Nikki Outdoor Photo 1

In my senior year of high school, I had financial difficulties paying rent to the family I lived with; and to make a long story short, I became homeless. I was living in Covenant House NY for two months before moving to a transitional living while still going to school. The first month was tough. My mental health took a big hit from my reality and I was defeated everyday by it because it felt like my worst fear had come to be. Everyday I would wallow in self-pity and despise my own situation. I was ready to quit school and search for a full-time job. But, I had a support system at school that would not let me give up on my education and they guided me day by day. I am so grateful for all of them to this day! Once I began to accept my situation, I was more courageous than ever and “kept pushing” as they say. I did my part in ensuring I was getting all the help I needed through the programs at Covenant House NY. Getting my state ID, food stamps and support with my college application. My first day there, I expressed to a resident assistant that I would like to go to college but that I didn’t have the financial means to do so. She directed me to their education department explaining that they have helped others get into college. I should also note that before becoming homeless, I wrote to several of the colleges I had applied to asking for financial aid for scholarships and full room and board. I was unsuccessful there in securing a good deal but it was worth the try.

Thanks to the connections between the education department at Covenant House NY and the College of Mount Saint Vincent(CMSV) I was interviewed for the Mott Street scholarship, which I ended up receiving for my four years of undergraduate study. I graduated high school with 5 external scholarships, including the Nikki D. scholarship and got the Mott Street scholarship to attend the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

I loved my time at the Mount. There were plenty of opportunities to take on leadership roles which I’ve always wanted to do. I became part of many clubs and associations such as model united nations, anime and video game club, international students association, student government association and more. I was also an active volunteer through campus ministry. I did all of these things because I deeply enjoyed them. I made friends there. I was able to help and assist others in need in a way I was capable of doing or learned how to along the way. I was in leadership positions that also taught me so much about myself and my relationship with others. One of my favorite memories is going to Montreal the spring of my freshman year. This was financed by the scholarship I received from the Nikki D. fund. I can’t thank this team enough for their generosity towards me throughout the years. Outside the trip, I usually used my Nikki D. scholarship funds for personal hygiene products, clothes and academic supplies. I loved having the flexibility to use the money in a way that was meaningful and useful to me.

While I was very ambitious most of my college career, some things became difficult for me at times. For example the COVID-19 shutdown, even though I was trying to remain grateful that I still had something to do (online classes) it did become hard at times to stay on track as the days seemed to blend together and the shutdown was a bit depressing. To combat this feeling, I always went for walks around campus and found things to do with some of my friends at the time.

I also struggled with seasonal depression in the cooler months but especially during the spring semester. Somehow, it was hard to do the things that were once “simpler” as not to say completely “easy”. My spring of junior year was particularly hard. I wish I had the luxury of taking a semester off and going to foreign lands like so many others before me have done. Realistically, I couldn’t do that because I couldn’t afford that.

Two things helped me a lot during this time: philosophy and animal crossing new horizons.
As silly as that may sound, it really did help. In the first place, the philosophy class I was taking at the time introduced new ways of thinking about my situation and animal crossing offered me the virtual retreat I was looking for on top of being super cute and relaxing for me.

My advice to anyone out there is to keep pushing forward. When you find yourself at rock bottom, the only way out is up and you can make it there. I wish for you to have at least one person outside yourself believe in you and for your faith in yourself to be restored. It’s a matter of mindset and how you think about things when you really think about it. The minute I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I was doing much better and got a lot of things done. The moment I started college I was ready to embark in a commitment to my education even though there were times I wanted to give in, those were times I still resisted and pushed myself. I also had a support system in college too! Always, take care of yourself first. Get good sleep at night, take power naps during the day when you can, have proper nutrition, hydration, mental hygiene and social life. It’s all a balance and you will have to schedule your time around what’s truly important for you. When it comes to academics, always take notes, ask questions, and stay open-minded. Reach out to your professors directly after class or emails and talk to them during their office hours. That is so helpful. Find your academic resource center that has tutors who can help you too. I always suggest that people join a club of sorts. I think it’s important to build community and get out of your own comfort zone. Be gentle with yourself always.

