CARROLL GARDENS — When Felicia Latiff’s baby sister was born with asthma and other illnesses, numerous trips to the emergency room made her realize she wanted to be a doctor.
As a child herself, “I had to step in and be a parent,” said the 17-year-old student who lives in Red Hook.
Latiff’s dreams of a career in public service led her, and four others, to win $25,000 in college scholarships, honoring late New York City mayor Ed Koch.
Five students from the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, at 610 Henry St., were awarded $5,000 toward their college careers from Bryan Cave LLP, an international law firm where Koch was a partner for over two decades.
When the law firm was looking for a way to honor their partner and friend, they felt financially assisting New York high school students would be apt, Managing Partner Vincent Alfieri told DNAinfo New York in March.
“Public service was the most important thing to Ed,” said Alfieri. “We certainly wanted to make sure we did something that really resonated with New Yorkers.”
Latiff, who hopes to be a pediatrician, will be attending to Long Island University this fall to study biology.
In honor of Koch’s career, priority was given to students with goals in public service or law. The five winners, Caitlin Hackett, Dana McClain, Ja’Nice Greenidge, Luis Hernandez and Latiff, were chosen based on the academic records, community involvement and personal essays.
Caitlin Hackett, 17, wrote about overcoming her fear of swimming, which led to her working as a life guard and Dana McClain, 17, a passionate musician who helped start her school’s glee club, penned her love of music, they said.
Four of the students will remain in New York State for their college programs and Hernandez, the school’s valedictorian, will attend the University of Southern California in the fall.
After his third mayoral term, Koch joined the law firm Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn and Berman in 1990, which later merged, in 2002, with Bryan Cave LLP.
The former mayor died on Feb. 1 at the age of 88.
“He would have seen all the promise that New York City youth can offer through these five students,” said Alfieri.