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ABENY Inc.'s Endowed Scholarships

A number of ABENY General Members and Board Members elect to endow scholarships for college bound seniors. Currently, ABENY, Inc., distributes thousands of dollars in scholarships annually in the form of ten (10) $1,000 endowed scholarship awards which open for application during Black History Month. Examples include the Jean-Claude Bobo Scholarship, Verna Harper-Neblett Scholarship, Theodore Jones III Scholarship, and ABENY Scholarship. Six additional scholarships are also currently endowed; their descriptions follow below.

Elaine A. Davis Scholarship Fund ($1,000, every year, for 4 years to support our recipient):  Elaine Alicene Davis passed away on September 11, 1999 while she was still President of ABENY. For Elaine, ABENY was her heart. Elaine’s passion for teaching began as early as age 3 and a half, when she was influenced by her aunts who were Head Mistresses of schools in Kingstown, St. Vincent. Elaine attended Hunter College High School and Hunter College. She started here teaching career in Queens at PS 52Q, serving in the roles of teacher, Acting Assistant Principal, Assistant Principal and Acting Principal. She also served as Acting Principal of PS 136Q. The next step was her appointment as Principal to PS 116Q on September 23, 1976, where she remained until her retirement in 1997. Throughout her entire career, Elaine fought to have her children and teaching staff have the best and be the best. She sought the support of volunteers from all walks of life to influence and work with students. After retirement, she continued working in the field, mentoring new principals at the Bank Street School of Education. Elaine’s commitment to the city’s children extended into community activism with numerous public service organizations. Not only was she affiliated with ABENY, but she was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a Charter member of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Sorority. Her work will impact the lives of children and educators in the African American community for years to come.

Dr. Lionel E. McMurren Scholarship Fund: ($1000).  Long time ABENY Executive Board member Dr. Lionel E. McMurren passed away on January 22, 2012. Dr. McMurren’s life was devoted to education and service. He served in numerous positions: teacher, dean, career guidance advisor and elementary school assistant principal. In 1968, Dr. McMurren was chosen as the first junior high school Principal of the newly built Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10. He was promoted in 1982 to Deputy Superintendent of School District 5 in Harlem. In addition to his work in the public schools, Dr. McMurren served as an Associate Professor at City College of the City of New York. He also served in the Super Center of the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, training principals and assistant principals of the New York City Department of Education. Moreover, for many years, Dr. McMurren served ABENY as an Executive Board member. His dedication to ABENY never wavered, as demonstrated by his appearance at the fall conferences. He will always be remembered.

Gregory Manalo Ilaw Scholarship Fund: ($1,000). Long time ABENY Executive Board member, Gregory Manalo Ilaw, passed away on January 2, 2009. Teaching was Gregory’s passion and career. As a teacher, he worked in quite a few schools, including PS 147, JHS 217, MS 180 and CS 102. He then went on to obtain a Professional Certificate in Administration and Supervision from Saint John’s University which enabled him to become an assistant principal and then a principal. Greg’s greatest achievement was becoming Principal of PS 102X in District 12. Greg also enjoyed teaching at Touro College where he mentored many young people. As a veteran of ABENY, Greg served as Treasurer, Chair of the annual Black History Essay contest, Chair of the Human Service Awards Committee, and member of the Luncheon Committee. He was truly a gregarious person, and will always be missed.

Dr. Camille Clemenceau Taylor Scholarship Fund: ($1,000).  ABENY Executive Board member and 2001 “Educator of the Year”, Dr. Camille C. Taylor passed away on July 12, 2009. Dr. Taylor began his teaching career in New York City at Wadleigh JHS in Harlem, later working at Halsey JHS in Brooklyn, Shimer JHS in Jamaica, and Jefferson Intermediate School In Manhattan. At Jefferson Park, Dr. Taylor conducted the first city wide in-service workshops on curriculum design and development, and directed the Manhattan All-Borough JHS Symphonic Band and Orchestra. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Taylor served in many positions:   Chairman of the Music Department at Jefferson Park; Supervisor of   Music for CSD # 4; Chairman of the Annual African American Heritage Committee and Puerto Rican Discovery Day Parade;  Executive Director of the National Black Music Caucus; Organizer of the college and university gospel music competitions; Chairman of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Talent Hunt Commission.  Truly, Dr. Taylor was an educator extraordinaire!

Fernley A. Murray Scholarship Fund: ($1,000). ABENY past president, “Educator of the Year,” Political Action Chair and Executive Board member, Fernley A. Murray passed away on April 30, 2010. Fernley was well known for his love of English and public speaking, and earned a Masters in reading from Nova University.  Fernley spent many years as an educator in the New York City public schools. Throughout his years, he taught drama, English and reading to middle school students. He was also actively engaged in civic and social endeavors, as when he served as a military policeman in the U.S. Army. He went on to serve his community by embarking upon two terms as Polemarch of the New York Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, of which he was also a 50 year life member. Moreover, in addition to serving as president of ABENY, Fernley served as president of the Frederick Samuel Committee of the New York County Democratic Committee.  Fernley will always be remembered as a vibrant soul who touched many lives. He was listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for his many achievements.

Jean Isbell Scholarship Fund: ($1,000). Jean Isbell was introduced to ABENY while in pursuit of a double Masters in Education and Administration at Touro College. It took no time for Jean to become active in ABENY after attending her first meeting. She was moved to work with everyone. She attended the membership meetings and was a constant presence at the entrance table, where she welcomed the attendees. Although Jean’s expertise and licensed area was social work, she ultimately chose to perform such duty in a school setting. She worked for the NYC school system for almost 20 years as a Social Worker in a city high school, and was a Dean to adolescent and teenaged students with special needs. Moreover, she was a support to school administrators and the go-to person for all pedagogical and support staff. After establishing her Lifetime Membership in ABENY and playing an active role in many areas, Jean decided to accept a nomination for the Executive Board. She was elected, and subsequently, installed in 2013 to serve the 2013-15 term. Shortly thereafter, Jean passed away.  However, her light will always shine and she will always be remembered as a dedicated and hardworking educator.

Note: ABENY Inc. collaborates with Medgar Evers College of CUNY on the awarding of the Jean Isbell Scholarship. The recipient will be a student who has completed his BA in Social Work and who is enrolling in a Masters program in Social Work in the Fall.  

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