I graduated from CMSV with a Bachelor of Arts(magna cum laude) in Sociology and French Studies with a concentration in Honors on a 3.81 GPA.


The (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship is one of the biggest contributors to my college and career success. Back in my senior year in High School, I received great news that I was a recipient of the Nikki Scholarship Fund. This news filled my heart with joy because my father at this time was struggling to make ends meet.

During this time, I was uncertain if my family would be able to afford my college tuition and other expenses and I even considered not attending college. Nikki Scholarship came in at the right time and gave me the motivation to pursue my dreams. In college, I majored in Electrical Engineering and I am currently working as an Electrical Engineer at a very good manufacturing company. Thanks to the (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship, I was able to buy textbooks, course materials, and cover other important expenses which made it easy for me to learn well and excel in college. I am very thankful to the (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship fund for supporting me during college and making my dreams a reality.

To all high school students, keep pushing, never give up, and study hard. If you do this, your dreams will become a reality.


I am currently 22 years old, born and raised in South America, Guyana for the first 4 years of my life before moving to Queens, New York at the age of 4. I grew up and continue to grow up with one working parent who works tirelessly each day to put three children through private universities.

When I was accepted into Veritas Academy High School, I did not know what to expect, being that it was a new school and I was part of the first graduating class of approximately 65 students. Though I am forever grateful for my time at Veritas, it was a small school and I had difficulty expressing myself, especially my creativity. During my senior year of high school, I was given the opportunity to apply for the Nicole (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship, where I was chosen to be a recipient.

Though the transition to high school was difficult, as it is for many students, transitioning from a small environment to a large one like college was even more complex. However, I can truly say, I have adored Hofstra University ever since I stepped foot on to the campus Summer of 2017 for orientation. Since then, I made it my sole mission to experience almost everything Hofstra had to offer. I have been involved in Student Government, the Deans Business Scholars Program, ALPFA Hofstra, a business organization on campus, Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and both the Deans and Provosts lists. I have also served and continue to be a Resident Assistant on campus, a position that has allowed me to expand on my social skills immensely.

Furthermore, none of these accomplishments and experiences would have been possible without the constant support from the Nikki D. Scott Scholarship fund. Thanks to them, I have been able to fulfill my dreams as a Business Management major and have completed all 4 years as an undergraduate student, graduating with the highest honors.

I am now in graduate school at Hofstra pursuing my Masters in Business Administration and I anticipate graduating in May 2022. Throughout my years in college, I have grown as a person which in turn means slowly figuring out my future and what I am most passionate about. I am currently in the process of looking to begin my career in Marketing, a place where my creativity can freely blossom in Management. Over the years, past internship opportunities and my current position as a Marketing Assistant at Hofstra have fueled my love for marketing even more. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified to complete my Masters and begin my career, but I am also incredibly optimistic and enthusiastic for what my future holds.


College of Mount Saint Vincent freshman, visited St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada with her French class in the Spring of 2019. In addition, this student is one of nine students from her college selected for the prestigious Millennium Fellowship, a semester long leadership development program launched by the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network.


NYU senior standing in the quick sands at Mount Saint Michel in the north of France in the Spring 2019, during her study abroad at NYU in Paris, France.

I am fortunate enough to be studying abroad in Paris for the Spring 2019 semester. As a Teaching French major, the ability to take all my classes in French has been invaluable in my pursuit to master the French language. I am currently taking a course about the history of Versailles. Studying abroad in Paris has allowed me to visit the historical site and immerse myself in the material I have learned. My education abroad has been enriched by many in-person cultural experiences. Studying abroad has also opened my eyes to human suffering in a way I have never experienced before. In Paris, there are many refugees who are forced to live on the streets. Across the street from my dorm, there is a mother and her three children who traveled all the way from Yemen to escape violence. Ever since I stopped by to give sandwiches and bottled water to this family, I have spent many afternoons working with volunteers to distribute supplies to refugees. Studying abroad has taught me compassion and empathy for people who need kindness from others to survive. My experiences this semester would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the Nicole (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship Fund. Without their generosity I would not have been able to afford to live out my educational dreams abroad and help the good-hearted people I have met along the way.


