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November 29, 2021

Three Fordham Students Awarded Ruth Taylor Scholarships

United Way of Westchester and Putnam announced the awarding of $3,000 scholarships from its Ruth Taylor Fund to three Westchester graduate students pursuing master’s degrees at Fordham University’s School of Social Work.

The three recipients are Mariam Abu of New Rochelle, Sandy Castillo Guiracocha of Thornwood, and Tyrone Jones of Hartsdale. Castillo Guiracocha and Jones anticipate graduating in May 2022.

“We, at United Way of Westchester and Putnam, strongly believe in investing in the leaders of tomorrow and these individuals demonstrate their commitment to the Westchester community by already working or volunteering for a local nonprofit,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “We are impressed with the work these recipients have done and look forward to watching them grow.”

Abu is a native of Ghana. She is a program supervisor at Taconic Innovations, which supports individuals with developmental disabilities to be more independent.

“I’m so honored to be recognized out of many qualified students who deserve this scholarship,” said Abu. “This scholarship means a lot to me as it has allowed me to study harder and stay focused on what I’m trying to achieve. Thank you to United Way.”

Castillo Guiracocha is interning at The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry and works as a Vibrant Living Assistant at Brightwaters Senior Living in Tarrytown. Jones is a case manager for Strive, a job training and career development services agency.

The Ruth Taylor Scholarship Fund was established in tribute to Ruth Taylor upon her retirement as the county’s Commissioner of Public Welfare and recognition of her nearly four decades of outstanding service. The annual awards are sponsored by United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Westchester County government, and the Urban League of Westchester County.

Since the 2008-2009 academic year, 67 students from Westchester received a collective $185,000 in Ruth Taylor scholarships.