Carole Lee Bergman
October 19, 1933 – November 19, 2016
She was my “Jewish mom,” but she would correct me and say instead, “aunt, you’re younger aunt.” Beautifully vain, wonderfully humorous, and incredibly resilient, Carole was a feminist and activist who believed in the power of societal good and community service.
Carole was an adult I needed when I was young. She was present with words of comfort when I was my worst critic, ready with advice when I swam in uncertainty and quick with humor when tears streamed my cheeks.
Carole entered into my life’s journey when she called Fashion High back in 1995 looking for someone that could sew some creative projects for her. I was an assistant teacher at the school back then, and I volunteered my time and visited her regularly, getting to know her. I would sit for hours, listening to her impressive life experiences.
Brooklyn born from a traditional home, Carole never followed the traditions expected of women in the ’50s. At a time when many women were “tied to the kitchen,” as she would say, Carole had a thriving career that she was extremely proud of at celebrity designers’ Evan-Piccone womenswear in New York’s garment district.
Carole went on to run her own business, living life on her own terms and then came the news: “You have breast cancer.” How did she fight back? By volunteering for the cause.
Carole became a fierce advocate and fundraising campaigner for the Breast Cancer Society and annual NYC Breast Cancer Walk. It was the best way to keep her mind off having the disease, eventually beating it and simultaneously helping others in the same fight. Every so often in our visits, I would hear her on the phone, cold calling companies for donations surrounded by the many pink ribbons throughout her apartment.
My grandmother taught me to never pry and wait on people to share their experiences and that’s how I came to learn of Carole’s way of persevering, by being of service.
She was a role model — my role model — for humanitarianism. She was my example of resiliency and altruism and another reason why I began this non profit.
The Carole Lee Bergman Scholarship for Excellence in Humanitarian Service will be awarded to a student who has distinguished themselves by meritorious direct “hands-on” participation in a humanitarian nature directed toward an individual or groups of individuals.
- Achievements deserving recognition must be submitted in writing to Power of One for All, Inc. via email for approval using student HSFI email
- Documentation must provide evidence which substantiates on site participation in a humanitarian act or operation
- Nomination must mention the period of service during which the student performed significant humanitarian actions, deeds, or achievements.
- Once approved, achievements must be documented in files such as commendation letters, Word Doc’s, Google Doc’s and/or images in a self titled Google Folder shared with firstname.lastname@example.org
- Annual monetary award will be given at the end of the school – Initial award for 1st year applicants can start at $100 – Amount can increase dependent on donations.
- Award winners are eligible and encouraged to apply annually – Second time winners will receive increase of award
- Award winners with consistent documented annual wins qualify for major award upon graduation