Youth Enrichment Services

Meet YES’s 2017 Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship Recipients

The Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2006 in memory of Richard Williams, who founded YES in 1968. While he did not achieve more than an 8th-grade education, Richard realized that education was the key to unlocking dreams. He knew that each young person was an asset and the pursuit of post-secondary education would help them achieve a brighter future. The Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship continues Richard’s legacy by giving Boston teens the financial support to pursue a post-secondary education.

Every spring, a committee comprised of YES Board Members and alumni select 2 – 4 YES high school seniors to receive the Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship.  Scholarship recipients are chosen based off of their leadership skills, academic promise, financial need, community service, and commitment to YES’s mission.

Since its founding, more than $200,000 in scholarships has been awarded through the Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund to YES teens. Many of the scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college. We are proud to announce the 2017 Richard Williams Memorial Scholarship recipients below.

Julia Bowen, Saint Michael’s College  (Colchester, VT)

17-year-old Julia Bowen has been involved with YES’s Leadership Corps for over five years. In addition to teaching snowboard lessons through the Leadership Corps, Julia has also participated in YES’s College Prep program. Julia says, “YES has taught me that experiencing different perspectives and learning new skills are some of the most important things in life.” Julia is an exemplary leader at her high school as well as at YES, having served as Class President of her high school her sophomore and junior years.

Julia decided to apply to and attend Saint Michael’s College during her visit to the college in April 2015 with YES’s April Vacation Tour. Julia has studied Animal Science for the past four years at Norfolk County Agricultural High School and looks forward to majoring in Biology at Saint Michael’s College. Passionate about animal welfare, Julia aspires to become a wildlife health care technician or veterinarian one day.

Chris Cadogan, McGill University  (Montreal, Canada)

17-year-old Dorchester teen, Chris Cadogan, has volunteered and worked with YES for over four years. As a Leadership Corps member, Chris taught Boston youth how to ski while serving as a positive role model to YES youth. In 2014 and 2015, Chris was awarded the YES Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award for his exemplary work with the Leadership Corps. Chris also worked with YES’s Outdoor Adventure program in 2015 as an MLK Scholar and Outdoor Adventure Leader.

Chris’s service experiences at YES, alongside his experience as a Judicial Youth Corps Fellow at John Adams Courthouse, have shaped his goals for the future. Chris will attend McGill University in the fall to pursue a degree in International Relations. After graduating college, Chris aspires to use his foreign language skills and dedication to service as a Foreign Services Officer.

Laura Mendez, Lesley University  (Cambridge, MA)

17-year-old Hyde Park teen, Laura Mendez, has volunteered with YES’s Leadership Corps for more than four years. As a Leadership Corps teen, Laura has proven herself to be an exemplary leader among her peers. In recognition of her accomplishments, Laura was selected to be one of two YES teens to speak at the 2017 YES Gala in April. Laura delivered her speech to a crowd of 400+ guests. Laura shared, “YES is a place that not only taught me about snowboarding, but also about myself and helped me grow into a leader.”

Laura attends the Boston Arts Academy High School and is passionate about art. In college, Laura plans to combine her love for art and desire to help others by studying to become a Psychologist or Arts Therapist at a hospital. Laura says, “I want to support children and use art to make them smile through rough times.” Laura is a first-generation college student and will begin at Lesley University in the fall.

Anna Stefanov,  University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA)

Boston resident Anna Stefanov has given back to her community as a Leadership Corps member with YES, soccer coach with the South Boston Youth Soccer team, and volunteer with Metro Lacrosse. Anna joined the YES Leadership Corps in 2016 and says her experience coaching youth and teaching them how to ski has taught her “what it means to be a good sport from both the field and the sidelines.” Anna also worked at YES this school year, helping with the administration of the Operation SnowSports program and program outcomes measurements.

Outside of YES, Anna is an active member of both the UN Model Club and Debate Team at her high school. Anna looks forward to attending the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the fall, where she plans to study History.

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