Wilbur Ray Image

Monmouth County, NJ – The 36th Annual Wilbur Ray Scholarship Dinner will be held on April 8, 2022, at the Jacques Reception Center in Middletown, NJ, celebrating scholarship awards to sixteen students and the three 2022 award honorees: Commissioner Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners; President of Brookdale Community College, Dr. David M. Stout; and the Brookdale Community College Police Department.

Brookdale Police Force
Brookdale Police Force

Each spring the awards dinner is held annually to acknowledge diversity and the importance of civic engagement by students and professionals who attend the college or work within the communities served by Brookdale Community College.

The awards are named for the late Wilbur Ray, former Brookdale police sergeant and an active volunteer in the Long Branch community. The scholarship continues Ray’s legacy as students of color who attend Brookdale are eligible to apply. For the 2021-2022 academic year, 20 scholarships totaling $19,500 were awarded to 16 Brookdale students to help them pay for tuition and books.

Brianna Anderson, Belmar, NJ, is a Business Administration major graduating this spring and transferring to Rutgers through the Brookdale-Rutgers transfer program. She is currently the vice president of the Black Student Union, a club on campus that aims to be a safe place for all students to learn about the adversities, qualities, and history of black culture.

“Opening a food truck is currently my dream, and each class I complete is a step closer. This scholarship is paying for my last class at Brookdale, which I am extremely grateful for,” said Anderson.


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Anderson is one of sixteen Brookdale students who received the Wilbur Ray Scholarship for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.

The additional Wilbur Ray Scholarship recipients are Rebecca Alouf, Belinda Asamoah, Jesus Calle Bula, Brianna Doremy, George Esdalle, Sauncherei Greene, Awatif Hassan, Ariadny Nascimento, Rebecca Li, Taiphane Orange, Jean Paul, Jasmine Rainey, Kettlyn St. Louis, Mina Saleh, Jayda Sharp.

The scholarships make a difference for the award winners, and the diversity of the recipients is an intentional cornerstone of the programs’ success.

Jasmine Rainey, Asbury Park, NJ, is a Respiratory Therapy major, graduating this spring. She hopes to continue studying towards a bachelor’s degree and own her own business one day.

“This scholarship will help in minimizing my total balance on tuition, to reduce the financial stress, while vulnerable to income and priority to education is current,” she explained.

Brookdale Community College President
Brookdale Community College President

Rebecca Li, Freehold, NJ, is a social science major and Phi Theta Kappa honor society member. She plans to transfer to Rutgers to pursue her studies in Business Analytics and Information Systems.

“The scholarship will help me fund my studies at Brookdale so I have time to focus on my interests in programming and data analytics,” she said.

George Esdalle, Neptune, NJ, is a trained vocalist, concert singer, and a member of the Brookdale Concordia Chorale. One of the courses that he enjoys at Brookdale is voice lessons with Cynthia Springsteen-Balme.  After obtaining an associate degree in 2023, his goal is to continue his education for either a bachelor’s degree in engineering or humanities.

“Brookdale is a great school,” said George Esdalle. “I am semi-retired ironworker who decided to go back to school at 63 for a degree. I have a lot of tech-training and trade school training, but always dreamed and hope to pursue a college degree.  I am 65 and the extra help from the scholarship will help me to supplement my retirement income and expenses.”

Proceeds from the dinner support the Wilbur Ray Scholarship Program, which has distributed numerous scholarships to students over its 36-year history.

General admission is $80, couple admission $150, table of 10, $700 and student admission $35. To obtain a ticket to this popular event, contact Michelle Stathum at [email protected] or mail check payable to Brookdale Community College Foundation, ATT: Michelle Stathum, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738. The 36th Annual Wilbur Ray Dinner form.

For more information about the Wilbur Ray Scholarship, please visit https://www.brookdalecc.edu/wilbur-ray.


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