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African American students encouraged to apply for Nichols School scholarships

Darius Pridgen: "Opportunity of a lifetime”
Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 16:28:33-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The “opportunity of a lifetime." That's what one Buffalo lawmaker is calling a chance for ten African American students to apply for full scholarships to Nichols School in north Buffalo.

Nichols School in Buffalo.

Nichols is one of the most prestigious private schools in Buffalo, but costs about $25,000 a year to attend.

However, Nichols is looking for ten African American 8th graders from Western New York to apply for a scholarship.

They would receive full tuition, totaling $150,000 each to attend four years of high school.

Ramone Alexander is director of Inclusivity and Community building at Nichols.

Ramone Alexander is director of Inclusivity and Community building at Nichols. Alexander says the school is working to grow its diversity.

“I would say our students of color, or those students who identify as underrepresented, are currently about 26-percent of the student body. It's something that we're pretty proud of considering that ten years ago that number has increased consistently over the last ten years. Right now, over a quarter of the students identify as students of color,” Alexander explained.

Nichols reached out to Buffalo Common Council president Darius Pridgen to help find African American students to apply for the scholarships.

Pridgen jumped on Facebook.

“You know kids out here who are sharp. You know kids out here who this will be a life changing opportunity,” Pridgen said in a Facebook video.

For students to qualify for the Harry Hayes Scholarship they must fill out an online application and financial form at the Nichols website. Students must be from a family that earns less than $60,000 a year.

Students must also have a grade point average of 90 or higher and pass this Saturday’s, December 7, entrance exam.

“What I do realize is that the education that kids would get here can change their life-trajectory,” remarked Alexander.

Inside a Nichols School classroom.

“I think it shows that Nichols is really becoming very, very interested in diversity in their schools, so I’m excited for the opportunity and hope that young people and families take the opportunity,” declared Pridgen.

Inside a Nichols School classroom.

Alexander says in his position at Nichols he assists in making sure every feels a sense of belonging.

“The school is really committed to a community in which, students, adults, families – regardless of how they identify – feel like they have a sense of belonging here,” said Alexander.