QUEENS — The first winners of a scholarship that honors a man shot at last year's J'Ouvert parade were announced Monday.
The Carey Gabay scholarship benefits students from disadvantaged backgrounds in memory of Gabay, a staffer for Cuomo who was hit by a stray bullet at J’Ouvert, the pre-dawn celebration leading up to the annual West Indian Day parade in Crown Heights.
The 43-year-old died nine days later after being removed from life support.
Each scholarship covers tuition at one of the SUNY Colleges, as well as room and board, college fees, books and supplies and transportation, according to the governor's office.
Each of the five students who won — Ramanjot Bal of Richmond Hill, Fernando De La Cruz of Washington Heights, Narelys Chum of Troy, Tony Kelley of Albany, and Nayelhi Sanchez-Lorenzo of Spring Valley — has a "personal story of succeeding academically despite having an economically disadvantaged background," according to Cuomo.
The son of undocumented immigrants who was homeless as a youth and a student who lost a family member to gun violence are among this year's winners, Cuomo said.
Carey, a graduate of Harvard Law School, grew up in public housing and attended public school in The Bronx before getting a job as an assistant counsel to Cuomo and later as first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation.
“Carey worked hard, overcame adversity and chose public service as a way to improve the lives of his fellow New Yorkers," Cuomo said in a statement.
"He was an inspiration to every single person he came in contact with and we are proud to award this scholarship in his honor to help other students who grew up in similar circumstances strive, succeed and lead."
This year, two people were killed and two more injured at J’Ouvert, even after the NYPD significantly increased security at the event.
Three of the Carey Gabay Scholarship winners were scheduled to join Cuomo's contingent during the West Indian Day Parade Monday.