2 Boys & Girls Village clients will be able to attend UB, free

Boys & Girls Village (BGV), which provides mental health treatment and educational services to Connecticut’s most vulnerable youth and their families, has received a generous gift: Two scholarships will provide two BGV clients with the opportunity to receive a free, four-year education from the University of Bridgeport.

The donor, who has asked to remain anonymous, wished to make a gift that will have a “transformational impact” for BGV’s youth.

The gift of the Boys & Girls Village Scholarships at the University of Bridgeport coincides with the expanded educational offerings at BGV’s Charles F. Hayden School, which currently enrolls approximately 90 students from 30 Connecticut communities. The school offers special education programs for K through 11th grade, and a 12th grade curriculum will be added next school year.

“These generous scholarships will open doors for BGV clients who may not otherwise be able to consider the possibility of attending college,” said Dr. Steven M. Kant, BGV’s President and CEO. “Connecticut has one of the largest academic achievement gaps in the country, and this gift of higher education is a wonderful opportunity to bridge that divide for some of our most vulnerable youth.”

BGV provides specialized behavioral health services to youth and their families where often there is extensive history of trauma, significant emotional instability, and struggle with life in impoverished inner city settings.

Prospective scholarship recipients will have to meet the University of Bridgeport’s academic standards and be a current or former BGV client in order to be eligible.

“The University of Bridgeport has a long history of transforming students’ lives through education. Now, thanks to the generosity of one of our alumni, UB is excited and proud to continue this tradition by partnering with Boys & Girls Village to help deserving students achieve the dream of a university education,” said UB President Neil A. Salonen. “We look forward to welcoming these students to campus. They will be guided by award-winning faculty and encouraged to immerse themselves among abundant academic, social, and cultural resources that can transform their futures.”

The two scholarships provide full tuition for four years of either undergraduate or graduate study. BGV will be creating a scholarship committee and determining selection criteria.

“We are so grateful that the donor had the foresight to provide an invaluable gift, a gift of learning and education,” said BGV Board Vice Chairman Joseph Tramuta, who helped to secure the gift. “This contribution truly gives students an extraordinary opportunity to earn countless benefits over their lifetimes.”