VHS Learning Announces 2023 College Scholarship Winners

Scholarship winners hail from six different US states as well as Taiwan and Qatar

Today, nonprofit VHS Learning announced the winners of its 16th annual college scholarship program. The scholarship committee selected 15 scholarship recipients and runners-up, out of more than 70 applicants, awarding a total of $5,300 in scholarships. One student won a $1,000 scholarship, five earned $500 scholarships, six won $250 scholarships, and three received $100 honorable mentions.

“We had a high number of applications this year and are pleased to help these talented students move to the next step in their academic journey,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “In 2022, we awarded scholarships to nine students, and this year we are happy to have expanded the program to provide 15 high school seniors with awards.”

All scholarship recipients created videos that answered the scholarship program’s question: “Why did you take your VHS Learning course and what did you learn from the experience?”

Grace Hu from Sharon High School in Massachusetts earned the top prize of a $1,000 scholarship. Hu had wanted to fill a gap in her schedule, but she couldn’t find a class that both interested her and fit within her schedule. On her guidance counselor’s suggestion, Hu looked through VHS Learning’s course catalog. In her video, she explained that she took her Epidemics course because it combined her interests in sociology, statistics, and science. Hu also stated that the course helped prepare her for a pre-med track at Brown University. “All the skills I’ve learned from VHS – critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration – are going to come into play,” she said.

Delaney Ringer from The Learning Center for the Deaf in Massachusetts was one of the five $500 scholarship winners. She took VHS Learning’s AP® Computer Science Principles course through the Massachusetts’ STEM Advanced Placement® Access Expansion Opportunity (SAPAO) program. “I knew that I could deal with the course load better if I was able to focus on my work from the comfort of my home,” she stated in her video. Delaney will be majoring in computer science at Rochester Institute of Technology. She cites the VHS Learning course as sparking her passion for the subject. “Without this class, I might never have realized that comp. sci. was what I wanted to do,” she said.

The other $500 scholarship winners include:

Adanya Zunich from Portage Area High School in Pennsylvania was one of the six $250 scholarship winners. Because her high school was small, class options were limited. “Being able to take VHS classes opened a world of learning,” Zunich said in her video. Accordingly, she took a variety of courses – Psychology of Crime, Genes and Disease, and American Sign Language 1. Genes and Disease was so challenging that Zunich considered quitting. Instead, she developed a new passion and is now pursuing a career in the healthcare field.

The other $250 scholarship winners and their videos include:

  • Amirtha Santhosh from Apponequet Regional High School in Massachusetts. She took AP® Statistics, and her video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k39IVs2FxeU.
  • Emily DeNucci attended VHS Learning’s online private school, Massachusetts Mayflower Academy, and took a variety of courses with the program, including: AP® Music Theory, Statistics, Peacemaking, Business Math, Web Design, Music Composition and Songwriting, Biology, and Pre-Calculus. Her video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoIevEDtNCQ.
  • Mia Disylvester from Bishop McDevitt High School in Pennsylvania. She took Mythology, Italian Language and Culture, World Religions, and Philosophy, and her video is available at https://youtu.be/Hm39It9uI-A.
  • Mia Schenenga from Bishop McDevitt High School in Pennsylvania. She took AP® Latin and AP® Statistics, and her video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p26GK5OVGHI.
  • Vivian C. from International Bilingual School of Southern Taiwan (IBST) in Taiwan. She took AP® Economics, and her video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUGtG06CeYc.

Grace Gongoleski from Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island was one of the three $100 runner-up winners. “I wanted to take an additional social studies course because some of the colleges I was looking into required four years of social studies,” she explained in her video. However, she had scheduling conflicts, so her guidance counselor recommended VHS Learning courses. Gongoleski opted for Human Geography and found that she also learned online collaboration skills. “I had to work with people from around the country and around the world on group assignments,” she said. “I learned how to divide up the work and communicate.” Gongoleski plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology.

The two other $100 scholarship winners are:

  • Meray Nemr from Oliver Ames High School in Massachusetts. She took AP® Economics, and her video is available at https://youtu.be/D0KYHVKrwQI
  • Sofiya B. from the American School of Doha in Qatar. She took AP® Music Theory, and her video is available at https://youtu.be/6cTpjpkgYb4.

For more information about VHS Learning, visit https://www.vhslearning.org/ and follow on Twitter at @VHSLearning.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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