The family of Eli Axelbank, who was a principal at the former James Monroe HS, has joined forces with the Monroe College Foundation in scholarship awards for graduates of the Monroe Academy for Visual Art and Design (MAVAD) and the Monroe Academy for Business and Law (MABL).
Represented by Gary Axelbank, one of Eli’s three sons who is the BronxTalk television host, the Axelbank family has presented the award to students at the Monroe Academies (no relation to the college) at their graduations since his passing in 1982.
“Our family has done this for 30 years because my father’s legacy as an educator, a father, and a community leader is worth passing on to future generations,” Gary Axelbank said. “So we select students who have achieved not only in the classroom, but also in their communities.”
Eli Axelbank’s widow, Mickey, and the families of Arthur and Jeffrey Axelbank also contribute to the award. Long time educator, Tom Porton, who was a colleague of Eli Axelbank, administrates the award on behalf of the high schools and the Axelbank family.
The MAVAD winner this year is Carmen Cancel who was a four-year member of the leadership class, the captain of the school’s blood drive, and on the senior council. She also fed the homeless, was in the art club, and worked with senior citizens.
The MABL award winner is Carlos Gonzalez who was a four-year basketball player, a member of the senior council and year book committee, and worked at feeding the homeless.
To help commemorate the decades of support the Axelbank family has provided, this year the Monroe College Foundation broadened the scope of the award with a scholarship to help the students pay for their college education.