Nonprofit VHS Learning today announced the winners of its 14th annual college scholarship program. In 2020, VHS Learning awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships to 12 recipients. This year, the nonprofit increased its scholarship investment to $6,500 and the number of recipients to 15 students.
Two students each won $1000 scholarships, five earned $500 scholarships, and eight students were awarded $250 scholarships. All scholarship recipients created videos that answered the scholarship program’s question for this year: “Please describe the skills you have learned in your VHS Learning course that you feel will be helpful in college or your career, and why.”
One of the $1,000 scholarship winners, Selina Tran from Fontbonne The Early College of Boston, took AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, and AP Statistics. In her video, she stated that what she learned from those courses would help her in her planned future career in artificial intelligence research as well as in life. “Not only will I be able to better analyze situations, but I can also create better predictions for myself in the real world and put my problem-solving skills to the test,” she said.
Ruthie Zhang from Littleton High School in Massachusetts was the other $1,000 scholarship winner. She made a video describing how VHS Learning helped her take initiative in her own education, including contributing to virtual group projects and doing extra research on topics she found interesting. Zhang related how she took many different VHS Learning classes including AP Economics and AP Human Geography, between 8th and 12th grade, courses that were not offered at her small school. Her choice to take a VHS Learning Sociology course led her to discover she had an affinity for social science, something she had never taken before. “Without VHS Learning, I would not have taken the initiative in studying what I find interesting,” she stated.
Suhaila Islam from Razi School in New York was one of the $500 scholarship winners. She took two VHS Learning courses, U.S. Government and Psychology I. “I’m very interested in a career within the healthcare field, which requires individuals to have a multitude of soft skills such as open-mindedness, empathy, approachability and communication,” she said in her video. She stated that both courses helped prepare her for that career. “My U.S. Government class taught me how to stand up for what I believe in while remaining tolerant through respectful debates with my peers. “It gave me the chance to prepare for the kinds of individuals I will come across throughout my college experience and possibly even my career,” she explained.
The other $500 scholarship winners and their videos include:
- Bernadette Evardone from Bristol Borough High School in Pennsylvania | https://youtu.be/cLoGiKHpYz4
- Isabella Hund from East Juniata High School in Pennsylvania | https://youtu.be/n25dSZNIwvs
- Laurel Pondish from Hammonton High School in New Jersey | https://youtu.be/j7fICnBPNU0
- Sophia Numan from Andover High School in Massachusetts | https://youtu.be/-DBa6KK1ruw
John Boesen, a senior from Malcolm Public Schools in Nebraska who is headed to Harvard, was among the $250 winners. In his video, he emphasized the new ways of thinking he gained from taking six VHS Learning courses over his school career. The national merit scholar explained how his decision making and task performance improved by using the example of his job washing dishes at a local restaurant after the 10th grade.
“One decision I was making was how many dishes to wash per cycle before transporting them,” he said. “So, I did this with the microeconomic framework. I thought about ‘Where does the marginal benefit intersect with the marginal cost?’ That’s just one example of the ways of thinking that have been ingrained in me.”
The other $250 scholarship winners and their videos include:
- Alopa Waje from Hopkinton High School in Massachusetts | https://youtu.be/UmmPz2l1T2o
- Amelia Valente from Milford High School in Massachusetts | https://youtu.be/D8IcUQNgwdE
- Ruizhe (Fair) Shen from the Fontbonne The Early College of Boston in Massachusetts | https://youtu.be/94JvthaV9JU
- Hannah Hartman from Shanghai American School in China | https://youtu.be/6ybpbPMAfbQ
- Jennifer Boyle from Saucon Valley High School in Pennsylvania | https://youtu.be/kOsyhByJYWc
- Julianna Reidell from Jenkintown High School in Pennsylvania | https://youtu.be/R7caPH-ylr4
- Kotoha Yamada from South Portland High School in Maine | https://youtu.be/mecsYsz_LUo
“In their video submissions our scholarship winners this year mentioned that in addition to content knowledge, they gained effective time management, study, and communication skills as part of their VHS Learning experience,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “They felt those skills would be a great help in college and in their future careers. At VHS Learning we take great pride in the fact that in addition to academic skills, we help students learn and hone invaluable life skills.”