The Purpose of the BPDF Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarships to deserving North Carolina, African-American high school graduating seniors and current college students intending to pursue a course of study at either a two-year or four-year educational institution, vocational or trade school.
For 2019, BPDF will award a total of $3000 in scholarships to students who will be attending a two or four-year educational institution. One $1,500 scholarship recipient for the Dr. Robert Stenson Jr. Memorial Scholarship and one $1,500 scholarship recipient for the Second Opportunity Scholarship.
The Second Opportunity scholarships provides scholarship opportunities to current high school seniors and students who were previously enrolled in college who have encountered and overcome adversity and are seeking a second opportunity to start or continue their dream of attending college, vocational/technical school or a university.
The Dr. Robert Stenson Jr. memorial Scholarship provides scholarship opportuniries to current high school seniors or currently enrolled students with a college major in a Science, Public Health, or Mathematics related discipline.
Robert Stenson Jr. was born July 31, 1959, in Atlanta GA to Robert Stenson Sr. and Dessie Duncan Stenson. As a child, Robert was very inquisitive, a trait that would serve him well later on in life. Unfortunately, at the age of 10, his mother who had valiantly battled Lupus for many years succumbed to the disease at the young age of 30 years. Robert and his 11-year old sister Brenda, moved in with their Uncle Ben (Dessie’s brother) and Aunt Lydia and cousins Eva, Benjamin, and Christopher (who arrived on the scene just a little bit later). Shortly thereafter, Uncle Ben re-enlisted into the army and the new family of seven left Georgia for the Panama Canal Zone. Robert, who had known only Atlanta for his early formative years, now was exposed to a whole new world.
After Panama, the family moved to Arizona and then to Germany. Throughout his Junior High and High School Years, Robert continued to excel. He starred in Football, Baseball and Track and Field, while always maintaining excellent grades in all of his classes (including calculus, chemistry, biology, and physics). He was the High School Record Holder for American High Schools in Europe for the pole vault. In addition, he played in the Senior League World Series in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Despite his athletic prowess and achievements, Robert was drawn to the field of medicine. The death of his mother to Lupus was a constant motivator and inspiration for Robert. The support of his “new” family - Uncle Ben (Dad), Aunt Lydia (Mom), his siblings as well as special mentorship from his Aunt Daisy (Dessie’s younger sister) - helped to guide him along the way.
Robert knew that his calling was to help people through medicine and medical practice. Immediately after high school, Robert enrolled into Emory University and graduated in 1981 (Who’s Who Selection) with a B.A. in Chemistry. In 1985, Robert graduated from Tufts University with a M.D. degree from the School of Medicine, fulfilling his lifelong dream. However, his mission was now only just beginning. Dr. Stenson continued his training and education with research fellowships at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as well the UCLA School of Medicine. On July 29, 1989, he was joined with Charnetta Poole in Holy matrimony. After several years of additional intense training and practice, Dr. Stenson opened his own Medical practice with a specialty of Gynecologic Oncology. Robert put his entire essence and being into his work. He saved countless lives. He achieved this not only through his surgical skill and medical knowledge, but also by his kind, positive and uplifting bedside manner. Robert dedicated his life to serving his patients and their families. On any day at any time, he could be found at the hospital, visiting and checking on his patients and keeping their spirits high and hopeful. He established an unprecedented, wonderful rapport and relationship with each one of his patients. Therefore, Robert’s ministry on earth was achieved through his medical practice and his dedication to those he was called to serve. God used Robert to bring hope and healing to countless patients and their families. On July 24, 2002 ,Robert was abruptly and unexpectedly called home. He had achieved his mission here on Earth.