Island high schoolers awarded nearly $1 million in MVYouth scholarships


An Island nonprofit has awarded $946,000 in college, healthcare and education, and workforce development scholarships to 16 high school seniors.

MVYouth is a community fund, founded in 2014. In its first nine years, MVYouth has supported 93 Island students. 

With the cost of tuition going up, program officials say, the scholarships are needed now more than ever.

“Over the last 10 years, average tuition and fees for in-state students at public, four-year colleges have increased 26.5 percent, and for students at private four-year colleges, tuition and fees have increased 35.9 percent, according to the College Board,” said Lindsey Scott, executive director with MVYouth. “As educational costs have risen so swiftly, supporting local students with scholarships has become increasingly important.”

Among this year’s scholarship programs are the MVYouth’s College Scholarships, which offer four years of last-dollar funding to high school seniors who qualify for financial support. 

There are eight recipients this year: Madeleine Bengtsson will attend Smith College; Maggie Bernard will attend Northeastern University; Eloise Christy will attend Middlebury College; Wren Christy will attend Middlebury College; Jack Crawford will attend Bowdoin College; Penelope Long will attend Simmons University; Isabelle Ribeiro will attend University of Vermont; and Julia Sayre will attend Brown University.

MVYouth’s newest scholarship program was organized to help respond to the shortage of nurses and teachers on the Island and throughout the rest of the country. 

The Healthcare and Education Scholarship offers high school seniors pursuing degrees in healthcare and education four years of last-dollar funding. 

There are five recipients this year: Evelyn Brewer will attend University of Southern California to pursue a career in occupational therapy; Cali Giglio will attend College of Charleston to pursue a career in exercise therapy; Ana Kurelja will attend Wheaton College to pursue a nursing career; Hanna Santos will attend Cape Cod Community College to pursue interpreter training and a career in education; and Josephine Welch will attend Boston College to pursue a nursing career.

MVYouth’s Workforce Development Scholarships provide last-dollar funding to 18- to 25-year-olds who are pursuing technical training and professional development in one- and two-year programs. The nonprofit prioritizes students pursuing careers in automotive mechanics, aviation, building trades, cosmetology, culinary arts, healthcare, horticulture, landscaping, marine trades, and wind technology.

Three recipients were selected this year: Dyana Burke will attend Spa Tech Institute to pursue esthetician training; Daniel Da Silva will attend New England Hair Academy to pursue barbering training; and Jaheem Richards will attend Skyborne Academy to pursue pilot training.

MVYouth’s advisory board assesses criteria like academic performance, character, activities, community service, employment experience, and career goals. 

All semifinalists are interviewed, and each student’s funding gap is calculated, before the finalists are selected.

MVYouth’s awards are calculated to fill the financial gap remaining after families contribute

(according to a federal calculation that establishes an estimated family contribution, or EFC), and after schools offer institutional aid. 

MVYouth’s support is sustained for every year of the proposed education or training program, as long as need persists and recipients uphold MVYouth’s scholarship guidelines. 

Awards are recalculated each year with updated costs of attendance, EFC, and financial aid information.