Founder's Scholars

The Fordham Founder’s Undergraduate Scholarship Fund helps Fordham advance its goals and mission of recruiting more students of all backgrounds to the University. The Scholarship is awarded to undergraduates whose curiosity of mind and strength of spirit have enabled them to go beyond the boundaries of expectation.

Scholarship recipients must demonstrate a desire for excellence in all aspects of life through coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal experiences. Their characteristics reflect the qualities shared by Fordham's founding members and are mandates for the development of an ethical society.

Isabella Acuña, FCLC ’25

Major:  English
Minor: Creative Writing
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

“Not only has the Fordham Founder’s Scholarship instilled me with a priceless self-assuredness that will no doubt carry on past my graduation, but its immense generosity has inspired me to transfer that generosity outward. It inspires me to work in increasing literacy in youth education so that more children can experience the joys and richness of higher education.”


Isabella Acuña

Maya Acuna-Taylor, FCLC ’26

Major: Dance 
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

“It is my intention to join communities at Fordham that allow me to give back to New York. My previous humanities studies taught me the importance of self-reflection, integrity in our actions, and accountability for our actions. I believe that each of us has something to share, but also that each of us has something to learn. We must take action in order to make the city or neighborhood that we live in a better place.”


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Saad Ali, FCRH ’24

Major: Biological Sciences (Pre-Health)
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

“The world is constantly changing, and new challenges are constantly arising. Jesuit education instills a commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth. Students at Fordham are equipped with the skills and mindset to adapt to changing circumstances, continually seek knowledge, and contribute positively to the evolving challenges of the world.”


Saad Ali

Yves Andradas, FCLC ’25

George and Marie Doty Founder’s Scholar

Major: Philosophy and Theology Religious Studies
Minor: Spanish Language and Literature
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

“Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic education encourages me to transform the world because it inspires me to embrace my Catholic beliefs and to move forward in my educational journey with my love for others and my love for the good.”


Yves Andradas

Jaelle Austin, GABELLI ’27

Major: Applied Accounting and Finance 
Hometown: East Orange, NJ

“I will forever be grateful to the generous Founder’s Scholarship donors who made my dream of attending Fordham University possible. As a first-generation student, there were many uncertainties that accompanied my enrollment, but the alleviation of financial strain has allowed me to dedicate more time to focusing on my education.”


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Christian Ayala, FCLC ’27

Major: Dance 
Hometown: Chicago, IL

“The Founder’s Scholarship helped me become the artist I never thought of becoming. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t experience this diverse community and rigorous training, which have become my purpose in life. Thanks to the donors’ support, my dream of becoming a professional dancer is becoming a reality.

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Helena Beasley, GABELLI ’25

Major: Global Business (Concentration in Global Marketing with Consumer Insights)
Minor: German
Hometown: Madison, CT

“I would like to express my utmost gratitude for the Founder’s Scholarship. Knowing that there are people within the Fordham community still dedicated to giving back motivates me both inside and outside the classroom, with the hope to become successful so I can do the same for future Founder’s students.”

Helena Beasley

Iohnic Bell, FCRH ’27

Major: Environmental Science (Pre-Health Track)
Hometown: Kingwood, TX

“I’ve experienced cura personalis within the different organizations that have invited me with open arms. In ROTC, I’ve been thankful to train for my future Army career with students who have my back, and on the Fordham cheer team, we  accept each other for who we are and always show support in difficult situations. Jesuit values has shown me how a proactive community interacts.”


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Michael Bellia, GABELLI ’25

Major: Finance
Minor: Business Law and Ethics
Hometown: Wantagh, NY

“It is good to know that people around you care about your success and mission. In many cases, it is people I have never met who have provided me with a really incredible chance to pursue my own goals and find a purpose. I would hope one day to be the provider of that opportunity for others.”

Michael Bellia

Nikolas Bendis, GABELLI ’27

Major: Marketing
Minor: Global Business
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

I am incredibly grateful to the donors for providing me the chance to ‘go forth and set the world on fire’ with my access to Fordham higher education. In my family’s mother tongue, I say ‘благодарю,’ which translates to a more significant way to say thank you with extreme gratitude.”


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Katelyn Castillo, FCRH ’24

Major: Economics
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Cura personalis impacts my Fordham experience and my life as a whole as I now take time to take care of myself, ensure that I take care of others, and know that the community is taking care of me as well.

Katelyn Castillo

David Cepeda, FCRH ’25

Major: Biological Sciences (Pre-Health Track)
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Cura personalis is the consideration of the whole person in reflection of how we should care about them. It impacts the Fordham experience because we actually know how to approach and communicate with people on campus.”

