GCC's Alex Pawell Earns Prestigious Allegra Ford-Thomas Scholarship

December 1, 2023

NEW YORK, NY—Greenfield Community College student Alex Pawell is the latest recipient of the prestigious Allegra Ford-Thomas Scholarship, a national scholarship awarded just once a year.

Pawell was one of just two community college students to receive the national scholarship from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, being chosen from among thousands of students who applied. Pawell received his award and even gave an acceptance speech at a luncheon in New York City earlier this month. The event was hosted by Emmy nominee and ABC’s “The View” founding co-host, Star Jones.

“I am thrilled to win the scholarship. It felt surreal to show up to the event in New York. I was shocked to win the scholarship, I didn’t expect to win, especially when the pool of applicants was over 2,000 people,” Pawell said.

The scholarship is awarded by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and is given to “a graduating high school senior who will enroll in a two-year community college, a vocational or technical training program, or a specialized program for students with disabilities.” To be eligible, students must have a documented learning disability.

Pawell, 18, is in his first year at GCC and is majoring in business administration with a particular focus on finance. Prior to enrolling at GCC, Pawell attended Four Rivers Charter Public School, where he held a stellar 3.8 GPA and also dominated on the basketball court for the school, so much so that he was invited back to coach the boy’s varsity team this year.

Pawell hopes to go to the UMass Isenberg School of Business after GCC before entering the world of finance.

“My plan as of now is to become a stockbroker,” he said.

Pawell noted that GCC has helped him prepare for this next step already, while also making his education more affordable–something that is quite important for a financial-minded student like him.

“I’ve enjoyed all my classes and the freedom of being a GCC student. GCC has been a perfect starting point,” Pawell said.