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Brighton High senior who survived Haiti earthquake awarded full scholarship to UMass

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 10, 2013 02:49 PM

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A recent Brighton High School graduate who moved to the United States three years ago after surviving the devastating earthquake in Haiti was selected as the first recipient of a scholarship that allows him to attend UMass Amherst or Lowell for four years at no cost.

Seth Alexandra Philistine, who graduated last week, received the award. He was one of 20 seniors who applied for the scholarship established this year through a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Foundation and the Boston Scholar Athletes program.

“As a scholar-athlete at Brighton High School, Seth is a well-rounded student who is a member of the National Honor Society, the boys’ varsity soccer team, and the indoor and outdoor track team,” said a joint statement from UMass and BSA. “Seth has benefited from the BSA program in a variety of ways, and his lifelong goal is to become a physician. He truly believes that an education from the University of Massachusetts will help him achieve his goal.”

The new scholarship program will continue annually, officials said. Starting next year, the program will award two scholarships, which cover the full cost of attending either UMass Amherst or UMass Lowell, to Boston Public High School seniors in the BSA program.

“The scholarship program is an effort on the part of BSA to fill the college pipeline with students from Boston Public High Schools and to make college more accessible and affordable for scholar athletes,” the joint statement said.

The BSA program plans to establish similar partnerships with other local colleges and universities in the next several years.

“Our Boston Scholar Athletes program is giving our future leaders the opportunity to win on the playing fields, win in the classroom and win in life,” said a statement from John Fish, founder of the BSA program and CEO of Suffolk Construction. “We are a community that helps each other and gives back to those who need it the most and I am so pleased the University of Massachusetts has stepped up to help Seth and other Boston Scholar Athletes pursue their dreams.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must: be a senior BSA Zone Member; have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; and demonstrate need or desire for the scholarship. And, scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher and full-time enrollment status each semester at UMass over four years to keep the scholarship.

“The UMass Foundation is honored to partner with BSA to provide these scholarships to deserving students to set them on the path to fulfillment of their hopes and dreams,’’ said a statement from UMass President Robert L. Caret. “Scholar athletes are an important part of the fabric of what makes our university whole and dynamic, and we look forward to welcoming them on our campuses and seeing the contributions that they make.”

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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