Admins name 5 seniors for full-ride scholarships

By Eli Haims

A committee of administrators and deans selected five seniors to compete for prestigious scholarships at East Coast colleges.

Natalie Epstein ’12 was chosen as the Morehead-Cain Scholar candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. David Olodort ’12 is up for the Jefferson Scholarship for the University of Virginia. Jessica Barzilay ’12, Jessica Gold ’12 and Richard Polo ’12 were nominated for the Robertson Scholarship at either Duke University or UNC-Chapel Hill.

All scholarships cover full tuition, room and board and research and travel opportunities.

“We look at the students at the top of the class and then we present their profiles to see how well they match,” said Upper School Dean Sharon Cuseo.

Nominees for the Morehead-Cain scholarship must possess a “moral force of character, scholarship, physical vigor and leadership.” Epstein has already submitted her application for the first round of the competition and will find out if she is a semifinalist on Oct. 31.

Epstein is a Peer Support Coordinator, a member of the Scene Monkeys, a varsity tennis player and has acted in various school plays.

Jefferson scholarship candidates are expected to exhibit leadership, scholarship and citizenship. Olodort has to submit his application by Nov. 1 and will find out on March 30 if he is awarded the scholarship.

Olodort said he does not have to apply to UVA in addition to applying for the scholarship and doesn’t think the scholarship application will be much work, as he can use essays that he has written for other schools.

Olodort said he does not have to apply to UVA in addition to applying for the scholarship and doesn’t think the scholarship application will be much work, as he can use essays that he has written for other schools.

In addition to full-tuition and room and board, the scholarship provides enrichment opportunities over the summer. The winners spend a week during the summer before their first year at an outdoor leadership course, two weeks before their sophomore year at the Institute for Leadership and Citizenship, five weeks before their junior year internationally and the summer before their final year interning with UVA alumni.

The Robertson scholarship seeks leaders who are “critical thinkers, compassionate, humble and adaptable in a multitude of settings.”

The program is unique in that the students who receive the scholarships are members of both the Duke and UNC communities. Applicants apply to Duke, UNC or to both, and enroll in one of the schools, but take classes at both.

Additionally, members of the program spend the second semester of their sophomore year living at the sister campus.

The application for the scholarship program is due in December and three nominees will find out if they win the scholarship in March.

All three of the nominees think that their involvement in community service helped them win the nomination. Polo is a head of the Community Council, Barzilay is also a member of the Community Council and the president of the Operation Gratitude and environmental clubs and Gold was the co-chair the Assisteens, which is a branch of the Assistant League of Southern California.

The Robertson also provides summer programs for the students to participate in. After their freshman year, the scholars participate in a community service project in the southern United States. They spend their second summer overseas to “improve their skills in a second language, experience an unfamiliar culture, or learn more about their role as global citizens,” according to the Robertson Scholars Program website. In the final summer, the students are given funds to design and develop their own program.

“I’d probably do a research one, but that’s definitely something I would look into because I’d like to do that,” Polo said of the final summer.

While only people nominated by schools are considered for the Jefferson and the Morehead-Cain, anyone may apply for the Robertson.

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