Founder's Scholars

The Fordham Founder’s Undergraduate Scholarship Fund helps Fordham advance its goals and mission of recruiting more underrepresented 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: Theatre (Performance Track)
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

“The Fordham Family means a home away from home. Even within my first year, I found myself connecting with alumni who are working artists in theatre in New York. I felt immediately welcomed by my program and my professors, and I was supported every step of the way.”

Isabella Acuña

Maya Acuna-Taylor, FCLC ’26

Major: Dance 
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

“The Fordham Family is an encouraging community that seeks to make a difference both within and outside of Fordham. Fordham students constantly create activities and events to establish strong campus connections and friendships. Fordham’s aim to build a strong community is clear, and it is uplifting as a student to know that my campus is invested in providing me with a home away from home.”

 

Maya Acuna-Taylor

Saad Ali, FCRH ’24

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

“One of the great things about Fordham is the support structure for students. Guidance and counseling is always available. Mentors are always available. Other students are always there to help. This culture of support is one of the things that makes me love Fordham. I hope to help maintain this culture for the rest of my time here and after I graduate.”

Saad Ali

Barera Ajaz, FCRH ’26

Major: Biological Sciences 
Minor: Mathematics
Hometown: Scarsdale, NY

“Now that time has passed, I’ve become more mature. With the help of my community at Fordham, I have realized that I am not simply Pakistani, American, Malaysian, or Singaporean; I am all of them. I am the bah kut teh and laksa my teachers would feed us.”

Barera Ajaz, FCRH ’26

Yves Andradas, FCLC ’25

Major: Philosophy
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

“The Founder’s Scholarship has given me the opportunity to pursue my studies without the burden of keeping up with my tuition, which is especially helpful considering the expenses that come with commuting. I appreciate the impact that the Founder’s Scholarship donors have had on my college experience.”

Yves Andradas

Emily Anema, FCRH ’26

Major: Engineering Physics
Hometown: Denver, CO

“When I first found out about the Founder’s Scholarship, I felt a deep sense of appreciation to Fordham for granting [it to] me. I am also incredibly grateful to the donors of this scholarship for their generosity and support. Their investment in my education will have a profound and lasting impact on my life. I am honored to be the recipient of this scholarship and am committed to making the most of this opportunity. I will work hard to achieve my goals and make the donors proud.”

 

Emily Anema, FCRH ’26

Helena Beasley, GABELLI ’25

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

“I would like to express my utmost gratitude for the scholarship I have received. Knowing that there are people within the Fordham community still dedicated to giving back motivates me both inside and outside the classroom with the hopes to become successful so I can do the same for future classes at Fordham.”

 

Helena Beasley

Michael Bellia, GABELLI ’25

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

“The Founder’s Scholarship has benefited me immensely. My family knew college tuition would be a major financial burden, and I understood since my early days of high school that scholarship would be essential if I wanted to attend a good university. I am so grateful that I received such a generous gift, and it has helped to lift a major burden off the shoulders of my parents and me.”

 

Michael Bellia

Jacob Brozon, GABELLI ’23

Major: Finance
Minor: Anthropology
Hometown: Caldwell, NJ

“I would like [the Founder’s Scholarship donors] to know that without their support, many Fordham students would not be able to better themselves holistically. Fordham provides students with so many opportunities and resources to become the best version of themselves academically, athletically, professionally, and spiritually.”

 

Jacob Brozon, GABELLI ’23

Katelyn Castillo, FCRH ’24

Major: Economics
Hometown: Bronx, NY

“Both my family and I are beyond grateful for the Fordham Founder’s Scholarship. The scholarship encouraged me even more to focus on attaining my goals and dreams, which I know can be made possible at Fordham. The Founder’s Scholarship continues to push me to work hard and do all things to the best of my abilities.”

 

Katelyn Castillo

David Cepeda, FCRH ’25

Major: Biological Sciences with a 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 ’23

Majors: English and Physics with a Concentration in Creative Writing
Minor: Mathematics
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

“It gives me great joy to know that money is being raised with the purpose of supporting students in as many aspects of life as possible. It shows the level of care [Fordham] has for its students and that we are viewed as more than just investments—we are seen as people who have been blessed by your generosity. It motivates me even more to pursue the magis and strive for greatness in everything I do.”

