As recipients of the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation’s First in Family Scholarship, Lea Filyk ’21, Ayesha Lee ’22 and Mia Morrison ’19 assisted the Flower City Habitat for Humanity during Farash’s Day of Service in Rochester, N.Y.
”We worked as a team with the staff and volunteers from Habitat to build storage sheds for the homes being built by this wonderful organization,” says Morrison. “It was a great to see how the sheds came together and to know how important they are to the new homeowners.”
Community service is a critical component of the Farash First in Family Scholarship program. In addition to the annual day of service, Farash scholars are also required to do volunteer work in their communities during the academic year. HWS is one of nine regional colleges in the program which provides generous scholarship funds to a student in each of the four class years who are the first in their family to attend college.
More than just a full scholarship award, the Farash program also offers mentoring support for the recipients throughout the year. “The Foundation provides us with mentors who will be here for us once we graduate and move on,” says Morrison. “It’s nice knowing that you have someone in your corner rooting for you.” In addition, Farash scholars are given opportunities to interact with each other as a group in a variety of programs, performances and sporting events.
A double major in economics and international relations, Filyk interned with the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union last summer. Active in the String Ensemble, the America Reads and Guiding Eyes for the Blind programs, she credits Farash First in Family coordinator Alicia Jinks with providing help throughout the college year. “If I need anything or have questions, she is an incredible resource,” says Filyk.
Lee is a criminal justice major with a minor in sociology who hopes to work for the CIA or FBI after she graduates. She appreciates the regular contact she has with Farash staff, who check in with her periodically to ensure that she is doing well. This semester she has joined the Model African Union at HWS to help “open my eyes to the world, through looking at cultures.”
Morrison, a psychology major with a double minor in Africana studies and media and society, studied abroad in Wales and interned with the Philadelphia Phillies last summer. She is an award-winning forward on the William Smith basketball team who most recently won the 2018 Marisa Vespa Award. After graduation in 2019, she hopes to play professional basketball overseas.