I am 21 years old originating from Brooklyn, New York. I am both a graduate and current student at Binghamton University. I am forever grateful for the support I received from the Nikki Scott Scholarship for four years. I am excited to share the story of my college experience.

I graduated from the Academy for Young Writers, a small school in Brooklyn with a graduating class of 68 students. I was accepted into Binghamton University’s Fall 2016 class gaining acceptance into my dream school. I also received news that I was the recipient of the Nikki Scott Scholarship that year and was excited at the prospect of the additional support. When I entered the campus, I was really overwhelmed with the size of the school. Whilst Binghamton is itself a small-medium-sized institution, there are approximately 17,000 students! Compared to a high school size of 600 students, I was greatly unprepared to give up the feeling of a smaller school and concerned about my ability to form interpersonal and impactful relationships. However, my experience was more engaging than I ever imagined. My involvement over each year grew greatly, exponentially expanding my leadership and extending my skills in ways I had never imagined.

As an undergraduate student, I majored in Political Science and Geography: Urban Planning. I am now completing a Master of Business Administration degree. My time with the University’s Student Association gave me an opportunity to manage a budget of almost $400,000, coordinate the activities of an entire programming board and have an impact on events here at the University. My time in the ASL Club allowed me to have a more educational experience, learning a language I had started to enjoy with my sister in high school and have the opportunity to delve more deeply into the beautiful language and lives of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. These and so many experiences did more for me than my time in the classroom, they gave me creative license, passion, and an incredible set of skills I will use for the rest of my life.

I think back to when I first started here at Binghamton–not knowing that the only limit to my potential was my imagination. I am incredibly grateful for the support of my friends, family, the Nikki Scott Scholarship Committee and so many others for giving me this opportunity. I would not be the person I am today without this experience and I am forever grateful for allowing myself to delve into my fear and experience this life-changing opportunity.


I graduated from New York University in May of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Teaching French as a Foreign Language for Grades 7-12. I was fortunate enough to have received the Nicole (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship throughout all four years of my undergraduate education. The scholarship allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming an educator and to have an extraordinary college experience. During the Spring of 2019, I studied abroad at NYU Paris. Whilst there, I was able to explore France and be fully immersed in the language I was learning. One of the best parts about studying abroad was the opportunity to visit the historical sites I was learning about in the classroom. I took a course on the history of Versailles at NYU Paris and my class was able to visit the Palace of Versailles while we were in France. I highly recommend studying abroad. This once in a lifetime experience will allow you to experience another culture first hand and to make precious memories with your fellow classmates.

The best advice that I can give to future and current college students is to put yourself out there. Colleges can be big intimidating places, but if you try to make connections I can promise that your experience will be more worthwhile. Try to join a club if you can and get to know the people sitting around you before class starts. The easiest way to make friends is to strike up a conversation with your fellow classmates. Also, do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with your professors. I guarantee that if you ask your professors about their research they will enjoy talking to you about their different passions. Your professors are there to help you and you should use their office hours as a resource to do well in class. If you are struggling, you can also reach out to your academic advisor or the counseling office for support. Familiarize yourself with the resources at your college and do not be afraid to use those resources when you need to.

Going to college was such a rewarding experience for me. My degree allowed me to get a job as a high school French teacher this year. Teaching is my calling and there is nothing that I enjoy more than educating my students. I plan to continue my education by obtaining a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership with the option for licensure in School Administration. Continuing education is a great way to learn more about your field of study and I highly recommend pursuing a master’s degree. Whatever you decide to major in, I know that college will be a fun and intellectually rewarding experience for you. I am eternally grateful to the Nicole (Nikki) D. Scott Scholarship Fund for supporting me in my college endeavors. I wish you the best of luck on your college journey.


Nikki was such a brilliant, vivacious, funny, supportive, and inspiring person. Her guidance and mentorship provided invaluable support every step of the way as I worked to design the Bronx Envision Academy. I will never forget hearing from Nikki when she called to let me know that “Envision Academy” was approved to open. I felt a little like Justin, Gabriel, Pilar, Elton, and Samuel today: ecstatic, grateful, and proud. Creating a new school from scratch has been a true privilege, and supporting our students as they prepare for college is an enormous responsibility (and for many, they will be the first in their families to attend college). I’m not entirely sure how to express it, but I find it very moving that the scholarship allows Nikki to continue changing the lives of wonderful young women and men. I am so grateful that her support continues for the students of Bronx Envision Academy.


Thank you Nikki for being the unapologetic trailblazer that personified excellence in education and personal leadership. You were with me every step of the way of the new school opening process from meeting me at my school supervisory site to being a supportive cheerleader at the local district community meetings and who could forget the announcements at the borough president’s office. My fondest memory will always be at the retreat when we were partners and I taught you to STEP and you taught me to speak in German. Words cannot express the sadness I felt when I heard the tragic news that my friend and colleague was no longer with us. You were one of the few people that could give me constructive criticism with a gentle smile. The infectious smile that will be missed by many others and me. May God continue to bless your family and loved ones during this time but I take comfort that your are always here with us, for the work you have done continues to inspire and impact future generations to come. Blessing.


I worked with Nikki Scott when she was a founding teacher at Essex Street Academy. Nikki is guided by generosity of spirit that helped to transform our school’s mission of collaboration into daily practices and common understandings. As an English Literature and Foreign Language teacher, there was no limit to what she would do to reach her students, often staying at school to late hours of the night crafting flawless and visually engaging lessons, conferencing with students or responding to their work. She pushed students, introducing them to modes of expression, writers and work habits that at first seemed too foreign to comprehend or even adopt. Yet she modeled a fearlessness that gave them the confidence to cross boundaries, try new vernaculars, show joy, overcome challenges. She was endlessly patient and always honest. On a weekly basis she led the school in a “Town Meeting,” creating multi-media presentations that encouraged student participation and the sharing of school-wide values. She entertained, gathered information and inspired. She treated her students with rare balance of toughness and tenderness. She would always pause to help others, especially colleagues. Even in her most impassioned and focused moments of work, she was willing to pause and help with a broken printer or to clarify an issue of confusion. Everywhere she went, everyone she met and every space she occupied was changed by knowing her. These words only capture a small glimpse of a person who was larger than life. I wish her family, colleagues and friends great strength and love in this time of great loss.

Ingrid W.

In December 2012, Nikki called my former office to deliver the happy news that our new school proposal had been approved, and that the process for opening our doors could proceed. Her call changed the direction not only my life, but the lives of each of our staff and students. That singular moment with Nikki was a gift – one which I will never forget. In the weeks and months that followed, I was among the many blessed to have the chance to benefit from Nikki’s insights and to know her for the thoughtful and caring individual she was. Nikki helped so many and made indelibly positive differences wherever she went. Anything good that is happening in our new school is in part a reflection of the time and energy she invested in it. Let those she touched honor her memory by rededicating ourselves to her example.

C. Anthony F.

I am just so sad. I can’t imagine how you all are doing. You have the fortune of seeing her every day. I have regrets over not connecting with her more. She was so special. Rare. One of those people that everyone truly loved. I actually feel disrespectful talking about her in the past tense. I am thinking of you all at ONS. This is impossible. I am hoping for peace to everyone who knew and loved her.

April M.

If you ever walked into room 213 at Tweed, you know without a doubt that the center of energy was in the northeast corner, directly surrounding Nikki’s desk. I can picture her there now: on the phone, sending an email, texting, eating a pop chip and a gummy at the same time. As soon as she hangs up, she’s showing off a picture of Allison (“isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she smart?”) And then she spins around in her chair so she and Alex can launch into a full conversation in full Rastafarian accents. The conversation is peppered with code words and nicknames, which Nikki was famous for giving out. It goes without saying that Nikki was gorgeous, whip smart, hilarious, and charming. She was whole-heartedly dedicated to her work, and excellent at it. Some of her job required working with difficult people, and I was always impressed by how each one of them would end up wrapped around her finger. Nikki, I will remember your big love for your work, for your team, for your friends, and mostly for your family. When I picture you, I’ll picture you laughing. You are so loved. You are so missed.

