Brian Austin-Carter is the 2013 recipient of the New Canaan YMCA's "All Kids Are Our Kids" college scholarship.
Underwritten by the YMCA's annual support campaign, the scholarship was established to enable a high school senior to pursue a college education, and a one-time annual award of $5,000 is made each year to a deserving recipient. The award is granted based on academic potential, as well as work and volunteer experience.
"The scholarship is especially intended for individuals who have had a long-term relationship with the Y, whether as a program participant, volunteer, or employee," said YMCA Executive Director Craig Panzano. "Brian has been a valued member of our team, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize his achievements as he moves forward with his education."
Leah Kittredge, YMCA board member who led this year's selection efforts, added, "The New Canaan YMCA is committed to our community and sharing in the responsibility of raising healthy children, providing them with the support they need to become caring, competent adults. Brian embodies the YMCA's core values, excelled academically, demonstrated leadership skills, and actively participated within our community. The board is excited to acknowledge and reward his outstanding accomplishments and wishes him continued success in college."
A native of Stamford, Austin-Carter graduated this year with high honors from Fairfield College Preparatory School, where he was inducted to the National Honor Society and was a member of the varsity crew team. While at Fairfield Prep, he was a peer tutor and a member of Reach, a club of service volunteers. The Reach club regularly assists with programs and special events in the Y's Special Needs Department. He has also worked as a one-on-one aide for children with special needs at summer camp for two seasons.
Austin-Carter plans to attend Villanova University in the fall, majoring in chemical engineering.
"The New Canaan Y has been an important part of my life since moving to Connecticut," said Austin-Carter. "From the after-care program in middle school to my first job and my volunteer work, the Y has had an impact on me and provided me opportunities to learn, grow, and serve the community. As a result, I now have a strong passion for community service, especially working with children, and a better sense of what I want to do when I grow up. All in all, the Y is like a second home to me now."