The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 10, 2009

Abdullahi Scholarship Benefit Concert

In June 2006, METCO student Abdirauf Abdullahi graduated from Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) and within a month of graduation, he was killed near his home in the South End of Boston. On Friday evening, April 17, the first annual benefit concert for the Abdirauf Abdullahi Scholarship Fund will be held at the CCHS Auditorium.

The board of directors of the scholarship fund has several objectives. Not only will it give financial support to a METCO student graduating from CCHS, but it also aims to raise important conversations about urban violence, urban education and race relations. Board members are Danielle Laura, Charisse Gilmer and Cherisa Hernandez, CCHS graduates who have themselves benefited from scholarships and educational opportunities.

Abdirauf Abdullahi and his family had migrated from Somalia to Boston to avoid the war and violence there. Abdirauf enrolled in CCHS through the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program that enables urban students to attend suburban schools. Concord’s METCO Program Director Kim Bovell said fondly of Abdullahi, “Abby was very peaceful boy,” noting his quiet manner. He graduated with a full scholarship to the University of Charleston in Virginia, but was killed before he could attend. The new METCO scholarship was named to honor him and highlight the causes of his tragic death.

In the fall of 2008, Danielle Laura collaborated with Bovell to bring this fundraiser together at an evening event. Laura, a Concord resident, studied Social Justice and Education at New York University and graduated in 2008. There, she was awarded a grant to start a scholarship fund and highlight the METCO Program. The scholarship also has a community service piece to it. Laura, a strong advocate for METCO, hopes to develop more interest in the program. She says, “Education is not complete without diversity.”

At the April 17 fundraising event, there will be performances by Samba Tremeterra, a group acknowledged by the Cultural Minister of Brazil and Joyful Movement Plus, a community-based West African group. “Dance brings communities together,” says Laura. The first recipient of the scholarship will be announced at the event.

The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the CCHS auditorium. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $5 for kids and $50 for reserved seating and a gift bag. These can be purchased at the METCO Office at CCHS or through PayPal. All proceeds will go into the scholarship fund with the goal of creating an endowment. Donations can be made by sending email to: abdullahi.scholarshipfund@gmail.com with “Donate” in the subject heading. For more information, see www.joyfulmovement.org.


© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito