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Sydney Ambrose, Barbara C. Wilson Preschool Teacher’s Aide, Receives The Blanche Fierstein Scholarship

BCCS Teacher's Aide Sydney Ambrose works with a studentSydney Ambrose, a Teacher’s Aide at Brookville Center for Children’s Services’ Barbara C. Wilson Preschool, will be awarded the Blanche Fierstein Scholarship at the 2024 Nassau County Foundation Rose Ball on June 13.

The Blanche Fierstein Scholarship was established in 2011 to honor the life and legacy of the late AHRC Nassau Board member and NYSARC, Inc. President Blanche Fierstein by awarding $5,000 annually to a person pursuing an advanced degree in special education.

Sydney is currently pursuing a master’s degree from Mercy University and was encouraged by Barbara C. Wilson Preschool Director Diane Condy to apply for the scholarship.

According to Diane, Sydney stands out for her exceptional sense of empathy, patience, compassion, respect, adaptability, and ability to actively engage with students in the classroom. She was inspired to serve as a Teacher’s Aide in September 2022 because she wanted to continue working with children, while broadening her skills. Sydney, who also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mercy University, has always had a passion for working with children, beginning her career in child welfare, serving children in shelter homes, foster care, and juvenile detention.

For Sydney, one of the things she enjoys most about her job is seeing the progress of the children she works with, as they undergo evaluations, educational, and therapeutic services such as speech language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

“It’s very eye opening and satisfying seeing their growth every single day, and having conversations with them, hearing about their daily life,” Sydney said. “I enjoy hearing them say ‘Ms. Sydney, we miss you. Ms. Sydney, where were you? Ms. Sydney, what did you have for lunch?’”

Sydney’s experience working at Barbara C. Wilson, as well as all the teachers and curriculum coordinators, inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in special education to become a teacher.BCCS Teacher's Aide Sydney Ambrose works with students at a sensory table.

“I want to be in that position of a teacher and really make a bigger change in the lives of the students,” Syndey said.

Scholarship applicants must submit two essays about their experience, academic goals, and factors that influenced them to pursue a career in special education, as well as letters of recommendation.

“It wasn’t difficult because I was intrigued to share my experience in the essays and sharing my thoughts about how I feel about teaching and advancing my degree,” Sydney said.

Syndey said she was ecstatic when she found out she was the winner of the scholarship.

“I’m really happy,” Syndey said. “Everyone was telling me it was well deserved.”

After receiving her master’s degree from Mercy University, Sydney hopes to become a teacher for young children, and continue her studies to become a Curriculum Coordinator, Principal, or Director.

Sydney certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Congratulations!

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