by Danae Laura, Abby Fund Founder
The Abby Fund and the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund (CCSF) are pleased to announce that the Abby memorial Scholarship was awarded for the first time to Edward Akubude, graduating CCHS metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) senior at the Concord Carlisle High School (CCHS) graduation on June 14th, 2014.
The Abby Fund was established in memory of CCHS Class of 2006 graduate Abdirauf (“Abby”) Abdullahi (1987-2006). Son of Somalian refugees, Abby was a peace-loving, quiet leader at CCHS. Through extraordinary effort, Abby excelled in high school and won a full college scholarship for the fall of 2006 to pursue his dreams. Tragically, that summer Abby was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity and urban violence.
Remembering Abby as a successful METCO student, high school graduate, and college scholarship recipient, the Abby Fund Board was inspired to honor him by acknowledging mETCO students who follow Abby’s example and take advantage of opportunities to apply themselves. This year The Abby Fund established the need-based Abby memorial Scholarship, under the CCSF, to be awarded annually to a mETCO student graduating from CCHS who combines an ethic of hard work with community involvement, aspiration and everyday activism.
Edward Akubude, the inaugural recipient of the Abby memorial Scholarship, embodies the spirit behind the Scholarship. Edward participated in a broad range of activities at CCHS including playing four sports, crowning his experience as captain of the varsity football team. He worked hard as a METCO pOWER program peer leader, and volunteered on weekends as a math tutor in the Boston public Schools Saturday School program. Edward is now attending Bowdoin College to study biology with the hope of pursuing a career in medicine, possibly combining patient care with medical research. Charisse Gilmer (CCHS ’04), Director of Communications at the Abby Fund, said, “Edward is truly the perfect example of an Abby memorial Scholar: a young man with a great work ethic matched by a positive attitude.”
In the Spring 2014 HRC newsletter, the Abby Fund announced our need to close a gap of $3,500 to achieve our endowment goal and to fulfill our commitment to CCSF. Our organization was able to award our first scholarship in 2014 before our endowment goal was reached with the help of CCSF. While announcing the award at the graduation ceremony, we were able to deliver our message of hope, dedication and remembrance to the entire graduating class and the community of attendees from Concord, Carlisle and beyond. With this presentation, we drew the attention of a generous philanthropist who donated $2,000 to the fund in August.
We are so very close to our goal! Debra’s Gourmet in West Concord has generously agreed to donate 5% of their proceeds on November 15th, which will help us close the gap. By attending Debra’s “Abby Day” and by donating to the Abby Fund you can help us to automatically ensure that at least one student – like Abby, and like Eddie – is being acknowledged and supported every year in perpetuity.