• 79°

1st Irene S. Burl Memorial Scholarship awarded

RESERVE — The Irene S. Burl Memorial Scholarship Foundation, founded in 2020 by her family, awarded its first of many scholarships in May 2021 to an East St. John graduate.

Irene Snyder Burl was a public school teacher for 40-plus years, beginning her career at the age of 21. Burl devoted her life to educating and inspiring students in the St. John the Baptist Parish School System. She passed away on November 10, 2020, and in her honor, the Irene S. Burl Memorial Scholarship Foundation was founded.

The first recipient to receive the $1,000 scholarship award is Amari Gayen. Amari is the daughter of Melissa Gayden-Watson. She is a graduate of East St. John High School’s Class of 2021 where she graduated No. 6 in her class with a GPA of 3.9. Amari also received over half a million dollars in scholarships. Amari will be attending Howard University, where she will major in education.

Akeem Burl, son of the late Irene S. Burl stated that, “Amari is an exceptional young lady, and very deserving of this honor.” He added, “I wish my mother were here to be a part of this all, but I know she is smiling down on us, and grateful to have had such an impact on many lives.”

In order to be considered, applicants must be a public high school graduating senior, and complete a 500-word essay along with the application. All public high school seniors, and those pursuing a career in education were invited to apply.

The foundation looks forward to many more years of giving back to graduating seniors.