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LeRoy student named first William F. Brown Jr. scholarship recipient

BATAVIA – Emily Chavez, a senior at Le Roy High School, is the first recipient of the William F. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship was established earlier this year by The Jerome Foundation in memory of Brown, noted Batavia author, broadcaster and journalist who died Nov. 29, 2014 at the age of 91.

Brown was a charter member and trustee emeritus of the foundation, a not-for-profit organization that distributes funds to benefit United Memorial Medical Center and other health-related purposes. He also was the former owner and president of WBTA Radio, a longtime correspondent for The Buffalo News and a frequent contributor to The Batavia Daily News.

“Being the first recipient of the William F. Brown Jr. Memorial scholarship from The Jerome Foundation is such an honor,” said Chavez, who will be attending Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications for undergraduate study in Journalism.

“I would like to tell every student to never lighten up on your academics and to continue striving because it will pay off in the end. Thank you once again for this amazing opportunity.”

Chavez, ranked 15th in her class, participated in numerous extracurricular activities for all four years of high school, including chorus, band, marching band, pit orchestra, National Honor Society, peer counseling and volleyball.

She was president of the Le Roy Rotary Interact Club, Fall Fest and Honor Flight, and was recognized with the Genesee County Community Service Award in 2014. She also participated in All-County Band.

Her goals include becoming a reporter for a major television news network and starting an organization to make people aware of the plight of children dying due to poverty and hunger.

“The Jerome Foundation is pleased to present Emily Chavez with our inaugural William F. Brown Scholarship,” said Justin Calarco-Smith, foundation president. “In addition to excelling academically, Emily is articulate, bilingual (Spanish) and charismatic, and possesses a strong work ethic.

“She impressed us with her passion to help win the battle against childhood hunger in third world countries, and we’re confident that she will be a beacon of hope in the field of journalism.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a Genesee County 12th grader who intends to pursue at least a four-year degree in journalism, communications or public relations.