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Ann Powell, 646-894-6407 

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The Third Cohort of Rales Scholars Will Receive $40,000 Scholarships and Access to Nationally Recognized Ron Brown Scholar Program

New York, NY, May 10, 2023 — A Brooklyn chess prodigy heading to Harvard, a track star and student leader from the Bronx matriculating at Williams College, and a dual citizen with a passion for music and mathematics enrolling at the Rochester Institute of Technology are a small sample of the 18 accomplished seniors at Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts–Manhattan who have been selected as Rales Scholars, the third cohort to be welcomed into the SA Ruth and Norman Rales Scholars Program. 

Each Rales Scholar will receive a $40,000 scholarship over four years of college. More importantly, they will have access to nationally recognized mentors, leadership programming, and career development. This access is made possible through a partnership with the Ron Brown Scholar Program, which was established in 1996 in memory of the first African American U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Ron Brown Scholar Program brings 25 years of experience in college access and persistence.

“We’re delighted to join the Rales Foundation and Success Academy in helping these deserving young people reach their dreams,” said Ron Brown Scholar Program President and CEO Michael Mallory. “We look forward to helping SA scholars nurture their passion and talent, and cannot wait to see what they accomplish!”

“Our hope is that these young men and women will seize upon the opportunities available to them as they move through their lives to become great leaders who exemplify the virtues of hard work, humility, and kindness,” said Josh Rales, Rales Foundation President & Trustee. “As we congratulate the new SA Rales Scholars, we also hope that they will in turn find opportunities to give back, in keeping with the values of my parents, Ruth and Norman, who established the Rales Foundation.”

Despite the challenges of pandemic remote learning during their high school years, the 18 Rales Scholars excelled. With an average grade point average of 3.8, each scholar tackled on average six Advanced Placement courses and rigorous dual enrollment courses at prestigious schools including Columbia University, New York University, and Georgia Tech University. 

On top of their outstanding academic achievements, they also made time to improve their communities, tutoring and mentoring younger students and volunteering at soup kitchens, food banks, youth organizations, and hospitals. The Rales Scholars are leaders who pursued passions in dance, STEM, photography, chess, business, music, and robotics, and founding student organizations supporting equality and community, clubs that ensure their legacy endures at HSLA Manhattan beyond graduation. 

This fall, they will leave their homes in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Harlem and head to some of the country’s most selective colleges and universities to pursue careers in business, computer science, medicine, and social justice. 

“The Rales Foundation’s generosity will help ensure a new generation of leaders will thrive in  college and beyond,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “Each of these young men and women have demonstrated remarkable grit and determination, taking multiple AP courses, pursuing their passions and developing their talents, and giving back to their communities. We are so excited to see what they will accomplish in this next chapter of their lives.”

Committed to supporting up to 125 SA Rales Scholars over a five-year period, the Rales Foundation shares Success Academy’s belief that kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds can achieve excellence and reach their full potential when they have access to the life-changing opportunities of a superb education. At a time when school districts across the country are lowering standards and eliminating Advanced Placement courses, Success Academy is forging ahead with a rigorous K-12 school model that both supports and expects high academic achievement. Enrolling approximately 20,000 students — 94% are children of color and 78% low-income — Success Academy is the fifth largest school district in New York and among the highest performing. Success Academy is a non-selective school where students are admitted in elementary school via random lottery. 

Through the partnership, Success Academy’s High School and College Access and Preparedness team also receives advisory support for the Rales Scholars Program, as well as access to Ron Brown’s exclusive online platform for college application assistance for all eligible SA high school students. As part of their commitment to the program, SA Rales Scholars will actively participate in SA alumni events as mentors, speakers, and leaders, offering guidance and inspiration to future younger students.   

The cohort of SA Ruth and Norman Rales Scholars Program (their bios can be found here):

  • Rabiat Ahmed (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Alexander Arriaga (CUNY Baruch College)
  • Max Crespo-Ruiz (Northeastern University)
  • Awa Diop (Colgate University)
  • Brianna Edwards (Tufts University)
  • Hamlet Espinal (Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • Skye Flores (Duke University)
  • Ilham Idriss (Tufts University)
  • Geah Jean Baptiste (Harvard University)
  • Tasnim Moumouni (undecided)
  • Abdoul Ndiongue (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Chelsea Nti (Tufts University)
  • Janell Prince (Northeastern University)
  • Sekou Samassi (Northeastern University)
  • Amadou Seybou (Northeastern University)
  • Muniratu Tawfiq (Williams College)
  • Khadydiatou Thiam (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Fatoumata Toure (Brown University)


The Norman R. Rales and Ruth Rales Foundation is dedicated to supporting children and families facing hardship by creating opportunities for them to realize life’s potential. Norman and Ruth Rales began their lives under humble circumstances. Norman was raised in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Harlem during the Great Depression. The lessons he learned there nurtured a lifelong desire to assist others in need, while brightening the days of the many he touched. Ruth was raised in Pittsburgh by parents who had fled persecution in Eastern Europe. From an early age she was taught the value of hard work, generosity and creativity. Ruth and Norman married in 1948 and together they built a brilliant life filled with family, friends, community, work and giving to others. Unable to attend college themselves, Ruth and Norman believed deeply in the importance of an excellent education for all children, regardless of circumstance. Throughout their lives, they dedicated themselves to helping others in need. Their spirit of giving and values live on through the work of the Rales Foundation.


The Ron Brown Scholar Fund is a 501(c)3 public charity. Named for the late Secretary of Commerce and inspired by his dedication to public service, the Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in 1996 to advance the collective impact of extraordinary service–minded African American leaders.  The value of the scholarship is far more than the $40,000.00 awarded for college; in addition to these funds, each Scholar has the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities, regional meetings and conferences, and receives mentoring. Since the Program was founded in 1996, more than $25 million has been raised to support students who have received generous scholarships to America’s finest colleges and universities. For more information on the Ron Brown Scholar Program, visit   

About Success Academy 

Since its founding in 2006, Success Academy has created the highest-performing public school district in New York state, and a national model of access to excellence for children across all demographics. We currently enroll over 20,000 children in our 49 elementary, middle, and high schools. The majority of Success Academy scholars are children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods, admitted through a random public lottery. Our distinctive K-12 approach, designed as a holistic thirteen-year educational trajectory, leads to student outcomes that outpace even those in affluent suburban schools. To date, 100% of SA’s graduates have been accepted to college, many to highly selective institutions. Most are the first in their families to have the opportunity for higher education. We regularly share our groundbreaking curriculum and methods with educators and school leaders across the country. By scaling excellence and reigniting the civic mission of education, Success Academy is leading a movement to reinvent public education. All children can thrive and achieve in school, in college, and in life — Success Academy students and teachers prove it every day.

For more information about Success Academy, go to

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