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August 2017

New – And a Bit Older – Faces Join Scholars at Summer Gathering

The annual summer gathering is always a reunion, with older scholars reuniting with friends and members of the newest class who have been interns at New York Public Radio catching up with classmates who have spent the summer at college programs. Something new was added to the mix at this year's gathering on Aug. 10, as several members of the newly formed Associate Board joined the group.

The Associates, all early career professionals, a number of them from the New York Times and Seinfeld scholarship programs, quickly revived old connections and made new ones, especially with members of the current Scholarship Plus classes. They also contributed some hard-won wisdom: When asked by Kate Fenneman Stokes to talk a bit about some stumbles they had made along the way, several responded with specifics. One spoke of changing a planned major after failing a key course, and then discovering an academic field – and a career – that has been deeply fulfilling.

Mostly, though, the gathering was marked by the hum of cheerful talk, as old friends reconnected, and new friendships begun. Soon it was time for goodbyes until next time, as the members of the latest class of scholars prepared to begin their first college years.

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Photographs by Michael J. Leahy

Several current scholars gathered around former NYT Scholarship recipient Alenadreale Banton, a physician who attended Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the City University of New York, and Frances Lester, a Scholarship Plus staff member.

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Marlen Amaro, a former NYT Scholarship winner who chairs the Associate Board, makes a point.

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Absetou, in her college colors, listens as Kadijat, a University of Pennsylvania sophomore, adds some emphasis.

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From left: Dorje, a Binghamton University senior; Muska, a senior in the City University honors program; Shuofei, a Binghamton sophomore; Karen, a senior in the Maccauley Honors Program at Hunter College, and John, a Cornell junior.

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Kate Fenneman Stokes, executive director of Scholarship Plus, addresses the group as her predecessor, Soma Golden Behr, listens below.

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Fabien, a Brooklyn College senior who is aiming for a career as a medical illustrator, visits with Autumn Von Plinsky, a member of the Associate Board who is an artist and graphic designer.

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Anna Antoniak, an N.Y.U. international education specialist who is vice chair of the Associate Board, makes a point to a group that includes, at far right, another member of the Board, Amar Ramroop, a Merrill Lynch financial adviser.

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