President Crew Honored with Medgar Wiley Evers Champion of Change Award

MEC President Rudolph F. Crew was honored with the Medgar Wiley Evers Champion of Change Award Saturday afternoon at the Annual Spring Scholarship & Leadership Awards Luncheon of the Community Council for Medgar Evers College.

The council, a non-profit established to maintain community support and involvement with MEC, is composed of all the elected officials of Central Brooklyn, as well as residents, faculty, students and community organizations. The council has awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to MEC students since 1980. On Saturday, April 22, four MEC students received $2500 scholarships. The students were Shari Bakker, Keshia James, Jaqueline Marshall, and Claythia Nicholas.

Dr. Crew was praised by Council president Katie L. Davis as a visionary leader who has transformed MEC by raising academic standards.

“Nobody gets to do this work alone,” Dr. Crew said of his efforts as president. “The enemy of greatness is isolation.”

The four students who received scholarships exemplified the diversity of the MEC student population.

Nicholas, 19, came to MEC in 2015 and graduated from the ASAP program in 2016 with an associate degree. She is now pursuing a bachelor degree, with plans to eventually earn a medical degree and become a nephrologist. Marshall, a 54-year-old Education major who hopes to graduate in the next year or two, returned to school after rearing three daughters who all earned college degrees.

“It’s my turn,” Marshall said in receiving her award.

Bakker, 32, is a single mother of three children who finds time to volunteer at the Atlantic Avenue Learning Center while majoring in business management. James, 32, who will receive an associate degree in Education this June, returned to school after many years as a special education teacher in Grenada.

The program on Saturday honored several other community leaders. It also offered a tribute in memoriam to Kenneth Thompson, the first African-American District Attorney in Brooklyn. Mr. Thompson, who died of cancer in 2016 at age 50, was widely hailed as a voice for racial and social justice during his tenure.