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Framingham Public Schools and the Framingham School Committee Announce the Karen Foran Dempsey Scholarship

Framingham Public Schools
Robert A. Tremblay, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Rochelle Santos, Media & Communications Manager
Framingham Public Schools 

Framingham Public Schools and the Framingham School Committee Announce the Karen Foran Dempsey Scholarship

January 19, 2021 (Framingham, MA)Born and raised in Framingham, Karen Foran Dempsey spent her entire life advocating for equality for those with disabilities, and most recently served as District 2’s School Committee Member. She experienced a challenging physical disability from her early years and never let it impede her living life to the fullest, as she used her experience to advocate vigorously for all people to have equal access and equal opportunity. Sadly, Karen died suddenly at the age of 54 on December 24, 2020. (Obituary)

“Karen’s passing is a tremendous loss for our community as we have all learned from her example and from her tireless advocacy for people with disabilities,” said Dr. Robert Trembay, Superintendent of Framingham Public Schools. “As a partner in the leadership of the Framingham Public Schools, Karen had begun to teach me so much about disability rights, yet we had only just begun the conversation. Indeed, there is so much more to learn as we champion the important work of disability rights in our community. Though she is not here to guide us, I am grateful that we began the conversation when we did and that her charge to all of us remains strong in our hearts and minds. My heart breaks for the Dempsey family and for everyone whose lives have been touched by their kindness and advocacy.

To honor and continue Karen’s mission, a scholarship has been created by her School Committee colleagues in her memory. This scholarship will help a deserving Framingham High School student with a physical disability by awarding financial support for post-secondary education. This could include but is not limited to college, trade school, and/or culinary school.

Karen’s life mission was breaking down barriers for equal access for people with disabilities and was a tireless advocate for the rights of the disabled. The family encourages students who dream of breaking down their own barriers by moving forward with higher education advancement to apply, so they can seek to carry on her legacy, and put their imprint on Framingham like Karen did.

Contribute to the Karen Foran Dempsey Scholarship Fund
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the Karen Foran Dempsey Scholarship fund can donate online using City Hall Systems. Checks are also being accepted at the City Treasurer's office (150 Concord Street, Room 111, Framingham, MA 01702). Please write checks out to “The Karen Dempsey Scholarship” (not the City of Framingham)

Application Information
All eligible students are encouraged to apply for the Karen Foran Dempsey Scholarship through the established systems at Framingham High School (FHS). Local scholarships are included in weekly newsletters sent by the College and Career Counselor at FHS and the scholarship will also be included in Naviance with the amount, eligibility requirements, and application details. Anyone with questions on the scholarship listing and process can contact Rachel Erikson (née Schmid), M.A., College and Career Counselor at Framingham High School: (508) 782-7688.

Watch the tributes to Karen Dempsey at the start of the last School Committee meeting. (The start time for this section of the meeting is 3:36, but the Government Channel breaks it down by sections so if you click this link, you can see the section titled Honoring Karen Foran Dempsey (1966-2020) and click to watch it.)

About Framingham Public Schools
The mission of the Framingham Public Schools is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically-thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by highly-qualified staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community. For news, updates, and announcements, follow Framingham Public Schools (@FraminghamPS) on Facebook, Twitter, and (@framinghamschools) on Instagram. You can also join the conversation using #FraminghamSchools.

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Rochelle Santos