For Immediate Release
June 09, 2011
Contact Information

Council of the Great City Schools
Henry Duvall

(BPRW) Council of the Great City Schools Names 2011 Math and Science Scholars

- ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Bernard Harris present urban students with scholarships -

(BLACK PR WIRE)--WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Council of the Great City Schools has named four high school seniors as the 2011 winners of the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarships. The scholarship program was created by the first African American to walk in space and the ExxonMobil Foundation to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

The annual scholarships are awarded to two African American and two Hispanic graduating seniors from high schools in the 65 urban school districts represented by the Council of the Great City Schools. The scholarships are named for former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., who came from humble beginnings to become an astronaut, physician, businessman and author.

The award recipients were selected from more than 300 applicants based on academic performance, plans to pursue post-secondary academic studies in a STEM-related field, as well as a leadership qualities and commitment to the community.

"Through our support of math and science educational programs, ExxonMobil is investing in the future of America's young people," said Suzanne McCarron, president, ExxonMobil Foundation. "We are proud to honor these accomplished students by awarding them with scholarships to not only help them pursue their studies in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics, but to follow their dreams."

Each of the recipients will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue his or her education in a STEM-related field. This year's award winners are:

Alexander Barreiro, Miami-Dade County Schools
Jazmin Branch, Chicago Public Schools
Aileen Lerch, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Justin Moore, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools

Mr. Barreiro is a graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High and plans to attend California Institute of Technology where he will pursue electrical engineering. A graduate of Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Ms. Branch will be attending Washington University in St. Louis and aspires to be a doctor. Ms. Lerch, from Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, is attending Stanford University in the fall to study chemical engineering. Mr. Moore is a graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet High School and plans to become a neurosurgeon after attending Yale University.

"These scholarships create a launching pad for the winners of this highly competitive scholarship program to reach for the stars," said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. "Thanks to the support of the ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Harris, these young men and women will go out into the world representing the best in America's Great City schools."

Administration of the scholarship program including the application process, pre-selection and presentation of awards is provided by the Council of the Great City Schools. Dr. Harris participates in the final selection of the recipients.

About The Council of the Great City Schools

The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Composed of 65 large city school districts, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge in order to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.  

About ExxonMobil Foundation

ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. In 2010, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide, of which $110 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at  

About The Harris Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams. The Education Mission of the Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs for grades K-12. Through three primary initiatives— The DREAM Tour, the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and Dare to Dream—the foundation encourages math and science education, motivates youth to stay in school, fosters youth leadership and citizenship, as well as instills the values of responsibility, fairness and respect.

The Harris Foundation believes that students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured education program and the use of positive role models. More than 10,000 students participate and benefit from THF programs annually.