Devereuxs Fund MCLA Scholarship for Harlem Children's Zone Student


NORTH ADAMS, MA - A former Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) trustee and his wife are providing a four-year scholarship at the College for a student with the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) of New York, who will begin her studies this fall.

Foster and Penny Devereux, who are funding the Harlem Children's Zone scholarship, hope others will follow their lead and help additional deserving youth to study at MCLA.

"You should spend the first third of your life learning, the second third earning, and - if you are fortunate enough to have done those two things - then you should spend the last part of your time returning," Mr. Devereux said.

 The recipient of the scholarship is Ciara Genera of Harlem, a participant in MCLA's Individual Enrichment Program this summer. The first person in her family to graduate from high school, she plans to major in psychology and has interests in math and studio art. Beyond her undergraduate degree, Genera plans to pursue a Ph.D.

According to Denise Richardello, vice president of enrollment and external relations, Genera first visited MCLA last fall with HCZ, a nonprofit organization that provides free support and education for poverty stricken youth and families living in central Harlem, N.Y. During her visit, Genera "fell in love with the College."

After being accepted at MCLA, Genera applied and interviewed for the scholarship.

"We were looking for someone whose first choice was MCLA and who showed amazing potential. Ciara is very driven, and we expect she will do great things with her education," Richardello said.

"I feel really lucky and grateful to win the Harlem Children's Zone scholarship," Genera said. "I am thankful that the Devereuxs gave me the best and most expedient opportunity to continue my studies in a different environment.  I'm excited to continue to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures. This scholarship gives me an overwhelming sense of euphoria, and I'm so looking forward to starting my freshman year in the fall."

Foster Devereux served as an officer and director of Allen and Company, a New York-based investment banking firm, and is a graduate of Williams College. As a community leader and as a former trustee of MCLA from 1992 to 2002, he is a long-time champion of public higher education.

According to Richardello, he has a commitment and passion to help create accessibility through the increase of student scholarships. As a College trustee, he was a lead advocate for what was then North Adams State College to be recognized as a leading community partner and one of the critical economic engines for North Adams and Berkshire County. Devereux remains involved with building support for the College, most recently as a member of the MCLA Foundation Ad-Hoc Fundraising Committee.

Devereux is a trustee emeritus of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), and of the MASS MoCA Cultural Development Commission. Through his work with MASS MoCA, he was at the forefront of efforts to establish North Adams as a world class cultural destination and to position the arts as an economic development engine.

Devereux is a member of the Alumni Council of the Kent School in Kent, Conn. He is a former president of the Williams College Alumni Association of Fairfield County and a former member of the Williams College Alumni Association Executive Committee.

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