Addy Schmitt, President of the Foundation, and Richard Hanks, Co-Chair of Development, announced the First Year Scholars for 2012 and welcomed back many Second Year and Continuing Scholars, their friends and families, and members of the larger Abramson community.

The reception was held at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Addy Schmitt, President of the Foundation, and Richard Hanks, its Co-Chair of Development, announced this year’s First Year Scholars – who will receive financial and mentoring support throughout their four years of college as long as they continue to meet the scholarship criteria. This group includes: Christopher Feaster, a graduate of Hospitality High, headed to Michigan State University to pursue a career in hotel management; Nichelle Brunner, a graduate of School Without Walls who will study journalism or broadcasting at Temple University; Danielle Bryan, the Valedictorian of her class at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School, who will attend Spelman College and enroll in the dual degree program with Georgia Tech to study industrial engineering; and Hawi Keno, a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School bound for George Mason University to study science and pre-medicine. Hawi is the first CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Named Scholar of the Foundation, and Danielle is its first Quadrangle Development Corporation Named Scholar. Addy enthusiastically welcomed these recent high school graduates into the Abramson family.

In addition to providing a forum to announce new Scholars, the reception also serves as a reunion for Abramson alumni and provides an opportunity to welcome back and celebrate the accomplishments of the Second Year and Continuing Scholars. Most of our current Scholars were in attendance, as well as their friends and families. Aaron Jenkins, the Mentoring Chair and an Abramson alumnus, spoke about the high expectations of the Foundation for its Scholars, and Anaia Peddie, an alumna who just graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College, spoke about the important role the Foundation played in her college success. This year, the term “Abramson family” took on a new and more literal meaning. Taneea Byrd (2007 Abramson Scholar) and John Yarborough (2006 Abramson Scholar) brought their 3-month old son to the reception. Board members, mentors, Scholars, Alumni, some college counselors and many others very much enjoyed forging new friendships and renewing old ones at the reception.