Five local students were awarded $1,000 scholarships each from the Webster-Dudley-Oxford Chamber of Commerce, with official presentations given aboard the Indian Princess on Webster Lake on June 25,
The Chamber awards a scholarship to a student from the each of towns’ high schools, Bay Path and one to the son or daughter of a Chamber member.
This year’s winners were Allison Grzembski from Bartlett High School, Jillian Pare from Oxford High School, Gina Yu from Shepherd Hill Regional High School, and Hayden Smith from Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School. Katelyn McKay received the WDO Chamber Member scholarship, named in honor of the late Phillip L. Hopkins.
Allison Grzembski will attend Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she will study zoo science. The school is one of only three in the country that offers this course of study, she explained, one specifically designed for aspiring zookeepers. Allison will also be playing on the tennis team.
Jillian Pare will be going to Umass Lowell for Business Administration with a concentration in Management. “My goal is to find a job I love while being able to maintain happiness outside of my career. I plan on being a part of a lot of leadership and women in business clubs, ultimate frisbee and I hope to study abroad at one point in the next few years.”
Gina Yu, who lives in Dudley, will study biology at Tufts University in Medford. She will be taking on an interdisciplinary life, also participating in an art program at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She’s a student of portraiture, as shown by her Einstein mural in a Shepherd Hill classroom.
Hayden Smith, a Webster resident, will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute to study computer science and robotics. She’s picking up her from her activities at Bay Path, where she “loved to program” and was a member of the robotics club. She was also the class valedictorian. Her dad, Charles, said he was thankful for scholarships like this. “It makes life easier, alleviates the stress.” He also said he’s “very proud” of his daughter.
Katelyn McKay, whose mom works at MAPFRE, was awarded the Chamber member scholarship. Katelyn will be heading to Springfield College to study occupational therapy in a five-and-a-half-year program that will earn her a master’s degree. Katelyn has a second goal, to follow in her father Tim’s footsteps as a volunteer for the Massachusetts Special Olympics at the August games. He’s been doing that since 1986, and having volunteered with him, Katelyn says, “I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life now too.”
-- Barbara Van Reed