Benjamin Coco

Rebecca Cortes, FCLC ’26

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

“The Fordham Family to me is a community in which not only my career aspirations can bloom, but my mind and heart in general can be touched and impacted by the well-rounded and diverse people around me.”

Rebecca Cortes

Gabrielle da Rocha-Afodu, GABELLI ’24

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

“I think our donors have a hand in everything we accomplish at Fordham. Their presence encourages us as a community to continue to put effort into everything we do. Having access to the right facilities, services, and resources increases our desire to do better for both ourselves and our community.”

 

Gabrielle da Rocha-Afodu, GABELLI ’24

Dillon Delatorre, GABELLI ’25

Major: Finance
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Cura personalis means care for the whole person. This means to take care of your whole self but also the people around you as well. Knowing I am a part of a community of people who care not only for their whole self, but also my whole self is very comforting and allows me to reach my full potential in classes.”

Dillon Delatorre

Victor Done Jr., FCRH ’23

Major: English 
Hometown: Bronx, NY 

“I have learned so many things academically here at Fordham that have also affected my beliefs as a person and how I view the world. I think it’s especially interesting that it seems like most of [the things] I’m learning end up being connected to one another even if it isn’t apparent at first.”

 

Victor Done Jr., FCRH ’23

Jenna Dyer, FCLC ’23

Major: Anthropology
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

“The Founder’s Scholarship made it possible for me to afford college—and as I move away from my undergraduate education and into my career, I hope to give back to Fordham to help more students the way I was helped.”

 

Jenna Dyer

Lesley East, FCRH ’24

Major: International Studies
Minors: Peace and Justice Studies
Hometown: Palm Beach, FL

“Fordham is known for its emphasis on creating a well-rounded education. The curriculum pushes you to not only be a better student at Fordham, but to be a better student of the world. When you leave the walls of Fordham, you are leaving more equipped for the workforce, but also a better person. The careful creation of the curriculum at Fordham could not be replicated at another school.”

 

Lesley East

Olivia Evangelista, GABELLI ’26

Major: Finance 
Hometown: Rockville Centre, NY

“As a recipient of this scholarship, I am compelled to give back to the Fordham community and others in general. I am privileged enough to live in New York in an area as vibrant as the Bronx. Community service has quickly become a fulfilling and integral part of my life as a Fordham student and Bronx resident.”

Olivia Evangelista, GABELLI ’26

Sharissa Fernandes, GABELLI ’23

Major: Global Business
Minor: Computer Science
Hometown: Leonia, NJ

“Through your generosity you have made available an unparalleled academic experience to not just me but many other deserving students. Thank you very much for believing in our abilities and continuing to support the cause.”

 

Sharissa Fernandes

Ronan Fitzgerald, GABELLI ’24

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

“I would like the donors to know that, thanks to their donations, they have drastically improved the student experience at Fordham University. Thanks to them, numerous students have attended the school and carried forward their generous acts to inspire change within others.”

 

Ronan Fitzgerald

Sasha Gothra, FCLC ’26

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

This scholarship has given me the financial security to home in 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

“Sometimes it’s hard to feel seen by your teachers and administrators because they have to focus on so many students. Luckily Fordham has many professors who take the time to learn about each of us and are very approachable and caring people.”

 

Sydney Guine

Romel Hakim, FCLC ’23

Major: Computer Science (Concentration in Cybersecurity) 
Hometown: Jamaica, NY

“At Fordham, my classes have encouraged me to think critically and have led me to appreciate the connections across various disciplines. I feel confident that my academic experience at Fordham has equipped me with the tools necessary to excel and succeed in my professional pursuits and beyond.”