Leah F.

Immediately upon hearing this devastating news, my mind began to fill with the conversations I had with Nikki through the New Schools process. There were so many! Even after our schools opened this fall, she was still there! She was my “go to” person for so many questions and she always had the answer or knew where to find it. One of the many jobs that Nikki had was to make sure that the names of our schools were approved by the panel. Nikki certainly played a part in the revision of my school’s name, Corona Arts & Sciences Academy (CASA), as I am sure she did with so many others. Nikki’s family should take comfort in knowing that her memory will live on through all of these schools and their names.

Beth H.

I am heartbroken. Nikki was such a big part of my resident year with the Office of New Schools. During my first year as a principal I would call her almost weekly for suggestions, advice, support or just to talk about how confusing and difficult this job can be at times. She was always there for me. She always took a genuine interest and was thoughtful and reliable. I remember bumping into her on Court St. in downtown Brooklyn with my son Hassan and she would always take the time to speak with him about school and his teachers. That just how she was. She was never too busy or caught up in anything to take the time and get to know people. Nikki personified everything excellent that an educator and a professional should. I will miss her every day.

Khurshid A-M.

Given her unique talents, the whole city should be mourning Nikki’s loss. But few beyond her family must feel her loss as painfully as the ONS team.

Kristin G.

I was stunned and deeply saddened upon hearing that Nikki was no longer with us. She was the first person I ever met from ONS. She was setting up the auditorium for an info meeting about new schools. As she walked up and down the aisles preparing, she gave a kind smile to me and the rest of the candidates. Her warmth in that brief moment put me at ease with the whole process. Throughout NSI, she was always encouraging, extraordinarily helpful, intense, super smart, friendly, funny, and cool all at the same time. I always admired her character and work ethic. At the end of NSI, she made it a point to let me know she was always a phone call away and reassured that everything with the opening of the new school would be great. That’s how I will always remember Nikki, as someone who gave you the power to believe in yourself through her own humanity towards others and through her talent for humanizing the work. I know that our new school would not be here today without her encouragement and guidance. Nikki will always hold a special place in my heart. She has made a difference in my life and the lives of our students and families. Thank you, Nikki. You will be immensely missed.

Kattia C.

A loved one is a treasure of the heart and to lose a loved one is like losing a piece of yourself. But the love that this person brought you did not leave, for the essence of the soul lingers. It cannot escape your heart, for it has been there forever. Cling to the memories and let them find their way to heal you. The love and laughter, the joy in the togetherness you share will make you strong. You’ll come to realize that your time together, no matter how long, was meant to be, and that you were blessed to have such a precious gift of love in your life. Nikki was a precious gift in the lives of many, including my own. I only knew Nikki a short time. However, in that short time she inspired me, encouraged me and believed in me. It is because of who she saw in me that I have the school I have today. I will never forget sitting in front of the CEC pitching my school and Nikki’s smile cheering me on. “You nailed it girl!” Nikki said as she hugged me, will stay with me always. Nikki you will be missed. Thank you!

Nadia C-P.

Nikki helped [us] to not only believe but actually do.

Ignazio A.

I can’t begin to express the impact that Nikki has had on me as a person and leader as well as the impact of the creation and implementation of One World Middle School. I first met Nikki at a New Schools feedback session and when she walked in the room – the room naturally focused on her. Her vibrant spirit is undeniable and drew you to her instantaneously. I remember thinking she belongs on the cover of a magazine and listening to her you knew the level of love she had for children. She led the team that interviewed me for the new school process and for the final phase she and a colleague observed me at my old school. After her colleague left, she remained over two hours after and we talked and talked and talked. I connected to her instantly, she has that thing where you wanted to be around her and just listen. She made me want to be a better leader. When she left that day, I thought even if I didn’t get the school, I was better for meeting her. I’m sure she had a hand in the final decision of One World – and her hand will always be remembered throughout our school. Spending time with her in NSI and having numerous conversations with her and laughs always made the process seem like it was all going to be ‘ok’. When she visited my school the first year and she came to my office after and we talked and talked again for hours.