Ilene Abrams, Berkeley High School’s former college counselor will be honored next month for her contribution to the community — and specifically to the students she helped coach into colleges all over the country. Abrams was also instrumental in helping set up a program of four-year scholarships and mentoring support for Berkeley High graduates of promise orchestrated by the Berkeley Community Fund (BCF).

Haro Halton.

On Thursday October 21, the BCF will host a dinner and awards ceremony where Abrams will receive her award. A BCF Education Award will also be presented to the Berkeley Public Library Foundation.

Also being recognized that day are Denny Abrams and Richard Millikan, developers of Fourth Street, who will be presented with the 2010 Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal — an honor which has been bestowed since 1929 when it was seen as going to “Berkeley’s most useful citizen”. Past winners include Robert Gordon Sproul (1933) and David Brower (1998).

The awards dinner draws a great cross-section of Berkeley and highlights the values the city shares, says Jessica Pers who is on the BCF board. “It’s always a great Berkeley evening.”

Nicholas Birago.

It’s also an opportunity to meet some of the fifteen Berkeley High graduates who were recipients of BCF’s High Hopes Scholarship this year.

Charanpreet Sahota.

These include Haro Halton, formerly a self-described “wild boy” who is heading to Humboldt State University with the hope of studying business or economics; Nicholas Birago who after suffering from financial stress and depression managed to “get his life in control” and is now a student at Amherst College; and Charanpreet  Sahota who, after several setbacks, decided she didn’t want to be “one of the kids to fail” and is now at UC Davis.

For more information and to buy tickets to the dinner, which is at H’s Lordship’s restaurant on the Berkeley Marina, visit the BCF website.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...