Discovering Promise… Rewarding Excellence
The Carson Scholars Fund
is a non-profit charity that was founded in 1994 by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson and his wife, Candy, to recognize and reward students in grades 4-11 who strive for academic excellence (3.75 GPA or higher) and demonstrate a strong commitment to their community.
Dr. Alfonso Costa serves as President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund. Since its 2004 inception, the Pittsburgh Carson Scholars Fund has awarded over 1,000 students in Pittsburgh-area public and parochial schools. Over $1 million has been awarded to local children in the Pittsburgh area for higher educational scholarships.
What is a Carson Scholar?
CARSON SCHOLARS, in addition to receiving a monetary award, are honored at an elegant banquet surrounded by friends and family. They receive an Olympic–sized medal and an imposing certificate. Their schools are presented with a large inscribed trophy to put on display for the entire school to admire.
Students are eligible to be selected as Carson Scholars as early as the fourth grade. This means that they return to their schools from the awards banquet as academic heroes, as role models for their schoolmates. This recognition encourages the entire school to strive for academic success.
Carson Scholars are not only intelligent, but have demonstrated a genuine concern for people and their communities through civic and humanitarian activities.
Carson Scholars are not selected on the basis of need, although many scholars come from needy circumstances. When Carson Scholars are chosen they know that it is on the basis of their own personal achievement.
Carson Scholars remain connected to the Fund through annual statements mailed to them, showing the current value of their scholarship. When they enter college the accrued money is forwarded to the college and credited to their account. This “Alumni Association” of scholars is becoming a strong network for the entire program, and will be one of the principle engines for expansion as the Scholars Program grows across the country.
Rosalia Costa-Clarke Memorial Fund
Throughout her life within her home, workplace, and community, Rosalia “Lilly” Costa-Clarke displayed compassion for others and a selfless commitment to humanitarian involvement. Lilly’s life was tragically cut short on September 29, 2004, when she died suddenly while working as counsel for labor and employment at Wachovia Bank. Lilly’s passion for helping others in all aspects of her life is a shining example for all of us to follow.
To honor her memory and her many good works, Lilly’s brother, Dr. Alfonso Costa, and her husband created an endowment fund in her honor. Each year, the Rosalia Costa-Clarke Award honors a student who exhibits kindness, a zest for life, and a love of animals that our dear friend, sister, and wife displayed every day of her life.
The 2015 Rosalia Costa-Clarke Memorial Award recipient was Katrina Luffey.
Katrina is a 5th grade student at Pittsburgh Banksville PreK-5.
Past Rosalia Costa-Clarke Memorial Award recipients:
Rose Cascio (2014)
Jessica Sedano (2013)
Mackenzie Trosky (2012)
Giovanna Marie Varlotta (2011)
Julia Kocherzat (2010)
Christine Fiumara (2009)
Erin Deasy (2008)
Mary Kate Freeman (2007)
Albree Weisen (2006)
Dominaye Randolph (2005)