David Cepeda

Benjamin Coco, FCRH ’24

Majors: English (Concentration in Creative Writing) and Physics
Minors: Engineering Physics and Mathematics
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

“In the hearts of so many young people is a burning fire of ambition that is stoked by the dream of success and making the most in their lives. By making higher education opportunities more accessible to more Fordham students, you are turning people’s life stories from “could’ve been, would’ve been, and should’ve been” to stories of will.

Benjamin Coco

Rebecca Cortes, FCLC ’26

Major: Humanitarian Studies (Pre-Law Track)
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Butler, NJ

“I would like to formally and sincerely thank the Founder’s Scholarship donors for impacting the lives and professional careers of students in the Fordham community. I have the financial freedom to attend a University that has fostered my ambitions for law, advocacy, and the humanities, which has made my time at Fordham significantly less stressful, and has granted me the network and opportunities that will fuel my eventual career.”

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Gabrielle da Rocha-Afodu, GABELLI ’24

Major: Global Business (Concentration in Global Marketing with Consumer Insights)
Minor: Fashion Studies
Hometown: London, United Kingdom

“The last four years at Fordham have been very insightful and full of opportunities that I would not have access to without your generosity and this program. As I head to graduation, I will continue to maximize the opportunities that arise and will always remain grateful for this experience.”

Gabrielle da Rocha-Afodu, GABELLI ’24

Dillon Delatorre, GABELLI ’25

Major: Applied Accounting and Finance
Hometown: Bronx, NY

I want to express my deepest gratitude for your generosity. You have inspired me to be successful so I too can become a donor and give back to the school that gave me my future. I cannot express how grateful I am for what you have done for me. I promise you that I will do my absolute best to make sure every penny spent on the Founder’s Scholarship will not be wasted.


Dillon Delatorre

Andres Christian Diaz, FCRH ’25

Major: Political Science
Minor: Marketing
Hometown: Burlingame, CA

“As a Catholic, and a student, I find encouragement in Fordham’s dynamic and meaningful approach to issues both in the school community and also in the Bronx area. I have been inspired by members of Campus Ministry, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and other groups who have translated impactful messaging to action in the community, and because their work is often joyful and intimate, I feel moved to be able to do the same.”


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Adriana Duran, FCRH 26

Major: Psychology
Minors: Marketing
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Thank you for contributing to my continuing career path. I have always perceived college to be an opportunity that opens so many doors in the academic world and beyond, and it has always been a dream of mine to be the first in my family to graduate college as a way to set an example for my sister and other family members in the Dominican Republic.

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Lesley East, FCRH ’24

Major: International Studies (Concentration in Global Affairs and Pre-Law Track)
Minor: Peace and Justice Studies
Hometown: Palm Beach, FL

“Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic education instills in me a profound sense of social responsibility and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. It emphasizes the importance of service, justice, and ethics in all aspects of life, and inspires me to approach global issues with empathy, compassion, and a dedication to social justice, empowering me to work toward positive change in our interconnected world.”

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Olivia Evangelista, GABELLI ’26

Major: Finance 
Hometown: Rockville Centre, NY

“The connections that Fordham provides beyond the campus gates is a huge, intangible asset that I feel will be very beneficial to my future. My favorite extracurricular experience is Fordham’s chapter of Smart Women’s Securities. As an aspiring businesswoman, it is an amazing experience to be able to convene with other young women with similar aspirations and collaborate.”

Olivia Evangelista, GABELLI ’26

Ronan Fitzgerald, GABELLI ’24

Major: Public Accounting
Minor: Information Systems 
Hometown: New Hyde Park, NY

“Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic education has truly inspired me to transform the world and to be a man for others. Fordham consistently stresses the importance of community service, and giving back to our local communities and groups. These experiences have had a profound effect on my life, and I will continue to engage in community service projects after graduation.”

Ronan Fitzgerald

Sasha Gothra, FCLC ’26

Major: Undecided (Pre-Health)
Hometown: Saint Louis, MO

This scholarship has given me the financial security to focus on my academics. It also allows me the chance to explore all the opportunities that Fordham has to offer through their different internship programs, clubs, and mentors.

Sasha Gothra, FCLC ’26

Sydney Guine, FCLC ’24

Majors: Dance and Sociology
Hometown: Granada Hills, CA

“The Founder’s Scholarship has given me the opportunity to have an enriching, fulfilling, and exciting journey at Fordham. I will forever be thankful for the opportunity this scholarship provided, as I was able to move across the country to attend the school and dance program I had been dreaming about since I was 9 years old.”

Sydney Guine

Zoe Hall, FCLC ’27

Major:  Psychology
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY

The recognition and support from the Fordham Founder’s Scholarship has motivated me to make a difference in the world because it has given me the opportunity to be seen. With this, I can freely express myself and my ideas, and reach my full potential in and outside of the classroom.


