona also volunteered with The Stamford Public Education Foundation, which provided an opportunity to mentor younger children.

In college, Kayvona will be majoring in Biological Sciences on a pre-med track. She shared, “I grew up watching my grandmother and mother work within the nursing home as an LPN and RN. I watched them delicately care for the elderly, and listen to their agony and their long stories of the past. I grew to enjoy helping people and bringing a smile to their faces. I intend to do the same thing every day for the rest of my life as a pediatrician.”

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Angelis Seguris

A 2020-2021 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   Angelis Seguris (‘25 Wentworth Institute of Technology) could not have imagined all that she would become when she, her mother and brother left her father and other family members behind in the Dominican Republic to create a life in the United States. She faced new schools, a new language, and a new culture in a place where she was suddenly a minority. At the age of nine, she joined the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, forging connections and developing skills that have proven key to her many successes.
   Serving as the four-year President of the Keystone Club, a B&GC program that focuses on three key areas- community service, academic success, and career preparation–Angie’s leadership skills grew exponentially. She helped organize service events, such as clean-up projects in the community and ice cream socials at the Senior Center, activities for younger club members, such as a Lip Sync Battle, and fundraising opportunities to raise money to attend the National B&GC Conferences to network, participate in workshops and bring back new ideas to improve the Salem Club. Angie also held the position of mentor to younger members, and twice she was named Youth of the Year, the Club’s top honor.
   At Salem (MA) High School, Angie drew on those experiences in her role in La Union Latina, a club designed to celebrate the Hispanic culture and to highlight Salem as a diverse and united city. She also demonstrated her concern for recent immigrants by reading the morning announcements in Spanish, so that they wouldn’t feel left out. Academically a high achiever, Angie earned 12 college credits through Salem High School’s Forten Scholars Program, a partnership with Salem State University, where students prepare for future success through college level coursework while still in high school. Angie is grateful for the rigor of those classes as a prelude to college work.
   Angie is a first year student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where she is majoring in Architecture.

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Ariel Rodriguez

A 2020-2021 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   Ariel Rodriguez (’24 Providence College) gained rare experience in high school as a youth philanthropist through the Greater Worcester Community Fund’s program Youth for Community Improvement (YCI), helping to award grants totaling $50,000 over two years. YCI’s grants are focused on youth achievement, mental health, and support for refugee and immigrant families, with a preference for nonprofits with a history of youth leadership. “We learned a great lesson in consensus building and also grew to look at our community in a different way than any of us had before.” After reviewing the applications and making their selections each year, they were able to meet the grantees. Particularly meaningful was the group’s award to the Nativity School of Worcester, the tuition-free independent middle school for underserved boys that Ariel had attended. “I was astonished that I was able to make an impact on people in the same position I used to be in.”
   Building on that experience, Ariel joined the Worcester Teen Leadership Council, where he helped organize a conference at Worcester’s South High School to develop the youth voice, teach students about philanthropy and encourage working through organizations like YCI. After applying for and receiving both a $1,000 grant and helpful feedback from the global organization Peace First, the group changed their name to Understanding Youth Philanthropy and expanded the scope of their mission. “We decided to become more of an advocacy group that would give presentations to community foundations with philanthropy boards and advocate the importance of youth voices in leadership positions. Due to COVID-19, we had to change how we did that, so we decided to create a video to send to community boards and post on social media.”
   Ariel graduated from Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, MA, in 2020, and is now a first-year student at Providence College, where he is already quite involved (despite the pandemic) with the Providence Immigrant Rights Coalition, an advocacy group for DACA and first- and second-generation students that focuses on immigration issues. He also participates in OLAS, a Hispanic/Latinx cultural group, and Mentor RI, a mentoring program that matches at-risk youth with adult mentors.

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Kylee McCumber

A 2020-2021 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   For 10-year old Kylee McCumber it started with a simple question: why did some of her classmates eat breakfast at school? She was shocked to hear that they didn’t have enough to eat at home, but then worried about what they ate over the weekend. And so was born Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz, care packages of food to carry children through the weekend. At first, Kylee’s goal was to help ten food-insecure children each week. She funded her initial efforts through yard sales, but the need grew quickly, and her project expanded through online appeals, food drives, “fill-a-truck” events and corporate sponsorships. An official 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, it now provides food to 570 children in the Leominster area. Kylee added drives for school supplies and also now provides meals over holiday breaks and through the summer months. Kylee was a frequent speaker throughout the area, as this program requires strong financial and volunteer community support to succeed.
   What people didn’t know was that Kylee’s own early history was marked by food insecurity. Until her grandmother became her guardian, her addicted mother could not care for her. In 2016, Kylee’s mother died. “As the word spread about her passing, my community, the same community I had sought to help, was very supportive of me. Many people reached out and shared their stories of losing a loved one to addiction.” This inspired Kylee to finally share the full story of Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kids and why the mission is so close to her heart.
   A first-year student at Bentley University now, Kylee is involved in the Women in Business Leadership Program. In her absence, “Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz is still running strong. We have created our “Junior Team,” a group of students in 5th-8th grades, who have learned how to pack the Kare Kits and hold fundraisers. One of the members of the Junior Team, Mia, is filling in as the interim “Kylee” while I am away at college.”
   Kylee McCumber graduated from The Winchendon School, where she received a scholarship for her service to others. As a four-year Service Learning Leader, she led a group that focused on food justice throughout the area. While at Winchendon, she helped earn a grant for $100,000 to partner with Tufts University on a hunger initiative for the elderly, which will be expanded to single-parent homes. Kylee is clearly living the credo that “regardless of your age, if you are passionate about an issue, you can take action and make real change.”

