Three Springfield Students Receive Full Scholarships to Attend Smith
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—In recognition of their academic achievements and contributions to their schools and communities, three students from Springfield’s public schools were awarded scholarships to attend Smith College beginning this fall as part of the college’s Springfield Partnership.
The full-tuition scholarships, which will cover each recipient’s entire tuition for four years, are the centerpiece of the Smith/Springfield Partnership. Now in its sixth year, the partnership aims to strengthen ties between Smith and the state’s third most populous city, located 16 miles south of Northampton.
The recipients of the 2005 Springfield Partnership scholarships are MyDzung Thi Chu, from SABIS International Charter School; Myrlande Dumas, from the High School of Science and Technology; and Merari Hernandez-Rolón, a senior at Springfield’s High School of Commerce. All three students have enrolled to attend Smith.
Chu, who moved with her family to Springfield from Vietnam, has proven herself as a leader in her school both academically and athletically, participating in a range of activities and taking on volunteer work in her community. She served as secretary for her school’s National Honor Society chapter, was appointed captain of her varsity tennis team and started a drama club. She attended the regional Model Congress in Springfield, and won an award for Best Bill. Outside of school, Chu served as a group leader for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society and volunteered for the American Red Cross and the Springfield Art Museum. Meanwhile, she held jobs as a peer leader for anti-violence and tobacco prevention for the Spanish American Union and as an MCAS tutor for her school.
At Smith, MyDzung Chu plans to study neuroscience and behavioral sciences. She is the daughter of Duong Chu and Son Pham. Her sister, Hong-Hanh Thi Chu, is also a Springfield Scholar and recently completed her sophomore year at Smith.
Since arriving in Springfield from Haiti, via Texas and Michigan, Myrlande Dumas has immersed herself in academic and community activity. A member of her school’s Key Club, the National Honor Society and Mathletes, she was recognized as a MassMutual Academic Achiever. Dumas won first place among 88,000 entrants in the National French Contest, and she played on her school’s basketball team. Dumas, who highly values her volunteer work, has served as an MCAS peer tutor and has helped at a local nursing home and at the YMCA in a program assisting needy families.
Meanwhile, Dumas has held jobs for Subway sandwich shops and most recently has worked full-time as a customer service representative for First Notice System.
Dumas plans to pursue premedical studies at Smith. She lives with her mother, Azena Jean-Pierre.
After arriving in Springfield from her native Puerto Rico in her sophomore year and quickly grasping English through her school’s ESL program, Merari Hernandez-Rolón excelled academically and rose to first in her class. A member of the National Honor Society all three years at Commerce, she acted as treasurer in her senior year and participated as secretary for Amnesty International, while taking part in the Radio, Math and Ushers clubs and joining the softball team. Hernandez-Rolón was named a Mass Mutual Academic Achiever and was listed last year in Who’s Who Among American High School Students. A leader in her local Church Youth Group, Hernandez-Rolón was named Church Student of the Month last year.
At Smith, Hernandez-Rolón plans to study architecture. She lives with her mother, Cruz Esther Rolón.
The Springfield Scholars were selected by Smith admission officers, faculty members and administrators from among qualified applicants to the college.
The Springfield Partnership is one of a series of initiatives the college has undertaken to expand its ties to its urban neighbor. Undergraduate volunteers provide tutoring and life skills training at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Center and in a number of Springfield middle and high schools. Also, Smith established a partnership with Springfield’s K–5 Gerena Community School in 2003, in which students participate as interns, tutors and teaching assistants. Each year, 25 Gerena students are granted scholarships to attend the Smith Northampton Summer School Program.
Founded in 1875, Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges. Enrolling students from every state and 60 other countries, it is the largest undergraduate women's college in the United States.
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