In honoring journalist and attorney Joseph E. Mohbat, friends and family have given hope to an inspiring young writer and paid tribute to Mr. Mohbat's love of mentoring.
Mr. Mohbat, who died last August at the age of 73, was a former Associated Press reporter who covered politics and then went to work for the Democratic National Committee. He later became a lawyer, moved to Brooklyn and had a long career with the New York City Law Department.
Through those years, Mr. Mohbat mentored many young reporters, lawyers and writers, says his widow, Nancy Schuh. Completely by happenstance, says Ms. Schuh, Mr. Mohbat met teenager Verdery Knights, a driven, talented young writer who wanted to become a reporter. The two connected through writing. She was a student at Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. She died in 2008 from a blood clot.
With Mr. Mohbat's death, Ms. Schuh wanted to create a way to honor her husband and Ms. Knights. Family, friends and colleagues donated to create the Joseph E. Mohbat Prize for Writing, a fund of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. The award, $2,500, includes a $1,500 cash prize and a spot in a writing workshop at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York.