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Hiba Haloui, GABELLI ’25

Major: Global Business (Concentration in Global Finance and Business Economics)
Hometown: Marrakech, Morocco

“This scholarship has allowed me to embrace the Jesuit principle of cura personalis. It has shaped my academic journey, encouraging holistic growth, academic excellence, social responsibility, and the development of valuable life skills.”

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Kylie Hansen, FCRH ’27

Major: Journalism  
Hometown: Daly City, CA

“My Fordham education and classes have given me the tools to view life in a different way. Without the support of the scholarship donors, I would not have been able to attend Fordham. My life would be so different without the help that the Fordham University has offered me.”


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Danielle Hawthorne, FCRH ’25

Major: Communication and Culture 
Media Studies
Mount Vernon, NY

“I hope to encourage and create a space where Black creatives can thrive at Fordham. I not only want to focus on academics but provide a place where we as minorities can express ourselves as well. Once I graduate, I hope to come back to Fordham and provide my own insight of my college and career journey to inspire the next generation.”

Danielle Hawthorne, FCRH ’25

Hannah Huang, GABELLI ’27

Major: Global Business
Minor: Global Finance and Business Economics
Hometown: Oakton, VA

“Fordham’s Jesuit education encourages me to transform the world by emphasizing that exploring my passions is as significant as fostering lasting, nurturing relationships. Your support through this scholarship empowers me to pursue opportunities for growth, allowing me to have better educational opportunities that I aspire to pay forward in the future.”


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Jade Jager, FCLC ’25

Major: Philosophy
Minor: Islamic Studies
Hometown: Bend, OR

“The Jesuit education pushes Fordham students to think deeply about their place in the world and how everything is globally connected. There have been courses and professors who have urged me to think critically about world issues. I have learned how to understand different perspectives, and by gaining this wisdom, I am motivated to use my privilege to better the world.” 

Jade Jager

Kayla Kerrigan, FCLC ’27

Major: Psychology (Five-Year Integrated Teaching Track) 
Hometown: Miami, FL

“I hope to contribute my time and dedication to this school while I am studying here, as well as after I graduate. Fordham is not a pit stop for me. Instead it is a place that I will always feel connected to. It is a place where I hope to grow as a person, learn from others, and help those around me.”

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Noah Khalil, GABELLI ’26

Major: Finance (Concentration in Fintech)
Minors: Computer Science 
Hometown: Caldwell, NJ

“Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic education encourages me to transform the world by instilling in me the values of social justice, service, and ethical leadership. It emphasizes the importance of using knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on society, fostering a deep sense of responsibility to contribute to a better world.”

Noah Khalil, GABELLI ’26

Salome Kufuor, GABELLI ’26

Major: Global Business (Concentration in Global Finance and Business Economics) 
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

“As I embarked on my academic journey at Fordham, I found myself not just on a campus but in the heart of a global metropolis. The University’s strong academic reputation, diverse community, and opportunities for research and learning have further reinforced my belief that Fordham is the place where I can truly nurture my passion for exploration.”

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Grace Maietta, GABELLI ’24

Major: Marketing (Concentration in Strategic Branding)
Minor: Film and Television
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL

“This scholarship gave me the chance to attend the school that was meant for me. It has allowed me to explore everything New York City has to offer and has gifted me some of the closest friends I have ever made and deep personal connections that I will cherish for a lifetime. It has allowed me to foster my passions for media and entertainment and make an impact on this campus.”

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Wes Manginsay, FCLC ’24

Major: Economics (Concentration in Business Economics)
Minor: Music
Hometown: Pasadena, CA

I want to represent Fordham in a way that shows gratitude to the role the school has played in my development. Any success I see in the world and workspace will be due to the education and resources I adopted from Fordham, so giving back however I can when the moment comes will be welcomed by me.”

Wes Manginsay, FCLC ’24

Mikiyass Mulugeta, FCLC ’27

Major: Film and Television
Hometown: Washington, DC

This recognition and support from the Fordham Founder's Scholarship has motivated me to make a difference in the world because it has made me feel seen, understood, and important. It has given me the extra boost to want to try harder in my classes and my art because I have a better sense of belonging but it has also made me want to return the favor for others in need because I'm beyond grateful for this and it has helped me immensely.


Ayoub Moussaddek, FCRH ’26

Major: Biological Studies 
Hometown: Bronx, NY

The concept of cura personalis has impacted me in several ways. First and foremost, it has helped me to understand that my education is not just about gaining knowledge and skills, but also about developing as a person. This has encouraged me to take advantage of the wide range of resources and opportunities available at Fordham to support my personal growth and well-being.

