Impacting Youth through Thoughtful Philanthropy

Impacting Youth through Thoughtful Philanthropy

Dr. Carlessia Hussein believes, by virtue of circumstances beyond their control, that some children need additional help to reach their full potential. This summer 74 Howard County boys will have an extra opportunity because of her vision and philanthropic leadership. The Carlessia Hussein Minority Scholarship fund was established at the Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo) in 2015. The fund provides scholarship grants for African American, Latino or Native American middle school males, who are enrolled in a Howard County public school, to attend four-week summer enrichment programs at various middle school locations.

Students participate in grade-level academic courses (reading/English, math, science, social studies) each morning, and in a wide range of enrichment opportunities in the afternoon. The scholarship provides children access to programs that encourage leadership, academic achievement, character development, expand problem‐solving skills and engender a sense of community.

The Carlessia Hussein Minority Scholarship covers 100 percent of tuition and related expenses (including lunch, snacks and transportation if needed) associated with participating in these summer programs. This year a total of $19,500 will be distributed on behalf of the selected recipients. Since its start in 2015, more than 300 children have benefited from the program.

“The Hussein Scholarship program was started to offer needed opportunities to middle school boys of color who come from income-constrained families,” stated founder Carlessia Hussein. “Multiple years of data show that poverty is a major indicator for school failure and challenges through life. Males of color are more adversely affected. Middle schoolers are at such a critical developmental age, and this program provides enrichment experiences during summer break. Their world experiences should point to a path to success.”

Dr. Hussein’s community activist logic model is to push existing resources to neighborhoods that need them. Of critical importance, she seeks to add an experience that is culturally uplifting, raises self worth and inspires the boys to believe in themselves. Each May she hosts an award ceremony for the scholarship recipients that includes their parents, extended family, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) officials, fund donors and elected officials. Each awardee is called to the stage to be recognized for earning his award.

The scholarship is Dr. Hussein’s way of “passing it on.” She strongly believes that by reaching out to one child at a time you can affect the lives of many people. Through this scholarship, Dr. Hussein is able to offer that much-needed support to children in their more formative years.

“Dr. Hussein is an inspiration,” said Dee Athey, the director of grants and community engagement at the Community Foundation. “It’s a joy to assist her in impacting so many young people. What’s truly amazing though is that in addition to being the founder, the driving force and the main benefactor of this program, she has galvanized the community and inspired other people to contribute annually to her initiative. In fact, her philanthropic leadership has led to conversations with other folks about how they might be able to create their own program using her model.”

Dr. Hussein started her career as a nurse and two decades later earned her doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Throughout her career she made a significant impact on population health at the local and state levels. Interlaced in her more than 50‐year career, has been a commitment to the health of minority, underrepresented and underserved populations.

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The list of 2023 Carlessia Hussein Minority Scholarship Winners (alphabetical by school):

Bonnie Branch Middle School

Nelson Urbina Aleman

Cristhian Bohorquez

Ricardo Fernandez

David Islas Garcia

Nolvin Avelar Garcia

Dency Lara-Cedillo

Jasser Lemus De La O

Onan Fajardo Lopez

Leonardo Perez

Manidiel Acosta Reyes

Favian Amaya Rivas

Fredy Equizabal-Rivas

Eybrian Vasquez Vallejo

Cradlerock Middle School

Caleb Agyapong

Jayden McCoy

Naji Osman

Ducketts Lane Middle School

Francisco Morales Gonzalez

Gorman Crossing Middle School

Kalin Williams

Hanover Mills Elementary School

Waris Akintobi

Malachi Williams

Harper Choice Middle School

Ryan Busby

Anthony Flores Garcia

Edwin Montoya-Monroy

Longfellow Elementary School

Joshua Ibanez

Mayfield Woods Middle School

Adrian Sanchez Avila

Giovani Jaramillo Benitez

Juan-Jose Chavarria

Patrick Galicia Menjivar

Gerson Gomez-Mejia

Justin Andrade Pleitez

Christian Zaldivar-Barrera

Murray Hill Middle School

Ezequiel M. Avelar

Olvin J. Escobar

Fernando Franco

Andree Miranda

Abiola Obafemi

Esau Mendez Rivas

Jaydon Rojas

Anthony Rosales

Jason Alexis Mejia Sorto

Oakland Mills Middle School

Justin Montes Martinez

Joshua Batista Medina

Snayder Maldinera Menjivar

Cesar Perez-Cortez

Joseph Sanchez

Patapsco Middle School

Jason Ayala

JanCarlos Fajardo-Cruz

Jeferson Izaguirre

Jeremy Ramos

Patuxent Valley Middle School

Elijah Adeleke

Tyler Crockett

Melvin Pena Garcia

Lonnel Gray

Emer A.Maravilla Jerez

Emmanuel Castillo Lopez

Eliu I Perez Lopez

Angel Figuero Mejia

Jesus Rincon Morales

Kedus Samson

Peyton Washington

Kamil Yeje

Phelps Luck Elementary School

Jose Morales Arenivar

Orbin Arenivar Morales

Thomas Viaduct Middle School

Hector Tabora Alvarenga

Adrian Martinez Angel

Carlos Oliva Arita

Neymar Casacola Carbajal

Santiago Garcia

Hamilton Gutierrez

Walter Lorenzo

Benjamin Lucero-Mendez

Leonel A. Rivas

Cody Sarmiento-Torre

Joshua Segovia