CARROLL GARDENS — When Maryam Choudhury was 4 years old, she watched “The Wizard of Oz” and told her mother she would one day play Dorothy.
Choudhury, now 18 and set to graduate from the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, will soon be a step closer to fulfilling her dreams of acting.
She and four other students from the school at 610 Henry St. received $5,000 scholarships to fund their college careers. Choudhury will be heading to Guttman Community College where she’ll be majoring in theater.
The scholarship program, which began last year, is funded by international law firm Bryan Cave LLP in honor of late New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Koch, a former partner at the firm, died at 88 in February 2013.
“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,” said Vincent Alfieri, managing partner of Bryan Cave LLP’s New York office, in a statement.
Five students are selected from the school every year based on academic records, community involvement and other criteria.
Priority is given to students who hope to pursue a career in law or public service — like 17-year-old Zariya Coeur who plans to eventually study law after spending time as a social worker. Coeur, who interned at Bryan Cave last year, will use her scholarship money to study political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Everyone always told me I look like a lawyer and act like a lawyer,” she said. “[The scholarship] is really helping me take my first steps.”
Other recipients of the scholarship include Angelica Mason, Jack Mercado and Allen Sosa. The five students will all head to colleges in New York State.
Sosa, 18, who hopes to study mechanical or aerospace engineering, spent two years assisting his landlord with building maintenance in Sunset Park, throwing out trash, mopping the floors and sweeping up after school.
Most of the students have been at the Carroll Gardens school since sixth grade — a place where they said they developed self-confidence and realized they weren’t just a face in the crowd.
“It’s really nice to know that you know people and they know you by name,” Sosa said.