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John Jay Scholarships Awarded in Memory of Slain Mother, Children

Amy Perez, the Friedlander home/Patch file photo
Amy Perez, the Friedlander home/Patch file photo
The family and friends of late Cross River resident Amy Perez and her children, Molly and Gregory Friedlander, announced they have awarded $1,500 college scholarships to John Jay High School seniors Karen Daniela Giraldo Franco and Jaclyn Vroman.

The three were killed in October 2011 by Samuel Friedlander, who despite a pending divorce still lived with his estranged wife and their two children in a high-end, heavily mortgaged home in Cross River. In April, shortly after losing custody of the kids, he had purchased a shotgun and shells. 

10-year-old Molly Friedlander was a fifth-grader in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district. Gregory, 8, was in third grade. Perez, 46, a onetime Chase Bank vice president, tutored high school students to help with family finances.

The state police, responding to a worried call from Perez's partner in the tutoring enterprise, found their bodies in separate parts of the house. Friedlander had shot them then himself.

The Amy’s Kisses Foundation Memorial Scholarship is awarded to college-bound seniors in the Katonah-Lewisboro schools.

Here's the full statement from the foundation:

The Amy’s Kisses Foundation Memorial Scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Perez and her two children, who were brutally murdered in October, 2011 at the hands of her estranged husband, who also took his own life. The murders devastated Perez’s family and friends in the Philadelphia area and around the country, as well as the Cross River community and the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. 

A graduate of Cornell University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Perez co-founded a successful college test preparation organization serving John Jay High School students shortly before her untimely death.  She was known to praise her students by tossing them chocolate candy from the bowl she kept on her desk.  Additionally, Perez frequently spoke of wanting to establish a formal scholarship program for her services before her life was cut short.  

Amy’s Kisses Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3), celebrates her generosity of spirit, her commitment to academic excellence, and her enduring legacy by enriching the lives and education of students with financial need.

The Amy’s Kisses Foundation Memorial Scholarship is awarded to college-bound John Jay High School seniors who best exemplify the dedication to education that Perez held so dear.

For more information, visit www.amyskisses.org or www.facebook.com/amyskisses.

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