 

Romel Hakim, FCLC ’23

Hiba Haloui, GABELLI ’25

Major: Global Business (Concentration in Global Finance and Business Economics; Pre-Law)
Hometown: Marrakech, Morocco

“Thank you, Founder’s Scholarship donors. Your impact on my academic journey goes beyond anything that I can put into words or quantify. Your donation will impact not only me but all the communities I am passionate to help in the future.”

 

Hiba Haloui

Danielle Hawthorne, FCRH ’25

Major: Communication and Culture 
Hometown: Mount Vernon, NY

"When I found out about the Founder’s Scholarship, I was immediately filled with immense gratitude. This scholarship allowed me to further pursue higher education and motivate me throughout my studies. I am excited to fully immerse myself in the Fordham community and take advantage of everything it has to offer."

 

Danielle Hawthorne, FCRH ’25

Jade Jager, FCRH ’25

Major: Philosophy
Hometown: Bend, OR

“My life changed when I found out I was granted the Founder’s Scholarship. My scholarships are the reason I am able to attend Fordham, so I felt and still feel incredibly blessed. I know this scholarship will help me succeed with my career and passions.”

 

Jade Jager

Noah Khalil, GABELLI ’26

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

“The way I would define cura personalis is attention to the needs of others. This phrase is something I truly believe and try to follow, as it follows the teachings of my religion and what I intend to do in my future. As a student and outside of school, I was taught to believe everyone is my brother and sister, and if I were in a position that wasn’t favorable, I would want to be helped as well.”

Noah Khalil, GABELLI ’26

Maurice King, FCLC ’23

Major: New Media and Digital Design
Minor: Fashion Studies
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

“I am gratefully indebted to your acts of kindness, which have allowed me to learn and evolve as a student over the past four years. Money is often a barrier to higher education, but your donations have given many students the chance to succeed on their terms. I am just one within a multitude of Fordham students who have found their way by your compassion. Thank you.”

 

Maurice King

Salome Kufuor, GABELLI ’26

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

“One of the major reasons that I attended Fordham University was because of the Jesuit education. I knew that it would teach me to become accustomed to success and growth. Being Jesuit educated is so much more than learning a certain way; it changes the way you think and act. It is something that carries over into non-academic situations, as well.”

Salome Kufor, GABELLI ’26

Matthias Lee Poy-Paxman, GABELLI ’23

Major: Global Business
Minor: Finance
Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Cura personalis emerges as a core component of my Fordham experience, as it takes what could be an ordinary academic experience at other colleges, and instead offers a deeper, more crucial development of the individual across so many facets of daily life. It leads to making better people, not solely better students.” 

Matthias Lee Poy-Paxman

Abigail Lo, FCLC ’23

George and Marie Doty Founder’s Scholar

Majors: Humanitarian Studies and Theatre (Performance Track)
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

“Without the Founder’s Scholarship, I would never have been able to attend Fordham and learn so much—both about myself and about how to make the world a little bit better than it is. Being able to graduate debt-free has been incredibly freeing, and it allows me to pursue the career paths that I wholeheartedly believe in. I’m forever grateful to the Founder’s Scholarship and the opportunities it has provided me.”

 

Abigail L

Grace Maietta, GABELLI ’24

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

“I am incredibly passionate about advancing my career to get to a place where I can advocate for other women and people of color. My goal is to one day have a seat at the table and make room for other minority individuals. I hope to use my talents to achieve a more equitable workspace in the media and entertainment industry.”

 

Grace Maietta

Wes Manginsay, FCLC ’24

Major: Economics with a Concentration in Business Economics
Minor: Music
Hometown: Pasadena, CA

“The opportunity provided by the generous Founder’s Scholarship and the chance to attend colleges in one of the best cities in the world paved the path for me to be here. There is no end to the hopes I have coming out of Fordham and New York City. I promise you, Fordham has the students who will not let your gifts go to waste.”

 

Wes Manginsay, FCLC ’24

Ayoub Moussaddek, FCRH ’26

Major: Biological Studies 
Hometown: Bronx, NY

“Your support has made a real difference in my life, and I am truly grateful for your generosity. Your investment in my education has given me the opportunity to focus on my studies and pursue my goals, and I am committed to making the most of this opportunity. Thank you again for your support of the Founder’s Scholarship.”

