Jefferies Family Scholarship
"This program has truly been a labor of love for Boyd, Carrera, myself and all of the friends who have so diligently served on the Board and Selection Committee. We all realized quickly that when you devote your time and efforts to helping others, you truly benefit from the satisfaction of enhancing another life."
A Special Privelege
"Jefferies Family Scholarship keeps the memory of Boyd and Stephen ever present. It is also a meaningful opportunity for employees and their children and one of the things that really makes the Firm unique," says Sharon Jefferies, a member of the JFS Board of Directors and wife of nearly 30 years of the late Boyd Jefferies, founder of Jefferies and JFS. "It is a special privilege to be involved in a program which enhances the education and lives of the children of Jefferies employees."
The Philosophy behind the program
"Boyd was a very generous, caring man and he loved his son deeply," says Sharon. "After the loss of Stephen, he found great solace in honoring him with a memorial dedicated to education and the pursuit of excellence." The philosophy of the program was to give a helping hand to educate the children of Jefferies employees, she explains. Family and friends of Boyd gathered around and lent their help to the program. They devoted time to establishing ground rules and selecting the applicants they felt most qualified. The selection committee chose applicants who were the most well-rounded students, with achievement both in and outside of the classroom. A student did not have to be a "rocket scientist" to win the hearts of the selection committee as they often chose students who were really struggling and just needed some encouragement.
Evolution of the Scholarship
"Stephen was a wonderful, well-rounded, hard-working individual with a carefree spirit," says Sharon. The program continues to reward those qualities in its recipients. As the years have passed, and the firm's growth has continued, the program has begun to weigh financial need more to fit the needs of the employees. "This change seems to have created a more balanced program and greater incentive for the support of Jefferies employees and management." To acknowledge excellence regardless of financial need, the program created a non-monetary award, JAM, which is given to exceptional students that do not qualify for financial need but deserve acknowledgement for their outstanding achievements.
Over 25 Years of Giving
In 2005, the program celebrated its 25th Anniversary. "It was a special time for everyone. Over the years the original members of the program have become special 'family and friends' involved in making a difference," Sharon notes. Many have been dedicated to the program since it started. Dorothy Grace, Boyd's Executive Assistant until 1987, has continued to serve the scholarship program since the founding. She worked diligently year after year, before computers were around, to put the annual meetings together. Dick Grace, a Bond Investment professional for his entire career, has served for many years as the primary investment director for program in conjunction with the Investment Committee of the Board. Many former recipients give back to the program and/or are involved in the running of the program. Regina De Wetter, recipient from 87'-90' serves as the Coordinator of the program; Sally Morris Armstrong, recipient from 84'-93', is the Legal Counsel; and Nicole Locke Finn, recipient from 99'-02', serves on the selection committee. "I am impressed with the quality of the people involved in this program who give their time and efforts unselfishly."
A Promising Future
"The future for the program looks very promising," Sharon says. Chairmen of the Jefferies Family Scholarship have been so inspirational in taking the program to the next level, with fund-raising reaching incredible heights. Jefferies is also incredibly supportive of the program. Brian Friedman, Chairman of the Executive Committee at Jefferies, has suggested bringing in additional employees from various businesses across the firm and wants to increase focus on creative fund-raising. "Because of increasing growth at Jefferies, our fund-raising efforts must become more and more creative to meet the demands."