Seven Island seniors receive MVYouth college scholarships

MVYouth Award recipients, from left, Olivia Jacobs, Samantha Hargy, Lee Hayman, Kaela Vecchia-Zeitz, Casey McAndrews, and Chris Aring. (Not shown: Marlla Lemos.) — Sam Moore

MVYouth executive director Lindsey Scott announced Monday afternoon the names of seven Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School seniors who will receive four-year scholarships to attend their schools of choice.

The seniors are: Chris Aring, Samantha Hargy, Lee Hayman, Olivia Jacobs, Marlla Lemos, Casey McAndrews, and Kaela Vecchia-Zeitz.

“The students we interviewed this year are very accomplished in a variety of ways,” MVYouth co-chairman Dan Stanton said in a press release. “They are driven, focused, and thoughtful kids who are working very hard. We were all very impressed by their caliber.”

MVYouth’s advisory board narrowed the original pool of 38 applicants down to 14 semifinalists based on merit, academic performance, character, and community service. In March, board representatives interviewed the 14 semifinalists, who also shared their admission and financial aid information. Part of the focus of the scholarship is financial need.

“MVYouth is dedicated to filling the funding gaps that remain after their families have contributed and their schools have awarded financial aid,” Ms. Scott said. “MVYouth is focused on enabling high-achieving students to pursue a college education at the best school they can attend without the burden of debt.”

MVYouth is a community fund founded in August 2014. Since 2014, MVYouth has raised $5.5 million dollars through founder donations. In total, this year’s scholarship awards exceed $540,000. MVYouth has also provided expansion grants to Island nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club, Skate Park Association, and Chamber Music Society.

“MVYouth plans to continue giving at the same rate or greater in future years,” Ms. Scott said.

With the support of MVYouth, Mr. Aring will attend Olin College, Ms. Hargy will attend George Washington University, Ms. Hayman will attend Denison University, Ms. Jacobs will attend Hamilton College, Ms. Lemos will attend University of Massachusetts Boston, Ms. McAndrews will attend Hamilton College, and Ms. Vecchia-Zeitz will attend New York University.

MVYouth’s mission is to provide capital for exceptional Island organizations serving children, teens, and young adults, and college scholarships for deserving students. The nonprofit organization is the creation of Daniel Stanton and Jim Swartz, who now serve as its co-chairmen. MVYouth pools donations from its 55 founders, who each pledge $25,000 per year for four years.

For more information on MVYouth, go to or email