New Yale Award Program for High School Students Honors Ebenezer Bassett

The Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration at Yale University has announced a new program that will honor high school juniors from across the nation for their community service efforts. The first Yale Bassett Awards for Community Engagement will be given to members of the high school class of 2018 in the spring of 2017.

EbenezerBassettThe new awards program honors Ebenezer Bassett, the first African American student to enroll at the Connecticut Normal School, which is now Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. He later took courses in mathematics and the classics at Yale.

Bassett went on to become principal of the Institute for Colored Youth, which today is Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Later in his career, Bassett was appointed counsel to Haiti. In this role, he was the nation’s first African American diplomat. Bassett died in 1908.

Winners of the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement will be chosen based on their record of creative leadership and public service, academic distinction, interdisciplinary problem solving, and experience addressing societal issues that might include, but need not be limited to, race and racism.

“The Bassett Award is a fantastic new opportunity for Yale to recognize high school students who actively engage their peers around important topics and demonstrate leadership in addressing societal issues,” said Alfie Daniels, director of multicultural recruitment in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. “Yale seeks students who value community-based approaches to solving problems, and this award showcases Yale’s commitment to educating community leaders who seek to create a more inclusive society.”

Students can apply for the award and others may nominate deserving students. Application and nominating forms, as well as additional information, is available here.


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