June 15, 2024

Community Racial Equity Scholarship Recipients Named


Historically, American institutions, including religious institutions, have contributed to the unequal treatment of many of its marginalized citizens, particularly those identified as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Unjust policies involving housing, elections, hiring and education opportunities are examples that continue to hinder this large segment of our society. Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ believes that growing awareness of the racial inequities in our society will help eradicate them. But more change is needed.

In response to the racially charged protests of the past several years, Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ felt it imperative to take a visible stand and formed the Racial Equity Team in 2020. One of the ideas generated by this team was to develop and promote the Community Racial Equity Scholarship program.

Requirements for the scholarship include financial need, identity as BIPOC, and enrollment in a post high school program such as one at an undergraduate, graduate, or trade school. Church membership is not required. Outreach to the broader community was and remains an important goal. This year, we were pleased to have applicants from Virginia to New Hampshire.

The Racial Equity Team is pleased to announce that this year, for the first time, four individuals will be awarded scholarships totaling $23,500. The recipients are Nyaijah Andrade, Maya Barka, Jaiden Bettencourt, and Desiree Weeden. Below are some of the responses from this worthy group.

Nyaijah Andrade

"I am beyond grateful that I have been chosen as one of the recipients for the 2022 Community Racial Equity Scholarship. I am happy that my story, hopes and dreams were recognized. This scholarship makes my new journey of life easier.”

Maya Barka

“I want to thank you for the scholarship. This money has really helped my mom when it comes to paying for my tuition and room and board. I appreciate the opportunity you have given me and will make sure to make you proud.”

Jaiden Bettencourt

“While I could not have made it this far without people like my family and friends, it is incredibly meaningful to know that teams like yours are also out there working to support students like me to achieve higher education.”

Desiree Weeden

“My intent is to assist other student's in breaking through educational barriers, systemic inequities, and marginalized disadvantages, to bridge those gaps by cultivating an equal environment by supporting them academically and emotionally… I am thankful for Rev. Timoth Silva and the Racial Equity Team at Newman UCC for their generosity, encouragement, and blessings.”

Newman UCC and its Racial Equity Team hope that this scholarship program will continue to help level the education playing field for BIPOC individuals pursuing their dreams.

Congratulations to our 2022 scholars!
Tax-deductible contributions to the CRES may be sent to:
Newman UCC
Racial Equity Fund
PO Box 4764
Rumford, RI 02916
Or electronically at www.newmanucc.org/give 

Newman UCC is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ and extends this invitation to one and all, living out the example of Jesus’ extravagant welcome.

Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, 02916


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