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March 6, 2023

Six Awarded Ruth Taylor Scholarships

Ruth Taylor Scholarship winners pictured left to right: Tara Battersby, Sarah Cassidy, Betsey Goldwasser, and Maura Knackstedt. Not pictured are Denisse Nunez and Nakeah Wade. 

United Way of Westchester and Putnam announced the awarding of scholarships collectively totaling $16,000 from its Ruth Taylor Scholarship Fund to six Westchester graduate students pursuing master’s degrees in social work or public health.

The six recipients are Tara Battersby of Tuckahoe, Sarah Cassidy of White Plains, and Dobbs Ferry residents Betsey Goldwasser, Maura Knackstedt, Denisse Nunez, and Nakeah Wade. Battersby, Cassidy, and Goldwasser are all pursing their master’s in social work at Columbia University. Knackstedt, Nunez, and Wade are attending CUNY Hunter College to earn their master’s in social work.

Knackstedt, Nunez, and Wade are The Children’s Village employees. Knackstedt is a juvenile justice intervention specialist, assisting youth transitioning back into the community from placement, foster homes, detention, etc. Nunez is an alternative to detention specialist. Wade is 

a supervisor of the WAY Home program, which supports adult children aging out of the foster care system by teaching them to be self-sufficient adults.

The additional Ruth Taylor recipients are also working to improve the lives of individuals. Battersby is a crisis support counselor at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison. Cassidy volunteers at The Nicholas Center in Pleasantville. Goldwasser is a teaching assistant for America Reads America Counts and is an intern at I’RAISE Girls & Boys, Int’l in New York City. 

“These women are excellent choices for this scholarship,” said United Way President and CEO Tom Gabriel. “It truly benefits everyone to have people as dedicated as them to reach their full potential, and if we can help along the way with a scholarship, we are happy to do it. We can’t wait to see each of them continue to thrive.” 

The fund was established in tribute to Ruth Taylor upon her retirement as Westchester County’s Commissioner of Public Welfare, recognizing her nearly four decades of outstanding service. United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Westchester County Government, and the Urban League of Westchester County sponsor the annual awards. Applicants must be residents of Westchester County and enrolled in graduate studies in Social Work or Public Health on a full-time basis.