Jay-Sheree Allen, ’11, Named Pearson Prize National Fellow
Award Recognizes Commitment to Community Service
Jay-Sheree Allen, a member of The City College of New York Class of 2011, has been selected as a winner of the 2011 Pearson Prize for Higher Education. The award, which carries a $10,000 stipend, is given by the Pearson Foundation to recognize exemplary students who have distinguished themselves through commitment to community service while completing their undergraduate studies. Ms. Allen was one of 20 National Fellows chosen in the competition.
Ms. Allen, a native of Jamaica who transferred from New York University, majored in psychology and pre-medical studies at CCNY. She is beginning her first year at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.
While a CCNY student, she co-founded a nonprofit organization, Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity (WEST) that focuses on building strong female leaders and served as its chief executive officer. She has also tutored elementary students, worked with preschoolers as a Jumpstart Corps member and completed a medical center internship. In addition, she traveled to Africa to teach science classes in girls’ empowerment camps sponsored by the Tanzanian Ministry of Education.
“Jay-Sheree is an extraordinary young woman who has inspired many people at City College through what she has accomplished inside and outside the classroom,” said CCNY President Lisa S. Coico in congratulating her. “At a young age she has already made a big difference in people’s lives and undoubtedly will continue to do so as she goes on to study medicine and remain engaged in community life.”
Ms. Allen got “heavily involved” in community service soon after coming to the United States at age 11, she said in her personal statement video for the competition. “Throughout my time in college, I never once forgot the importance of giving back.”
This led her to found WEST, which holds an annual women’s empowerment conference that this year drew 352 participants. The organization also coordinates a mentoring program for fourth and fifth-grade girls at the Harriet Tubman Learning Center.
“Coming to CCNY opened up a new world for me,” Ms. Allen said. “It exposed me to mentors such as Dr. Joe-Joe McManus (former executive director of the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy) and Karen Witherspoon (vice president, government and community affairs). “They opened my eyes to new possibilities and taught me it’s okay to step into the rest of the world.”
About the Pearson Prize and Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Prize for Higher Education aligns with the Pearson Foundation’s commitment to students, lifelong learning, community service, and leadership, and was created to respond directly to the financial challenges that many students face while pursuing academic goals.
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic and business organizations to provide financial, organizational and publishing assistance across the globe. The foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities.
On the Internet
2011 Pearson Prize National Fellows and Personal Statement Videos
Women of Excellence, Strength & Tenacity
Great Grads 2011 Profile of Jay-Sheree Allen