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Laura Wilker, 332-895-2237
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Ann Powell, 646-894-6407
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Scholarships Funded by the Rales Foundation Boost Equity and Access

New York, NY, May 9, 2022 — Nineteen seniors at Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts–Manhattan have been selected as Rales Scholars, the second 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.

Despite the challenges of pandemic remote learning over half of their high school years, the 19 Rales Scholars excelled. With an average SAT score above 1300, each scholar tackled an average of five AP courses and completed pre-engineering and pre-med courses. They also found time to volunteer in soup kitchens and food banks, launch a tutoring program for younger scholars, and participate in school government, dance competitions, chess, theater and musical performances. This fall they will leave their homes in the Bronx and Harlem and head to some of the country’s most selective colleges and universities to pursue careers in biomedical engineering, chemistry, computer science, and the performing arts. 

“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!”

“We are so grateful to the Rales Foundation for creating a program that puts the American dream squarely within reach of young adults who have worked hard and demonstrated the leadership, drive, and community service that our country needs,” said SA founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz.  

“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.”

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 20,000 students — 94% are children of color and 78% low-income — Success Academy is the fifth largest school district in New York and the highest performing.

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):

  • Bridget Acquaye, Northeastern University
  • Wuraola Adetola, Brown University 
  • Cheyenne Boateng, Yale University
  • Andrew Breton, Washington University In St. Louis 
  • Banel Cisse, Boston University
  • Alvaro Crawford, Northeastern University
  • Oumou Diallo, Boston University
  • Yasmin Hodges, University of Virginia 
  • Cana Iinuma, University of Southern California 
  • Sneha Johnson, Rice University
  • Laisha Koon Perez, Smith College
  • Emily Mendez, Emory University
  • Hashon Milton, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Kelly Muñoz, Barnard College
  • Fervelyn Nunez, Swarthmore College
  • Emely Elise Polanco, Haverford College
  • Chyna Schulyer, Spelman College
  • Alexa Torres, Brown University 
  • Charlize Veras, Haverford College



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


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 47 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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