2 Scholarships, 1 Inspirational Family
|Left to right: Beverly Kimbro, Arthur ("Butch") E. Moore III, Warren Kimbro
In their memory, two funds created by the Kimbro family support people who are building a better future
In 1987, a car accident claimed the life of a young athlete who dreamed of becoming a sports announcer. “Butch,” to those who knew him best, was an honor student at New Haven’s Cooperative High School. A whiz at algebra. And only 17 years old at the time of his death.
Two years after the accident, a fund was created in memory of Butch by his mother Beverly Kimbro. The scholarship was created under Butch’s given name, Arthur E. Moore III, and started with donations from family and friends. For Beverly, the Fund served as a permanent way to keep Butch’s memory and interests alive. For students, then and now, the Fund provides financial aid to increase their chances of having dreams come true. The scholarship is awarded annually to students from Sheridan Middle School who want to attend Hopkins Grammar School and to seniors at Cooperative High School who are going to college.
Beverly, a “soft spoken woman with a kind heart and gentle spirit,” worked as the Assistant Director of Administration for the MacMillan Center at Yale for more than 20 years. Her interests were varied: cooking, crossword puzzles, football, and jazz. Spending time with family was important. Helping children in need was second nature.
Beverly saw education as an essential ingredient to achieving success in life; it’s not surprising that she chose to create a scholarship in memory of her son.
But service was also very important to the New Haven native.
“She was a great supporter of our sorority’s service projects. Projects such as educating people about breast cancer and heart disease. Joining walk-a-thons to benefit food banks. Giving workshops in shelters and halfway houses,” recalls Claudette Beamon, a former Scholarship Chair of Beverly’s Sorority - the Tau Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
“Beverly loved the sorority with all of her heart for its work to establish a legacy of sisterhood and service,” continues Claudette. “And even when she was extremely sick, she wanted to make sure that the sorority’s work went on. She was committed to service, especially around helping disenfranchised children. She was determined to do what was right for kids.”
When Beverly died in 2007, her husband Warren chose to memorialize her just as she had done for Butch almost twenty years before. The Beverly Hilton Kimbro Scholarship Fund was created to make sure that Beverly “would not be forgotten.” It was set up to benefit the scholarship program of Beverly’s sorority. It’s what Beverly would have wanted, said Warren at the time.
Beverly’s philosophy about education and service was shared by her husband. Though originally a high school dropout, Warren went on to earn a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Harvard' s Graduate School of Education. Warren was a long-time advocate for youth in his community, a coach for the youth football league and integral part of the Residential Youth Center that once stood on Dwight Street. In 1969, he joined the Black Panther Party out of frustration with the city’s and government’s anti-poverty measures. Under a directive from Party superiors, Warren killed another Party member who was wrongly suspected to be an informant.
It was in prison that Warren re-dedicated his life to helping others. The starting point was to become a role model so that others could see the possibilities in their lives. Through an experimental program for prisoners offered by Eastern Connecticut State University, Warren went to college. He also ran a drug rehabilitation program and edited the prison’s newspaper donning his motto: Don’t count time. Make time count.
Warren’s model behavior earned him early parole. He came back to his hometown to both make amends and change the future for troubled youth and adults. Warren served as the President and CEO of Project MORE (Project Model Offenders Reintegration Experience) for over 25 years, helping ex-offenders find jobs, services and opportunities to ease their return from prison. Under his leadership, the program expanded from a one building facility in New Haven to a $7 million a year operation that runs in two states and is replicated on a national level.
“We used to call Warren the ambassador. When a client walked in the front door, whatever his or her past, Warren did not judge them. His focus was on the client’s future,” says Morris Moreland, former Vice President of Project MORE. “Project MORE was more than a job to Warren. It was a philosophy and way of life. Warren believed in taking the holistic approach with clients.”
After Warren's passing, donations received in his memory from friends and family were granted out to Project More.
If you are inspired by the Kimbro family and would like to have a lasting impact on the New Haven community, contact Sharon Cappetta 203-777-7071 to learn about establishing a fund and grantmaking opportunities.