WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Three Columbia University students were honored Tuesday night by Manhattan Community Board 12 for winning a prestigious award.
The students — freshman Carlos Morales, sophomore Jean-Franco Diaz and junior Karina Montenegro — are three of the four winners of the Dyckman Institute scholarship, a need-based award given annually to students from Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.
Morales, 18, a first-time winner of the award, said it enabled him to attend the school's prestigious engineering program.
"When I first got the acceptance letter, I was surprised and excited. And the thought that I would be able to afford college, I've just got such a feeling of gratitude," said Morales, who lives on Fort Washington Avenue.
The Dyckman Institute traces its roots back to Alexander Hamilton, whose wife donated land in 1818 for what became Washington Heights' first school: the Hamilton Free School. The scholarship fund was established after the school dissolved in 1943.