The Andrew Golkin Memorial Scholarship Fund (AGMSF) at SEO was started in memory of Andrew Golkin by his friends and family who lost him on September 11th.
Our first 19 years have been incredibly successful. The Golkin Fund helps to support a number of highly motivated yet underserved students that have overcome the odds by graduating from a NYC public high school and working hard to excel at college.
First and foremost, to understand how we arrived at this particular scholarship idea, you must first understand Andrew, Andy to some, Go-Go to many others. Andrew was a fighter who overcame certain odds as a child. He started out afraid to go to sleep away camp, yet wound up a world traveler. He began life with a learning disability; he ended with a B.S. from Hobart College and as a 30-year old Vice President at Cantor Fitzgerald.
He was a true champion for the underdog and was incapable of passing by someone in trouble, friend or stranger, without reaching out to help. In fact, Andrew was someone who never met a stranger; he or she was just a friend he hadn’t yet met.
He was a native New Yorker, in love with New York. He was born here, grew up here, worked here and started his adult life here.
He was a kind, genuine, creative, bright, loving person. And he is someone who deserves to be remembered.
And it is because of all of this that we have arrived at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). In 2001 we created the fund with the help of SEO, an organization that has made extraordinary achievements in education in New York for nearly 50 years. It is with their help that we selected our first four “Andrew Golkin Scholars” who are participants of the SEO Scholars Program – a rigorous program of Saturday, after-school and summer programming that helps students from New York City public schools excel in high school, gain admission to and graduate from top colleges and establish successful careers.
Our first 11 years have been an incredible success and we are proud to announce that four more of our students have graduated from high school and gone off to DePauw University, Muhlenberg College, and Syracuse University. They join our 10 students currently attending college as the fund continues to support these exceptional students throughout this phase of their academic careers. The scholarships they receive through the Golkin Fund help pay for tuition, books, transportation and other expenses that they must incur as they work toward their degrees.
Thanks to SEO, the Andrew Golkin Memorial Scholarship Fund has no administrative expenses to date so that 100% of every dollar raised has gone directly toward helping our students.
We truly cannot think of a more worthy cause to honor our friend’s memory.
Without a doubt, the heart and soul of the Andrew Golkin Memorial Scholarship Fund is the Scholars themselves. We are unbelievably fortunate to have assembled an incredibly inspired and inspiring group of individuals to represent Andrew’s memory.
We are immensely proud of all 22 students who have been awarded Andrew Golkin Scholarships over the last eight years. To date, 10 Scholars have graduated from college and gone on to rewarding careers and we currently have 5 college graduates and 14 students attending colleges across the country. We hope you enjoy getting to know our students!
My name is Afsana and I am writing to you to express my condolences for the passing of your son. Although I did not have the opportunity to meet him, I ’m certain that he was a kind and talented person! I may know what you’re going through as a few months ago I lost my father while he was in another country and I was here in New York City. Going through loss is extremely difficult but I know your son is out there proud of you for starting this scholarship program. The program has helped countless of scholars to succeed and become the best version of themselves. I, along with all of the other recipients of the scholarship, are standing beside you and honoring your son. If you ever want to discuss any of your thoughts with me please know that I am more than happy to hear them and support you!
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for everything that you do for College Scholars like myself. You have helped me realize that achieving my dreams is possible and I am truly grateful for it. I would like to send my condolences for the loss of your son Andrew. Even though I didn’t know him personally, I am sure he was a good man that truly loved you. Thank you for keeping his memory alive through students like me.
I’m writing this letter to you in appreciation of the scholarship you’ve started in remembrance of your son. His legacy lives on through the many lives that are positively impacted through this foundation. Although I did not personally know Andrew, I know he would have been happy to help students build and maintain their dreams to improve our country and be the change we want to see in the world. My condolences for his passing in the 9/11 attacks and I extend warmth, peace, and love to your family and mainly to you for being a courageous woman by starting a legacy in honor of your son. As the years go by, his legacy will continue to grow in greatness and honor.
I am truly honored to be a recipient of a scholarship through the Andrew Golkin Memorial Fund. Andrew’s unwavering determination and compassion still lives through his story. Andrew’s legacy will truly help many people and future generations. I admire his accomplishments and am thankful for this fund which allows his legacy to live on.
I am sorry for the loss of your son and the many others that lost loved ones during that horrific day of 9/11. I offer my sincere condolences to you. I am glad that out of this horrible tragedy you decided to help New York City’s youth by providing education scholarships. I can’t say enough how much it helps me and the many others who really need the funding. This past summer, your scholarship helped provide monetary assistance for public transportation so I could travel to my summer internship at Arcadia Investments.
