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Mott Street Scholarships: Dreams Have a Home at the Mount

1/9/2018

Riverdale, N.Y. – The Mott Street Scholarship Program serves talented students who have persevered through foster care or homelessness and who are educationally and emotionally ready for college. The public support and social services available to these individuals typically end when they turn 18. At this point, these young people are on their own, trying to figure out the rest of their lives while all else is in flux. The need is stark. Of the 10,000 young people who aged out of foster care in New York State in 2016, a mere 350 are now pursuing educational programs beyond high school.

The Program was named in honor of the Sisters of Charity’s first ministry in New York City, the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, which was established in 1817 between Mott and Prince Streets.

Two years ago, the College began collaborating with Covenant House New York, an organization that cares for and shelters homeless and trafficked youth. The objective is to identify young people eager to attend college, but who lack the necessary financial resources and support to get there.

The Mott Street Scholarship Program covers tuition, room and board, fees, books, and insurance. As with all students, the Mount provides supplementary academic and counseling resources, along with fundamental tools needed for success, such as a computer. But most of all, Mott Street Scholars receive year-round housing for all four years they are enrolled. At Mount Saint Vincent, they are finally home.

In spring of 2016, there was a single Mott Street Scholar. By the following semester there were 10. It’s succeeding, too: by the end of the Program’s first full year, nearly all scholarship recipients were in good academic standing and one had earned a 4.0. Now in its second year, there are 19 Mott Street Scholars.

Students in the Mott Street Scholarship Program are immersed in college life, complete with the rich and varied opportunities that all Mount students enjoy. Yet the cost of serving those students is much greater than it is for more typical students at the Mount. The College intends to enroll ten Mott Street Scholars each year, and the recently announced Ad Lux campaign aims to build an endowment of $5,000,000 to help sustain and grow the Program. The goal is to serve even more displaced and disadvantaged youth with the ambition and talent to transform their lives. The College is also seeking annual gifts of $25,000 to fund current scholarships.

“These young people have every educational opportunity that is afforded to every student at Mount Saint Vincent,” said President Charles L. Flynn, Jr., who takes a personal interest in each of the Mott Street Scholars, championing their cause at every opportunity. “They face huge hurdles in life and they are accomplishing extraordinary things. Alumnae/i can be very proud of this College. There’s no other Program like this in the United States. We are committed to social justice. We are committed to opportunity. And we are transforming lives and giving individuals an authentic opportunity to be able to be fully self-reliant and to have the biggest opportunities in the world open to them.”

This story originally appeared in the College’s 2017 Annual Report.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.