May 3, 2021

Two KIPP Massachusetts Students Receive $60,000 Each from the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program

Scholarship provides non-tuition financial assistance and mentorship 

Lynn, Mass – May 3, 2021 – Today the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Foundation and the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation (SGFF) announced two KIPP Massachusetts students have been selected as 2021 recipients of the Dave Goldberg Scholarship. Bhenzel Cadet and Indy Rodriguez were among the 16 selected from hundreds of applicants and will join the 60 students already in the program.  This video shows the moment most of the students, including Indy, received the news they had been selected for the scholarship and a special welcome message from Sheryl Sandberg.

“When we created this program, we hoped to honor Dave’s memory by lifting up a new generation of leaders who embody his best qualities,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. “Finding ways to keep his memory alive—to do the good he would be doing if he were still with us—means the world to our family. We are thrilled to welcome this new class of scholars, and we have so much hope for the brighter future they will build for us all.”

All 16 students in the 2021 cohort of Goldberg Scholars will receive a unique combination of financial support and mentorship during their four-year college experience. Highlights include:

  • A “Goldberg Mentor” to provide guidance and support on a regular basis throughout college
  • Critical financial support totaling approximately $15,000 a year per student to cover a range of non-tuition needs not traditionally met by college-based financial aid
  • Support from “Goldberg Connectors” – a network of professionals who will help scholars secure summer internships and job opportunities

“The Goldberg Scholarship program has been critical to assisting our outstanding KIPP alumni on their path to becoming the leaders of tomorrow. The Goldberg Connectors, who are professionals at the top of their fields, offer our alumni support and life guidance that is beyond powerful,” said Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation.

Bhenzel Cadet

Bhenzel Cadet is a senior at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, headed to Bucknell University to pursue his entrepreneurial interests and aspire to major in business and marketing. He is a devoted peer counselor and teacher assistant for Algebra II. “As a first-generation college student, I do not have the institutional knowledge of how to navigate many of these collegiate systems. I am excited to meet other people who have both similar and different experiences than I have. Together, we can support one another with the shared experience of going to and through college,” said Cadet. 

Indy Rodriguez

Indy Rodriguez, also a senior at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, looking to major in neuroscience in the hopes to diminish the disparities in the medical field for people of color. Indy has played an active role in her community outside of school by working with a non-profit organization that targets the significant food insecurity Lynn, her town, faces. She was able to play a part in growing over 200,000 tons of organic produce donated to soup kitchens or sold to the community at an affordable price. “The Goldberg Scholarship will equip me with the mentors, network, and support system (in personal and financial aspects) that I need to serve the world best,” said Indy.

The Goldberg Scholarship Program was established by SGFF in October 2017 to support graduating high school seniors from KIPP schools across the country who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and achievement. The scholarship honors the legacy of Dave Goldberg by supporting a new generation of trailblazers who have demonstrated Dave’s qualities of leadership, resilience, achievement, character, and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2022, the program will graduate the first cohort of Goldberg Scholars, who began their undergraduate studies in 2018.  

“It means so much to me and everyone who loved him that these students will extend Dave’s legacy,” said Rob Goldberg, Dave’s brother and Founder and CEO of Fresno. “Dave believed strongly in helping people and that everyone should have an equal chance to succeed in this world. He was constantly connecting people as a way of acting on that belief. He would be so proud to see how this program is helping these amazing scholars access the opportunities they deserve.”

“As one of the fortunate ones who had the privilege of knowing Dave personally, I’ve now seen firsthand how this program embodies his spirit of helping others have every opportunity to work hard and accomplish everything possible for themselves,” said Tom Bernthal, Dave’s friend and Co-Founder and CEO of Kelton Global. “Each and every class of students amazes me with all they’ve overcome and all they’ve achieved.”

KIPP has a proven track record of helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and life. KIPP currently operates 255 public charter schools educating over 112,000 students across 20 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP students graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that is above the national average for all students and approximately four times the average for students from similar economic backgrounds nationwide.

KIPP high school counselors stay in touch with their graduates through college and early into their careers. Two recent surveys of KIPP alumni in college showed that both financial and social support are critical for students to succeed and graduate. In 2016, KIPP alumni reported that they experienced financial challenges beyond tuition expenses and had limited access to career-relevant internships. In 2017, the KIPP alumni survey showed connections between students’ sense of belonging and their mental health in college. The Dave Goldberg Scholarship was designed with this research in mind. 


About the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Foundation

The Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation works to build a more equal and resilient world. SGFF brings people together to support each other through three key initiatives: LeanIn.Org, OptionB.Org, and the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program.

About KIPP

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 255 public charter schools that are dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are ​part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll students in all grades from pre-K through high school.

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