SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A former special education teacher and a principal have teamed up to create an award that would benefit students who attend alternative programs in Springfield Public Schools.

It’s called the ‘Fresh Start Award,’ and it was created by Dr. Latoya Bosworth and Principal Sharonda Hector, both from the Springfield Public School system. Dr. Bosworth says the award is to honor the memory of Camry Starks, a student of hers in alternative programming who was murdered last year.

Bosworth says that students who attend alternative programs usually do not go on to four-year colleges and after graduation is without resources and guidance, which could lead to low-wage jobs, limited housing, and high imprisonment rates.

She says the goal is to end the generational pattern and help support these students.

“So the Fresh Start Award is hoping to help students move out, move on, and move smarter. A lot of our students come from backgrounds where there are generational patterns of trauma and so they want to start new, they want to be the ones to break that cycle,” said Dr. Latoya Bosworth, The Fresh Start Award Coordinator.

The award is for current or former students of 2020 to 2022 who were in alternative educational settings. The deadline to apply for this award is June 30th. If you are interested in applying for this award, click here.

Winners will receive $750 and will be announced in August at the Harambe Festival in Springfield.