The Best Friends Foundation Awards the Randy Granovetter Memorial Scholarship to Two Washington, DC Seniors

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First two recipients each receive $1,000 scholarships

The Best Friends Foundation, an organization established in 1987 to help “at risk” teens achieve personal and educational success, today announced the first two recipients of the Randy Granovetter Memorial Scholarship. Aniya Awkard of McKinley Tech High School (who plans to use the scholarship to attend Clark Atlanta University) and Olu Fagbemi of Roosevelt High School (who plans to use the scholarship to attend Trinity University) were the first two recipients awarded scholarships on April 25th.

This new scholarship was established to honor Randy Granovetter, a pioneer in the wireless communications and technology industries, the founder of Jabra, and the first female Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Exchange. During her life, Randy was a huge supporter of the Best Friends Foundation and the principles it represented. As the CEO of Jabra, she ensured that scholarships were given to deserving students for many years. As such, the scholarship(s) will be awarded each semester to selected students who show enthusiasm and overall commitment to Best Friends and its messages, demonstrate leadership, and show academic aptitude, performance, and courage in overcoming personal adversity.

“I had great affection and regard for Randy through our years of working together in the Chapel Hill Training and Outreach Project. Randy was an exceptional teacher for children, especially those with special needs,” said Elayne Bennett, President of the Best Friends Foundation. “After Randy’s untimely passing in January, I thought her life could be remembered and honored by establishing the Randy Granovetter Memorial Scholarship to continue her passion and belief in mentoring young women. She truly was one that bridged the generation gap with millennials and influenced many other business professionals to become involved in mentoring the younger generation. I think Randy would be happy to know that young women are being helped by a scholarship in her name and that her daughter Joanna will take part in the scholarship awards.”

Each Randy Granovetter Memorial Scholarship recipient will receive up to $1,000 per semester and will continue to receive funds up to 8 semesters, if a minimum of 2.7 GPA and scholarship funding is maintained. To be eligible to apply students will:

  • Attend the Best Friends Foundation high school “Best Friends for the Best Future” after school seminar held at their high school.
  • Participate and help facilitate two “Stop the Silence, Prevent the Violence” seminars for elementary and middle school students at the National 4-H Center.
  • Complete the Best Friends Foundation scholarship application and return it to their College and Career Coordinator.

To make a donation towards this scholarship, please visit:

About Best Friends Foundation

The Best Friends Foundation was established in 1987 by Elayne Bennett. Since then, the Best Friends model has been implemented in over 150 schools in Washington, DC and across the nation. Research on the Best Friends/Best Men High School Student program has demonstrated significant reduction in risk behavior and increased positive peer relationships. In response to the current issue of adolescent violence and abusive behavior, the Best Friends Foundation has developed the Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention Seminar: Stop the Silence, Prevent the Violence.

The Best Friends Foundation was a recipient of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy Marriage/Healthy Relationships grant for middle and high school students. An important component of the grant was the focus on teen violence and abuse in intimate relationships.

For more information, please contact: Joselyn Heltzer at 301-758-7204 or h.joselyn(at)gmail(dot)com.

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