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Boost for Brockton Students

Pilgrim Foundation establishes scholarships for city students

Dabana Intenque, ’23, immigrated with his family from Guinea-Bissau to Brockton in search of a better life. With support from his new community and Bridgewater State University, that goal is now within reach.

Dabana is one of 23 BSU students from Brockton who received $2,000 scholarships from the Pilgrim Foundation, a charitable organization that supports the city’s youth.

“It means a lot to me, just being selected to receive a scholarship,” said Dabana, whose mother works multiple jobs to support the family. “It’s a great motivator in my career as a student.”

The foundation, which began almost a century ago with a gift from oil and rubber investor Edgar B. Davis, decided to support these Bears after learning from BSU President Frederick W. Clark Jr. that students sometimes struggle to persist in their college education.

"We gave them $2,000 directly to meet some of their life challenges," said Ray Ledoux, president of the foundation. "This can help take the pressure off while they're going to school."

The scholarships are unique because students can use the money as they see fit.

“That’s a different level of trust from an organization to allow students to make the decisions that best serve their needs,” said Dr. Deniz Leuenberger, BSU’s chief of staff and vice president for planning and strategy.

Dabana, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2017, aspires to be a software and web developer. He is part of the Honors Program, as well as the math, computer science, and Bible study clubs. 

“Bridgewater State University changed my life,” said Dabana, a computer science major with minors in math, statistics, and African studies. “I’m thankful for the professors. I’m thankful for the school. ... Bridgewater put me on the right path.”

Dabana also recognizes how the scholarship is much more than an investment in its 23 recipients. It is a commitment to the Brockton community.

“When you help one person, you don’t know how many people that one person can help,” he said. “I’m not going to waste one penny.”

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