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Bryan Cave LLP Awards Edward I. Koch Scholarships to Five Students from Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies

May 23, 2014

NEW YORK (May 22, 2014) – International law firm Bryan Cave LLP ( today announced the five recipients of The 2014 Bryan Cave LLP Edward I. Koch Scholarship Fund. The scholarship program, part of Bryan Cave’s New York Partner Charitable Contributions Fund and supported by individual donations from each partner in the office, will award $5,000 each to five graduates from the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies (BCS) (, a grade six through 12 public school located in Carroll Gardens/Red Hook, Brooklyn.  Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch was a partner at Bryan Cave and its predecessor firm for more than 23 years.

All seniors planning to pursue a post-secondary education and in good standing at BCS in 2014 were eligible to apply for The 2014 Bryan Cave LLP Edward I. Koch Scholarship Fund. Selection was based on a wide range of criteria, including academic record and community involvement, but priority was given to those students intending to pursue a career in law or public service.

“Our late partner, Ed Koch, had a lifelong commitment to education and public service and we are proud to honor his legacy with these scholarships,” said Vincent Alfieri, managing partner of Bryan Cave LLP’s New York office. “The students selected to receive scholarships this year have inspired us with their commitment to better their lives and the lives of those around them while achieving remarkable academic success.  We are delighted to celebrate their accomplishments with these awards.”

The five recipients of The 2014 Bryan Cave LLP Edward I. Koch Scholarship Fund are:

Maryam Choudhury: Maryam has a love for the dramatic arts and hopes to pursue a degree in Theater or English. Having lost her mother at an early age to breast cancer, Maryam’s academic success is a testament to her exceptional character.  Maryam was accepted to Wheaton College and Juniata College and has been waitlisted at Brandeis.

Zariya Coeur: Zariya is the oldest of her ten brothers and sisters and her mother is a breast cancer survivor. Despite these challenges, Zariya has done well in school, and has been involved in many extracurricular activities, including being the Captain of the BCS Track and Cheerleading teams. Additionally, Zariya was an intern with Bryan Cave during her junior year.  Zariya aspires to be a lawyer and hopes to pursue a career in the public interest.  Zariya was accepted to St. Francis College and SUNY Fredonia, and plans to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Angelica Mason: Angelica has a remarkable academic record, and is involved in numerous extracurricular activities at BCS, while still managing a demanding course load.  She has proved to be a leader and a catalyst for positive change within the classroom, inside the school community, and her larger community by serving as a founding member of the BCS Student Government, and as a representative for BCS at the network school’s Student Voice Collaborative.  She is an avid photographer and hopes to continue honing that craft and traveling internationally. Angelica was accepted at University of Vermont, Ithaca College, Wheaton College and a number of SUNY schools.  She has decided to attend SUNY New Paltz.

Jack Mercado: In his sophomore year at BCS, Jack was one of 20 students selected from public schools across New York City to participate in New York University’s Young Leaders program.  As part of that program, Jack and other Young Leaders attended classes, performed service in the community, and participated in campus networking events with current students at NYU’s Stern School of Business.  Following that experience, Jack was among less than 100 students from across the region selected to participate in NYU’s College Access and Leadership Institute (CALI), a week-long summer residential program.  Jack is the first BCS student ever accepted to the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) summer programs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Jack will graduate with one of the strongest cumulative averages of any student at BCS this year, and is likely to be named BCS’s valedictorian or salutatorian.  Jack was accepted to SUNY-Geneseo, the University at Buffalo, and a number of CUNY colleges, and plans to attend New York University.

Allen Sosa: Allen is very involved in raising his younger sisters and has overcome great obstacles in his home life.  Allen works year round in multiple buildings in Brooklyn, performing the duties of a superintendent and handyman to help support his family.  Despite his hardships, Allen has excelled academically and on the soccer field.  Allen has pursued the most rigorous course load available to him at BCS and he will graduate from BCS with Honors distinction. Allen was admitted to Alfred University, Alfred State College, and a number of CUNY colleges, and plans to attend SUNY Fredonia.

“We are very grateful to have partnered with Bryan Cave LLP to create new opportunities for our students,” said Joshua Steckel, the BCS college counselor and co-author of Hold Fast to Dreams, which provides a close-up view of the college admissions process and the college experience for low-income students.  “The cost of higher education today can make it very difficult for families and in many cases the scholarships granted to each of these exceptional students represent a critical pathway to attend the school of their choice.”

Bryan Cave LLP ( has a diversified international legal practice. The firm represents a wide variety of business, financial, institutional and individual clients, including publicly held multinational corporations, large and mid-sized privately held companies, partnerships and emerging companies. Aided by extensive investments in technology, Bryan Cave’s approximately 1,000 lawyers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia efficiently serve clients’ needs in the world’s key business and financial markets.

The Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies ( is a grade six through 12 public school located in Carroll Gardens/Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The school is a diverse and respectful Expeditionary Learning School, committed to developing students and staff who are kind, open-minded, persistent, responsible, and courageous.  With support from peers, staff, families, and school partners, students engage in challenging academic and social experiences that prepare them for college level learning and full participation in civic life.  Students learn to apply their intellect and effort to benefit themselves and their community.

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Media Contact:
Kathleen Flynn, Bryan Cave LLP

Bennett Kleinberg/Brooke Calabrese for Bryan Cave LLP