Benjamin Quaye Memorial Endowment for Social Justice

This award recognizes students pursuing educational and career goals in social justice.

Benjamin Quaye

The Benjamin Quaye Memorial Endowment for Social Justice award is an annual undergraduate scholarship for a student with significant financial need who is pursuing educational and career goals in social justice, with a strong preference for a student who is the first in his/her family to attend college. Students who, like Benjamin, volunteer to help the under-served, such as foster youth, people with disabilities, and the homeless are ideal recipients of this award.

The Benjamin Quaye Memorial Endowment for Social Justice honors the memory of Benjamin Quaye, a UC Santa Cruz student who died at age 21 in 2010. Benjamin had a strong commitment to spreading the values of tolerance and social justice, and his studies and future plans were built upon these ideals. Ben participated on the Men’s Rugby team, helped foster youth and people with disabilities, and espoused the Oakes College theme of diversity and inclusion. Ben dreamed of becoming a social worker so he could counsel troubled children and young adults. He was a vibrant part of the UC Santa Cruz and the world around him.

Benjamin was a loving brother and devoted son. A lover of the outdoors and all things natural, Benjamin was equally at home on the snow and the water. He enjoyed snowboarding in the winter and wakeboarding in the summer. He especially enjoyed hiking in Eaton Canyon near his home in Altadena, California. His family, friends, and loved ones donate these endowed funds in his loving memory to support students at UCSC who share his ideals. Students are nominated by their departments and do not need to put forward an application.

Meet the 2020 Benjamin Quaye Memorial Award Recipient!

jose-orellana-200-quaye.jpgJose Orellana joined the UCSC Central Valley Freedom Summer Participatory Action research team in 2018. Jose went on to train 25 high school aged youth on how to conduct voter registration, education, and grassroots organizing in his community. He and his youth team also organized a conference for a wider group of young people to learn about the importance of voting, and to better understand environmental justice, immigrant rights, racial justice, and education issues. 

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