Ellen Garrison. Image via The Robbins House

New scholarship for METCO grads honors Ellen Garrison’s legacy

June 10, 2024

By Erin Tiernan — Erin@theconcordbridge.org

A new private scholarship will grant awards to four female graduates of color and honor the legacy of Ellen Garrison, the Civil War-era education advocate at the center of the new middle school naming controversy.

Concordian Leanne Bateman is funding the scholarship’s first year. Two $1,000 awards and two $500 awards will go to women from Concord-Carlisle High School’s METCO program. 

“For Ellen Garrison in the early and mid-1800s, she was up against every possible odd,” Bateman said. “What better way to honor our own Black women who have gone through the Concord school system thanks to METCO than by giving them an award in Ellen’s name?”

Applications will be accepted through June 28 via ellengarrison.org.

Students must submit a 500-word essay describing how Garrison or a similar advocate for education and civil rights served as their inspiration. Also required: a two-minute introduction video.

The Robbins House, a local nonprofit bringing awareness to Concord’s African American history, will take over the scholarship fund next year and is accepting contributions toward future awards.

“Not every community has an Ellen Garrison who risked bodily harm to educate people during reconstruction,” said Robbins House Executive Director Jen Turner. 

“Naming this scholarship after her will help to inspire women of color as they start their careers and go off into their work. The Ellen Garrison legacy goes with them.”

Scholarship recipients will be announced July 4.