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Luis Navarro

A 2020-2021 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   Luis Navarro arrived in the United States from Venezuela at the age of 17. Within three months, he was tackling a full course load at North Shore Community College (NSCC), navigating a new language and culture, and working to help support his family. A full plate for some, but not for Luis! A musician, he saw the need for a place for campus musicians to share their knowledge and forge bonds, so he created a Music Club, taking on all of the administrative work needed to create a new entity. With that experience and a growing desire to help others, Luis helped to launch the First-Generation Club, designed to help those students acclimate to NSCC.
   Additionally, Luis served as Chief of Staff of the Student Government Association, primarily liaising with and advising the presidents of campus organizations how to best fulfill their purposes. He was very committed to the TRIO Programs at NSCC, which are designed to assist first generation and low-income students, by recruiting other students and helping with programs. He also served as Vice-President of the Multicultural Society and helped with the mobile market for food-insecure students. Luis received numerous awards at NSCC, including four Distinguished Service Awards and the Lisa Milso Award for service and dedication to the student government.
   Having earned his Associate’s Degree in December 2019, Luis transferred to Suffolk University to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in the multidisciplinary major Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. Now at a four-year college, Luis qualifies for a Phillips Scholarship award. Despite starting Suffolk during a semester truncated due to COVID-19, he is already, of course, involved in campus life. Luis was honored to sing and play the National Anthem on his guitar at the NSCC commencement in May 2020. It is a breathtaking rendition of this patriotic song by one of the country’s newest citizens.

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Cole Chizmadia

A 2019-2020 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   Cole Chizmadia has always wanted to be a teacher, and this desire to make a difference has influenced his whole life.
   As a volunteer at the preschool of Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, CT, from which he graduated in June 2019, Cole created his own lesson plans, devising activities and creative art projects appropriate to their different age levels. Additionally, he worked at a local elementary school’s after-school program, helping students with their homework and spending quality time with them.
   In other venues, he coached basketball, his other passion besides teaching. He worked with young athletes at the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club, giving back to a place he began to attend as a seven year old. In 2018, he was nominated for Wakeman Youth of the Year for his impressive involvement. Cole also dedicated time on Saturdays to teach basketball to children with special needs and developmental disabilities.
   Given all this, it is no surprise that he has chosen to attend Southern Connecticut State University (’23) in order to major in special needs education. What might be surprising, though, is that Cole received services during much of his school career to overcome a learning disability. “I have had to work twice as hard as all my peers to achieve the same things they have, but it finally all paid off. My disability has shaped me into the person I have become,” says Cole. The memory of countless teachers who helped him to develop the mindset that he could overcome anything feeds his desire to be a special needs teacher.
   At SCSU, he is also excited about working with the club Best Buddies, where college students are matched with children with disabilities. “Overall, I am really happy here. It is a perfect fit for me.”

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.


Rosa Brito

A 2019-2020 Phillips Alumni Scholar

   A graduate of Chelsea High School (‘19), Rosa Brito has just started at Clark University in Worcester where the coursework is well-suited for her career goals in the health sciences field. Clark has exceeded her expectations in terms of the friendliness and sense of unity among the students; the numerous clubs offered; the support for students through mentors, peer advisors and tutoring; the Connections transition program for multicultural students; and even the food! “I love this university; I believe I made the best decision to attend Clark,” delights Rosa.
   Worcester is far from the small island of Brava in Cape Verde from which Rosa emigrated to the United States. Despite a late start speaking English, Rosa was an honor roll student at Chelsea High, challenging herself with AP courses and dual enrollment in community college. Very involved with her school community as a class officer, she also tutored, worked at the school store and ran track.
   From 7th grade on, Rosa was a member of REACH, an after-school program supporting Chelsea students. During high school, she served as an Assistant Group Leader and tutor there, working with middle school students. Rosa also served on the REACH youth advisory council.
   In the summers, Rosa worked in the St. Stephens Youth Program, creating science curriculum as a STEM specialist and later as lead counselor. Additionally, Rosa worked 12-20 hours per week with a second job in retail.
   Asked if she has become as involved at Clark as she was in high school, she responded, “I am a part of the Black Student Union, Caribbean African Students Association, and I was elected as my hall representative.” So, yes, she has!

PHILLIPS ALUMNI SCHOLAR

The Phillips Alumni Scholar Award goes to a new recipient of the scholarship who clearly exemplifies a “sense of other,” strong work ethic, academic strength and commitment to community service that are the hallmarks of the Phillips Scholar. The funds for the Alumni Scholar award(s) come from the generosity of Phillips Scholarship Alumni who donate so that others may have the opportunity to overcome the same financial barriers to education that they found. We are deeply grateful for the support of our alumni.