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Chamber announces 2023 scholarship awards

Chamber announces 2023 scholarship awards

Four outstanding recent high school graduates have been selected to receive scholarships from the Charles River Regional Chamber.

This year’s recipients are Alex Kotkin (Needham High), Gabriela Dos Anjos (Newton South), Daniela Alejandra (Newton South), and Zuhayr Masud (Watertown High).

A graduate of Needham High School, Alex Kotkin is a stellar scholar who balanced his academics, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments with keeping excellent grades. He’s always looking for new information or activities to expand on his intelligence. “He joined the Neuroscience Club not because he’s got a specific career or objective in mind but because he thinks the brain is fascinating and he wants to learn more,” said school counselor, Mary Jane Walker. Alex will continue his educational journey at the University of Maryland this fall.

Daniela Alejandra Viloria Moreno, a 2023 Newton South High School graduate, is a leader within her school and in the community. When she’s not juggling school and tennis, you can find her at SB Law PLLC, where she assisted attorneys with the registration process for special immigrant juvenile status for minors to obtain legal status in the US. Through this opportunity, “Daniela has taken the time to build rapport with clients, connect them with social services when needed, while also ensuring their immigration case moves forward efficiently,” said the owner of SB Law PLLC, Stephanie Bonilla. Daniela will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst this fall.

A graduate of Newton South High School, Gabriela Dos Anjos’ spirit lights up the school as she encouraged her peers to participate in every holiday, spirit day, and team day the school held. Gabi as she is known captained the basketball and lacrosse teams while partaking in a wide range of extracurricular activities. One of her passions is children. “She finds them endlessly, entertaining, and highly intelligent,” said teacher and mentor, Elizabeth Wachman. Gabi took part in a program, One Night Out, where she volunteered to spend time with special needs kids while their parents got a break. She plans to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall.

Zuhayr Masud is a 2023 graduate of Watertown High School who is “a unique individual who is curious, collaborative, and extraordinarily intelligent,” said teacher, Vivienne Mulhall. As the class president, Alex has a variety of extracurricular activities and talents, including the impressive art portfolio of his artistic evolution in high school. Zuhayr outreached and led a school campaign to advocate for the Fair Share Amendment that resulted in the school committee’s endorsement. As a leader, Zuhayr says he hopes to “continue to rally these forces for good.” He will continue his educational journey at the Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

While academic performance and extracurricular activities are important, the chamber’s Scholarship Committee weighed its decision-making heavily on compelling stories that showed the scholarship would make a meaningful impact in each recipient’s life.

The committee also got a glimpse of how these students had to navigate senior year through a pandemic. Between COVID-19, significant events, and family dynamics, this year’s scholarship recipients have demonstrated their perseverance through various challenges, stayed motivated, and achieved.

This year’s scholarship committee was chaired by Arif Bhimani (Middlesex Savings Bank). Members included Alexis Avila (Prepped and Polished), Gillian Kohli (Wellesley Books), Mark Loveless (The Village Bank), Perrin McCormick (Perkins School for the Blind), Josephine McNeil (CAN-DO), Kevin Ruddy (PTC), and Eric Turner (Lasell University).

The chamber congratulates Kotkin, Viloria Moreno, Dos Anjos, and Masud on their achievements and wishes them success in college and all their future endeavors.

These chamber high school scholarships were underwritten by NBCU Boston with additional support through our annual partners’ donations to the chamber’s general fund.

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