Mingwang Jiang was a high school freshman when he left China with his family and put down new roots in Philadelphia. At the time, he did not speak a word of English – but he went on to graduate at the top of his class from George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in Philadelphia. Along the way, he also worked for the Philadelphia School District, helping immigrant families understand the enrollment process.
In recognition of his community service and academic achievements, Mingwang was one of two students recently honored by Comcast with a $5,000 college scholarship. Named after of one of Comcast’s founding board members, the Gustave G. Amsterdam Leadership Award is a special recognition given to Philadelphia high school seniors who go on to attend a city college or university. The award is part of our company’s Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, through which Comcast provides about $2 million in scholarships each year to high school seniors nationwide.
Also receiving a scholarship was Sierra Williams, 19, who served as captain of the mock trial team at Philadelphia’s Constitution High School as well as student government vice president – all while earning a 3.73 GPA. As a high school student, Sierra participated in a mentoring program at the law firm of Ballard Spahr and is now a member of the mock trial team at Temple University, where she is studying pre-law.
Mingwang, now 20, is studying chemical engineering at Drexel University and has set his sights on working at a company where he can plan and test production methods and byproduct treatment.
“This year’s outstanding honorees represent Philadelphia’s potential and promise in the decades to come, and I know Gus would be very proud of them,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Comcast Corporation. David presented plaques to Sierra and Mingwang at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and attended by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and hundreds of regional business leaders.
A longtime business leader in Philadelphia, Gus Amsterdam was also a community advocate focused on improving educational opportunities and civic life in the city. He graduated from Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, and served as chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and was on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center, the Philadelphia Urban League, the Federation of Jewish Agencies, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and the Franklin Institute, among others.
The Gustave G. Amsterdam Leadership Award was established in 2001 to honor Gus and his contributions to our corporate headquarters’ hometown. Honorees are Philadelphia students chosen from among the local finalists for the Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program, which is funded through the Comcast Foundation. Since 2000, nearly 27,000 students have received more than $28 million in college scholarships. Learn more about the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program here.