Credit: NYS Office of the Governor

Five outstanding students from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive full scholarships to SUNY colleges.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the five winners of the 2018 Carey Gabay Scholarship Program. The scholarship program was created to honor the legacy of Carey Gabay, an attorney and public servant, who was tragically killed as an innocent victim of gun violence in September 2015 at the age of 43. Each scholarship covers all costs of attendance, including tuition, room and board, college fees, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses.

“Carey Gabay was an inspiring public servant who dedicated his life to building a better future for others, and these outstanding students exemplify his selflessness and commitment to service and social justice,” Governor Cuomo said. “I applaud the recipients of the Carey Gabay Memorial Scholarship and look forward to seeing them carry on Carey’s extraordinary legacy and help create a better New York for all.”

Gabay grew up living in public housing and attending public school in the Bronx. After a successful high school career, he went on to graduate from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He had a longstanding commitment to public service and giving back to those around him, and while at Harvard University, he ran to become the president of his undergraduate student body. He worked tirelessly in public service, first as an assistant counsel to Governor Cuomo and later as first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation.

The five chosen students exemplify Gabay’s commitment to social justice, leadership and mentoring, as well as his personal story of succeeding academically despite having an economically disadvantaged background. This year is the third year of granting the scholarships.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, “The scholarships announced today are a tribute to Carey Gabay’s commitment to service, social justice and mentorship. Congratulations to this year’s recipients for their dedication to their community and education. Daniella, Zarah, Mina, Moses and Joselyn are already creating a brighter future for themselves, SUNY and the state. I cannot wait to see what they do next as they begin their journey at SUNY.”

The winners of this year’s scholarship are the following students:

Moses Delacruz—Harlem

Moses grew up in the shelter system in East Harlem, upper Manhattan. Despite the economic challenges facing him and his family, he graduated as the salutatorian of his high school. He was a member of the National Honor Society, the jazz band, the Latin Dance Club and the NYPD youth group. He also tutored younger students in math and science. He was particularly touched by Gabay’s story, having lost a close friend to gun violence.

Moses will attend SUNY New Paltz.

Mina Gul—Plattsburgh

During Mina’s childhood, her family moved back and forth between the United States and Turkey. In high school, she was a member of student government and Amnesty International. She has also volunteered with the organization Plattsburgh Cares, helping a local family of refugees as a translator and resource. She is interested in a career in human rights law, working to combat injustices both in the United States and internationally.

Mina will attend SUNY Albany.

Zarah Glaze-Williams—Bronx

Zarah’s strong work ethic and commitment to community were instilled in her by her family, including multiple family members in the teaching and nursing professions. Zarah was active in Model U.N. throughout high school. During college, she is interested in coursework in anthropology, archaeology and international studies. Zarah has a genuine passion to work toward social justice, and would like to pursue a career that would allow her to travel the world and study its cultures.

Zarah will attend SUNY Oswego.

Joselyn Garcia—Brooklyn

Joselyn has overcome incredible challenges in her life. When she was only 7 years old, her mother was murdered by her fiancé. She grew up in public housing in Brooklyn. While in high school, she managed her studies and extracurricular activities while also holding two part-time jobs outside of school. She has an interest in a career in criminal law, with the goal of a career in public service.

Joselyn will attend SUNY Albany.

Daniella Levanti—Massapequa

Daniella has overcome various housing and family health challenges, while maintaining a positive attitude and throwing herself into her studies. She has participated in Key Club, student council and multiple honor societies, as well as holding outside employment since she turned 15. She will be the first in her family to go to college. She is interested in a career that will allow her to give back to the community, particularly those who do not have family or other supports.

Daniella will attend FIT.