On March 15, Brooklyn native and Pacific High School graduate Basil Lloyd Anderson was among five students who were awarded the prestigious honor.
The Rainbow Push Scholarship has helped enrich the lives of 49 students with more than $235,000 in funding since the program began in 2004.
“It felt really good to know that I was being rewarded for my hard work,” Anderson said. “I was extremely excited.”
Anderson is now a freshman at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va. where he studies accounting. His plans for the future include attaining a graduate degree and eventually starting his own business.
“This scholarship will allow me to continue to fulfill my dreams,” he said.
This financial award was created to honor New York Life’s first African American agent, Cirilo McSween, who passed away in 2008. He was a member of the Rainbow PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) Coalition’s Board of Directors and civil rights activist who worked closely with the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.
Eugene Mitchell, corporate vice president and African-American market manager for New York Life, said he is proud of Anderson’s accomplishments and fully embodies the award he represents.
“These students are carrying on in Mr. McSween’s footsteps by incorporating the same values that he lived and breathed: determination, solid moral principles, academic aspiration, honesty and humanity,” Mitchell said. “We congratulate them on getting here today and wish them continued success.”
He added that success seems to be the only thing in Anderson’s future.
According to the excited scholarship recipient, the PUSH scholarship has allowed him to pursue a higher education and has also served as a “motivation to continue to work hard.”