I wanted to express my condolences for the loss of your son. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am extremely grateful for your continued support over these past years. You have truly assisted in making my journey at Georgetown a manageable and enjoyable experience.
My name is Darla, a current junior, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Legal Studies at the University of San Francisco (USF). I have enjoyed my experience at USF thus far, but I am really looking forward to studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa this spring semester. This past year, I have focused on taking as many major classes as possible. Last semester, I took a class called Environmental Justice. This class not only enhanced my passion for change, but also sparked the idea of law school in my future. This semester, I will be doing an independent study revolving around people of color in the environmental field and movement. I can truly say I am excited to start this new academic year. If it wasn’t for this scholarship, I would not be at USF, I would not be studying abroad, and I would have never thought about law school. This scholarship has helped me widen my perspective of life and the environmental field by being able to go to an amazing school like USF. I want to thank you for believing in me and many others like me. As a first generation student, without SEO and your help, I would not be where I am today and where I will be in the future. I know that this scholarship would not exist without Andrew. I hope that by you helping me, I am helping keep Andrew’s memory and legacy alive.
I want to thank you for all the support when it comes to paying for school. I would not be here months away from graduating if it wasn’t for your contribution. My name is David Alonso, a rising senior at Washington & Jefferson College. I am a double major in Spanish and International Studies, with a minor in Sociology, and a concentration in Conflict Resolution Studies. I am proud of many accomplishments during this past year, but there is one thing I would like to share. I will be graduating in May 2019 and I will be commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. I have dedicated 3 years, going on 4, of training to be an officer in order to give back to others like you have done. Thank you for inspiring me to give back in a different way, by serving my country. I offer you my sincere condolences regarding Andrew’s passing. He would surely be proud of what you have done for many other students like me, and I am certain he is proud of us too. Once again thank you for all that you have done, and I hope to one day get the chance to meet you.
My name is Davina and I recently graduated from Binghamton University. I would like to send my condolences to you and your family on the anniversary of your son’s passing. You have kept his name alive and his legacy is strong. I thank you for your benevolence that has granted me the access to further my goals in education. I am currently teaching middle school students with Uncommon Schools and attending Relay Graduate School of Education. The scholarship afforded me the opportunity to cover the expenses for my exams to become a teacher in New York State. It has also helped me to pay my living expenses because I live on my own.
My name is Daisy and I am a rising second-year at Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia. I am majoring in African-American Studies and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Emory has been a great fit for me so far and Atlanta is one of the greatest cities to live in. This past summer I was an intern for a direct trade spice company, Burlap & Barrel, which partners with farmers across the world to bring the freshest, healthiest spices to the U.S. My responsibilities included marketing campaign projects, building partnerships, and fulfilling orders on Shopify.
For the past year the scholarship has helped me to pay for books, school supplies, and additional fees from school. I was able to obtain all the materials and supplies necessary for my first year of college. I would like to thank you for your constant support and help. Your organization is helping many students like me who want to succeed in college and eventually in the workforce. Andrew would be very proud of the work you are doing to honor his memory.
My name is Charlotte and I’m proud to report that I graduated this year from Clark University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Currently, I am a Fellow in SEO’s Development Department. I am also applying to post-baccalaureate programs to prepare me for medical school. My family and I cannot express our gratitude for your support these past four years. Throughout my time at Clark University, I have been on financial probation multiple times, but your financial support allowed me to stay in school and gave me the peace of mind I needed to focus on my classes. Your investment made me believe that others believed in my goal of becoming a doctor – something I will never forget.
I know that there are not enough words that can ever ease the pain of losing your son even after all these years, but I want you to know that your scholarship opened new opportunities for me and put me one step closer to fulfilling my goals. Your unending support gave me an extra amount of courage and encouragement to face the challenges, uncertainties and anxieties in my education and I hope that my gratitude will do the same for you.
Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) is, in theory, our parent organization. They have been so much more by providing us with the resources, support and training for us to be up and running within just a few months of the fund’s inception. Due to SEO’s commitment to be the administrative backbone for the Andrew Golkin Memorial Scholarship Fund, 100% of all donations go directly towards services and scholarships for the scholars. We could not have achieved what we have without them.
Our corporate friends have been incredibly generous throughout the past eight years. They have made significant donations that have allowed us to amass a fund that significantly increases the services and resources that are available to our students. Key sponsors, past and present, include: Bacardi International, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Variety: The Children’s Charity and Diane Von Furstenberg, who has graciously donated the use of her space for our silent auction fundraisers over the past few years.
Our friends, old and new, continue to offer tremendous support in time, products and encouragement. Over the past eight years you have offered a diverse group of products for our silent auction ranging from tickets to movie premieres to exotic vacation getaways to high end fashions from the leading design houses. Some of the items made available to us have been from the following supporters: