(Left-right) 2019 CMS Chamber Scholarships winners are Alissa Lomax, Madison Gendreau, Erika Zayas and Colin Donovan.
The Chamber of Central Mass South is very pleased to announce the winners of the Chamber Scholarships for 2019. This year, four scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to four local students upon successful completion of their first semester of college with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
"Our Scholarship Committee was really put to the test this year," said Chamber Executive Director Alexandra McNitt. "We had many great applications, and the selection process was very competitive. Normally, we finalize it down to three recipients, but this year we felt strongly that these four students deserved our recognition and encouragement. They are all well on their way to being important contributors to our communities."
This year's $1000 scholarship recipients are Madison Gendreau and Alissa Lomax, both graduates of Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Erika Zayas, a graduate of Southbridge High School, and Colin Donovan, a graduate of Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Alissa Lomax, of Charlton, is an exceptional student, smart, capable, driven and courageous. Passionate about school, Alissa has had to overcome challenges that would have stymied many to be successful in her studies. At age eleven, Alyssa beat a rare form of cancer and she is currently battling cystic fibrosis. These health challenges have not diminished her motivation, positive attitude and desire to succeed. Alissa excelled academically in high school and regularly earned her place on First Honors with a challenging mix of Honors, Accelerated and Pre-AP/AP courses. With her intense curiosity and interest in human behavior and thoughts, her desire is to become a psychiatrist. Alissa has been accepted to UMASS Amherst where she will pursue a degree in Psychology and further education in Psychiatry.
Madison Gendreau, of Southbridge, is a committed, thoughtful and dependable student who is described by her peers as a born leader. Her glowing transcript from Shepherd Hill Regional High School exhibits exceptional grades and an abundance of activities, honors and awards. A recipient of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship and the George Eastman Young Leaders Award, Madison served in student government as class secretary all four years at Shepherd Hill and as President of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior. Madison's volunteer work in our community includes time spent at St. Vincent's Memorial Hospital in Worcester, St John Paul II Parish, Jacob Edwards Library as well as Harrington Hospital. She currently is a barista at Sturbridge Coffee Roasters and will continue her studies in pursuit of a profession in the medical field.
Erika Nicole Zayas, of Southbridge, is a diligent and serious student whose integrity, work ethic and leadership skills are respected and admired by her classmates and teachers. Ranked 2nd in her graduating class, Erika is a recipient of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship, a member of National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. Erika is bilingual and achieved the highest grade point average in her class in the study of Anatomy and Physiology. She has given many hours of her time in service to our community, is active in Rotary Club and serves as Vice President of ASPIRA of Massachusetts, Inc. Youth Group. Erika currently works as a service associate at Big Bunny Supermarket in Southbridge. She has been accepted to the pre-med program at UMass Amherst where she will pursue her calling in the field of medicine.
Colin P. Donovan, of Charlton, is a dedicated and hardworking student with a passion for history and helping others. Colin, a member of the National Honor Society since his sophomore year, has obtained honor roll status throughout his high school career. An avid runner, Colin has been on the Cross Country team since freshman year and served as a team Captain in his senior year. Student Council, Bay Path Video Game Development Club and the Robotics Club are among his extracurricular accomplishments. In summer, Colin works as a Counselor at the Windham-Tolland 4H Camp in Pomfret, CT where he supervises and sets an example for kids between ages 6 and 15, and serves as Sports Instructor, Fishing Instructor and Cabin Counselor. Colin will pursue degrees in both history and education and hopes to return to the community and become a high school History teacher.
The Chamber and its members are truly gratified to be able to contribute to the ongoing education and success of these exceptional young scholars and offer them best wishes as they embark on their journeys into higher education. The Chamber of Central Mass South typically offers three $1000 scholarships to local students each year. Monies are allocated from the Chamber's Charities and Scholarship Fund which is supported by the annual 'Your Chance to Be a Millionaire' lottery scratch tickets raffle, the Chamber's Annual Golf Classic and individual contributions from Chamber Members. Scholarship applications can be obtained at local high school guidance offices or online at the Chamber website. The annual deadline to apply is April 1.