Ayoub Moussaddek, FCRH ’26

Yaahdir N. Nash, GABELLI ’27

Major: Business Administration
Minor: Finance
Hometown: Gilbertsville, PA

"I want to secure connections and opportunities for others and be part of as many people’s success stories as possible. Beyond Fordham, I hope to raise as many people up as possible, from helping a person smile from a conversation, to helping my family members start businesses. I just want to be part of as many people’s success stories as possible."

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Abigail Joy Nguyen, FCLC ’24 

Majors: Dance and Psychology
Hometown: Oakland, CA

“Thank you to the Founder’s Scholarship donors! It feels almost impossible to express how much of an impact your support has had on me. I am right where I need to be, and I would not be here without you. Your generosity encourages and motivates me to become the best student, scholar, and artist I can be.”

 Abigail Joy Nguyen

Kamau Nosakhere, FCLC ’25

Major: Theatre (Performance Track), English (Creative Writing Concentration) 
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

"I have the dream, like many others, to be a professional performer. In my dream future, I am performing on the big stage, being called in for movie auditions, and a show that I have written is also in rehearsal. I am passionate about this future, in spite of the great challenge, because nothing else feels right. You have made my continued pursuit of this dream possible."

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Cade Parker, FCLC ’26

Major: Theatre (Performance Track)
Hometown: Augusta, ME

“My dreams know no bounds. A friend once told me that if my dreams didn’t scare me, then they weren’t big enough. Ever since then, I set my goals higher than I can imagine, and that fuels me. No matter what happens in my life, the experience and teachings I have had here at Fordham will always be behind it.”


Cade Parker

Tylese Rideout, FCRH ’25

Major: English (Pre-Law Track)
Minor: African & African American Studies
Hometown: Edgewater, NJ

"Thank you so much for providing the opportunity for students to learn how to think. It is a blessing that is truly immeasurable, and one of the only things that can never be taken away. I will always be grateful.”

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Guillermo Rivera-Prieto, GABELLI ’26

Major: Finance (Concentration in Alternative Investments) 
Hometown: Guaynabo, PR

“Fordham has provided me with magnificent opportunities that allow me to obtain an excellent education complemented by real-world skills. I plan to give back to Fordham and the community by helping others expand their financial literacy and, when I am able to do so, enabling others to break into their dream careers in the financial services world, especially those like me with historically underrepresented backgrounds and identities. ”

Guillermo Rivera-Prieto, GABELLI ’26

Joshua Screen, FCLC ’24

Major: Theatre (Performance Track)
Hometown: New York, NY

“I chose to attend Fordham because it felt like there was such a close community and that they truly care about their students. As a student, I feel like there is a lot of care and kindness throughout the Fordham campus. I look forward to giving back and making Fordham and its donors proud.”

 Joshua Screen

Brendan Sheeran, FCRH ’26

Major: International Political Economy 
Hometown: Worcester, MA

"Cura personalis impacts my experience at Fordham greatly. I have participated in Urban Plunge for the last two years, a community engagement pre-orientation program at Fordham, learning about the Bronx and how we can make a positive impact against injustices in New York City. We are privileged to attend such an amazing university, and it is our responsibility to give back to those in need."

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Erick Tetecatl, GABELLI ’24

Major: Business Administration (Concentration in Accounting) 
Hometown: Corona, NY

“The Fordham Founder’s Scholarship has motivated me to want to do my part in making higher education accessible. I know that my Fordham education will give me the opportunity to give back to scholarships such as this one. The tremendous amount of help I have received from this scholarship makes me want to do the same for the generations after me.”

Erick Tetecatl, GABELLI ’24

Menzel Thomas, FCRH ’27

Major: Marketing
Minor: Creative Writing
Hometown: Lakewood, NJ

Receiving the Founder’s Scholarship has motivated me by making me feel worthy of the dreams I was chasing. The scholarship served as a permission slip for my aspirations and the changes I would like to make in this world.

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Joshua Valdez, FCRH ’24

Major: Digital Technologies and Emerging Media 
Minor: Marketing
Hometown: Bronx, NY

“Thank you to the Founder’s Scholarship donors for creating so many opportunities for more students to have the Fordham experience. It’s important to make higher education accessible to more, and future, Fordham students because it creates more opportunities for people to advance their learning at a top-tier university, and the opportunity for new faces and new ideas to take over the professional world.”

 Joshua Valdez, FCRH ’24

Inna Volovich, FCRH ’26

Major: International Political Economy 
Minors: Music and Russian 
Hometown: Portsmouth, NH

“I’m grateful for this opportunity every time I get to participate in events, activities, and classes. Being in the city is also such a great advantage as an international political economy major, and I’m so thankful to be able to enjoy the benefits of that as a student now and as a graduate in the future.”

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