News & Events

Dr. King’s vision lives on at annual scholarship dinner

October 28, 2013

“Without Backus, I would not be able to pursue Dr. King’s dreams in my life.”

This is the powerful message delivered by Richard Dale Joseph, a senior at Norwich Free Academy and recipient of a scholarship from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust Fund’s 32nd Annual Scholarship Dinner on Oct. 17 at the Mystic Marriott in Groton.

In a banquet room full of community leaders, students and proud parents, Joseph was one of five local students to receive a scholarship, each funded by a different local organization.  Joseph received a $20K scholarship to pursue his academic career, funded by Backus Hospital.

Andrew Ellis, Backus Associate Administrator of Facilities Operations, presented Joseph with his scholarship.  In his remarks, Ellis noted Joseph’s academic, athletic and civic accomplishments.

The son of Gladys Tete and Mercidieu Venont, Joseph is a shining example of scholastic excellence and personal character.  He is currently taking Advanced Placement English and is enrolled in the University of Connecticut Early College Experience Chemistry Class.  He is also a member of NFA’s varsity track and basketball teams.

Joseph is active in the Pathways Program to Teaching, Bully Busters, and the Nexus for Black Achievement Organization, where he has held the positions of vice-president and treasurer.  In the community, Joseph volunteers for the Norwich NAACP, at the Empty Bowls Project, at his church, and sings in the gospel choir.

Recognized for his citizenship, Joseph received The National Youth Service Award and was granted a summer internship to work with middle school children.

Joseph intends on pursuing a career in education.  His colleges of choice include Liberty University, St. Lawrence University and the University of Connecticut.