DANBURY, Conn. -- Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area recently presented Danbury High School senior Alexandra Prendergast, 18, with a $16,000 college scholarship at an awards ceremony at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.
She was one of six recipients of the 2016 Asian Students Increasing Achievement Scholarship Program, which supports local students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and community involvement.
Hosted by NBC 4 News reporter Michael George, the event celebrated the 15th anniversary of the program and featured former New York Mets' pitcher Ron Darling as the keynote speaker.
Prendergast is an award-winning debater and orator who enjoys volunteering for political campaigns in her spare time. She attended school in Washington, D.C. for five months as Connecticut U.S. Sen Chris Murphy’s first ever page, an experience that sparked her interest in political science.
She will be attending Wesleyan University in the fall and plans on majoring in political science.
“College is extremely expensive, and I have always had a number of concerns about how I will be able to pursue my dream of a college education and manage to make ends meet,” Prendergast said. “This scholarship will not only allow me to pursue my dream, it will better equip me to give back to my community and others like it.”
Created in 2001, the scholarship program has awarded more than $1.5 million to Asian high school students in the New York tri-state area. It annually grants six college scholarships worth up to $16,000.
“Contrary to popular belief, many Asian-American students face significant financial barriers to higher education,” said Michael Anderer, a member of this year’s scholarship selection committee and president of Ronald McDonald House Charities' New York tri-state area board of trustees. “The RMHC/ASIA scholarship is a program that recognizes this reality and has gone to great lengths to address it.”
“The continued growth of the RMHC/ASIA scholarship clearly demonstrates a real need for this program within the community,” said Christopher Perry, executive director of RMHC-NYSTA.
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