Fund Type: Scholarship Funds

Fund Category: Education, Youth

The Regent Dr. Judith A. Johnson Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of this iconic career educator who devoted her life to public education and whose education career spanned more than six decades. Dr. Johnson grew up in Walt Whitman Projects in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York. After attending Brooklyn College, she started her career as a teacher, guidance counselor and later served as a principal in the New York City school system. She believed a high school diploma was a passport to the future and this scholarship is dedicated to her belief that education is vital to help all young people achieve their dreams.

Prior to her passing Dr. Johnson served as a Regent in the 9th judicial district for the New York State Board of Regents. Along with her many accolades, Dr. Johnson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education under President Bill Clinton. In that role she testified in front of congress for expanding the number of afterschool programs nationwide and advocated for increased funding for primary and secondary education. Dr. Johnson spent 10 years as the school’s superintendent in Peekskill, NY. She was the first African American woman to hold that position. She received the New York State School Superintendent of the Year award in 2008, the first African American in the history of the New York State Council of school Superintendents to receive the honor. In 2012, Dr. Johnson served as the interim Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School district. She served on many national committees, which included the American Association of School Administrators, the New York New Standards Project, a national initiative that launched the transformation to standards based instruction, a concept that remains the framework for teaching and learning across the nation.

In 1990 Johnson was named one of the 100 Executive Educators in America.  In 2009 she was named Alumna of the year by Brooklyn College, her alma mater. The Biondi School added her to its Black History Wall of Frame in 2017. In 2015 she was inducted into the Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame. She gave the keynote address in 2018 at the Rockland County Commission on Human Rights Women’s Forum. Her topic was “The Time is Now.” The Empowerment of Women.”

This award is open to previously enrolled and current students.  The age range to qualify for this award is 17-26 years old.  If you have been out of high school and have made the decision to now pursue further education in college or at a vocational school, we encourage you to apply.

This year one $500 scholarship will be awarded. Recipients must be Rockland County or Peekskill residents interested in furthering their education by attending a college/university or a vocational school.