Ayoub Moussaddek, FCRH ’26

Abigail Joy Nguyen, FCLC ’24

Majors: Dance and Psychology
Hometown: Oakland, CA

“My goal is to be a professional dancer in a company. I also would love to combine my interest in psychology with dance through movement therapy, researching dancer mental health, and more!”

 

 Abigail Joy Nguyen

Shirley Omari-Kwarteng, FCLC ’25

Major: Political Science with a Pre-Law Track and a Concentration in Business Law and Ethics
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Toms River, NJ

“I aspire to be an attorney. I want to be the voice for those who are inaudible in society—the underrepresented. I want to change lives one individual at a time until I have helped families, communities, and eventually cities and the country.”

 Shirley Omari-Kwarteng, FCLC ’25

Cade Parker, FCLC ’26

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

“The acting program here is incredible, and the location speaks for itself. This place has all of the tools necessary for me to reach my goals. I have found community within the theatre program, and they mean almost more than anything to me.”

 

Cade Parker

Olivia Raymundo, GABELLI ’23

Major: Global Business
Minor: Marketing and Visual Arts
Hometown: Astoria, NY

“I am extremely grateful that I get the chance to be a first-generation American student thanks to this scholarship. Fordham is much more than just a school, it is a place where I learn how to be a better student, better person, better friend.”

 Olivia Raymundo

Tylese Rideout, FCRH ’25

Major: English
Minor: African and 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.”

Tylese Rideout, FCRH ’25

Guillermo Rivera-Prieto, GABELLI ’26

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

“I want to express my utmost gratitude to the Founder’s Scholarship donors for their generosity. If it were not for your determination and dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, I probably would not have been able to continue studying at Fordham next year. Your support will be remembered, as it has allowed me to focus on my academic and personal growth.”

 

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

Isaiah Shavers, FCLC ’25

Major: Computer Science
Hometown: St. Louis, MO

“When I learned I had received the Founder’s Scholarship, it genuinely felt as though someone was lifting me up so I could stand up straighter at Fordham. Your support has lifted an immense weight off my and my family’s shoulders. Thank you for changing my life.”

 

 Isaiah Shavers

Rosie Sweeney, FCRH ’23

Major: Journalism with a Pre-Law Track
Hometown: Garden City, NY

“I am exceptionally grateful for the Founder’s Scholarship donors, whose generosity has supported my time at Fordham to no end. Their support has made a huge difference in my overall student experience, and I would not be in the same position without their kindness. It is especially moving to know that the Founder’s donors are willing to put their faith in students like myself to carry on the Fordham legacy.”

 

 Rosie Sweeney

Erick Tetecatl, GABELLI ’24

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

“My family and I were ecstatic to find out I had been chosen for the Founder’s Scholarship Fund. Like many other families, the COVID-19 pandemic brought us many financial burdens to the point where my future at Fordham was in jeopardy. Thanks to this scholarship, I am more than certain I can continue my education in the place I have come to love so much.”

Erick Tetecatl, GABELLI ’24

Joshua Valdez, FCRH ’24

 

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

“Thank you, Founder’s Scholarship donors, for your support in allowing more students to be given the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious universities not only in New York, but in all of the United States.”

 

 Joshua Valdez, FCRH ’24

Inna Volovich, FCRH ’26

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

The support of the Founder’s Scholarship donors has made all the difference in my decision to come to Fordham, and I’m grateful for this opportunity every time I get to participate in the events, activities, and classes at Fordham. 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.



Inna Volovich, FCRH ’26

Samantha Wong, FCRH ’23

Major: Economics with a Pre-Law Track
Minors: Mandarin Chinese and Political Science
Hometown: Basking Ridge, NJ

“Neither of my parents went to college, and they wanted me to be able to have all the opportunities I could. The Founder’s Scholarship donors made this dream a reality. Thank you for helping me achieve not only my dream but my family’s as well.”

 

 Samantha Wong, FCRH ’23