New Haven Promise’s Legacy Award — which was established last year — is now annually awarded to a Scholar who has recently graduated from college and has demonstrated a deep commitment to their studies, fellow Promise scholars and the City of New Haven. This year the Legacy Award — which will be presented at the Annual Scholar Celebration on Thursday, August 13, at the Omni New Haven Hotel — goes to two young men who have exhibited the best of all of those traits.
James Doss-Gollin and Jordy Padilla became Promise scholars together as 2011 graduates of Wilbur Cross High School and immediately focused on provided assistance to students to follow with the establishment of New Haven Reach. The two spent many weekend hours helping students navigate the college admission process, particularly with helping them prepare their college admission essays. James, who graduated from Yale University and will heading to graduate school at Columbia this fall, has also traveled extensively, helping people in faraway places develop water filtration and delivery systems. Jordy, who graduated from the University of New Haven and is now an engineer for the Walsh Group, has been very outspoken as a Dreamer and has helped inspire fellow immigrant students to follow a path to college.
The first recipient of the award was Priscilla Maldonado, who was the first Promise graduate in Connecticut when she earned her degree from Quinnipiac University just three years after graduating from Cross High.
In addition to the awards presentation on Thursday, there will be a high energy procession and introduction of the 2015 Scholars followed by brief remarks provided by New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp, Yale President Peter Salovey, New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton and New Haven Promise Scholar James Baker Howard, a rising senior at Central Connecticut State University. The keynote will be delivered by Yves Joseph, the Vice President of Development for Centerplan Development, which is involved in many facets of the new growth of the City of New Haven.
The statewide public universities will each be represented at the event as will most of the private colleges. The Celebration — which drew about 650 people last August — expects to top that number on Thursday.