By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Hardy Williams Education Fund awarded scholarships to six students in Philadelphia interested in careers in government, law or social action.

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“I had the dream since I was in the 7th grade and I feel like it’s coming true,” says Attiyah Burgess, 19. The Penn State freshman is one of six graduate, undergraduate and high school seniors awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $2500. All of the selected honorees are already impacting their community.

“I started a performing arts program in the summer for the children,” says Burgess. “I stressed education. As for what I want to do, I want to be a lawyer because I want to defend people from my neighborhood who are in prison serving life for things I believe that they are innocent.”

The scholarships are given in the name of the late Hardy Williams, who died in 2010 at age 78. The West Philadelphia High School and Cheyney University alum was no stranger to controversy during his decades in public service as a city solicitor, state representative and state senator.

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“He was an activist and a political leader,” says Lynette Brown-Sow, founder of the Hardy William Education Fund. “And the Hardy Williams legacy is about bringing young folks up so they can think about new models of how to solve problems in our community.”

“All of these young people are doing work that has a set of values associated with my father,” says State Senator Anthony Williams. “I’m very proud of that. And I am honored that people remember my father.”

The Hardy Williams Education Fund was founded four years ago. This year’s scholarship reception was held on May 16th in Northern Liberties. For more info, visit

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