Mt. Vernon Youth Bureau participant
receives funds from 20 college scholarships
William Phillips (r) being congratulated by Mayor Thomas
Students and parents face difficult financial barriers when trying to earn a college degree, often making college unaffordable for many. Nationally and locally, youth struggle financially to find the means to pay for college. The high costs hinder students’ ability to attend local colleges or schools out of state. However, William Phillips, a member of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and a prominent member of the Mayor’s Youth Empowerment council has successfully secured over 20 scholarships to realize his dream of attending college.
William attributes his motivation in applying for so many scholarships to financial barriers. He says, “Missing the opportunity of going to college was not an option. My family has accumulated thousands of dollars in debt when they took out loans for my sister’s education at a private school. Every day I would see my parents work so hard to try to keep up with the bills. The last thing I wanted for them to do was to take out more loans to send me off to school.”
He continues by saying, “The decision was either attend college without loans, or maybe wait until I saved enough money. I didn’t want to be a year behind my friends, so after I submitted my final college application in late November, I decided that I would fund my entire college education. Eight months later, I have won twenty out of fifty-six scholarships and now I am able to attend college debt free.”
"The Mount Vernon Youth Bureau is incredibly proud of all members of the Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Council. They volunteer to improve the city and lend their innovative ideas to better their community. When they meet the milestone of high school graduation, and progress into college, we find ways to highlight their successes. This young man's desire to attend college, lent to his success in securing scholarships. We are very proud,” said Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden.
Mayor Richard Thomas said, “I am encouraged by William’s commitment to academics and all of Mount Vernon is proud of him. We want all our young people to have the same opportunities to achieve their dreams. That’s why the City of Mount Vernon is working hand-in-hand with the Mount Vernon City School District to provide more comprehensive after school programs so our young people can compete in today’s global economy. Our kids deserve our best efforts. My congratulations to William and his friends and loved ones and I know he will continue to make Mount Vernon proud."
This fall William will be attending the University of Buffalo, where he will major in Computer Sciences.