A future Montgomery County Community College student celebrated her graduation from high school this year with news she’ll be attending the College on a two-year, full-tuition scholarship.
During The Anderson School’s June 16 graduation ceremony, Dr. Samuel Coleman, MCCC Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, presented The Montgomery County Community College Full Tuition Scholarship to student Emily Alexis Harris.
Since 2008, the College has awarded the scholarship, which covers full-tuition and fees, every year to an Anderson School senior set to graduate and enroll as an MCCC student. The student is someone who the school believes has demonstrated academic improvement, leadership skills, good citizenship and has served as a role model for others. It is the only full-tuition scholarship the College offers.
“We’ve created a positive relationship with them,” said Coleman of The Anderson School. “Everyone is grateful for our involvement. Having the College involved meant a lot to them.”
The Anderson School, located in Eagleville and part of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, accepts students in 7th-12th grades and was designed to create a learning environment that meets the academic, emotional/social and therapeutic requirements of students in need of extra support. Students who attend The Anderson School are identified and referred by their school districts.
“It’s just immensely gratifying to be able to offer something like this to students who have encountered mental health issues, obstacles and trauma,” said Christine Raber, Principal at The Anderson School about the scholarship. “It gives students a bright light of opportunity and hope. That’s the thing you want is to give them hope for the future. This scholarship gives them that.”
Harris was selected as the recipient of the award following an essay contest which prompted students to write about what matters to them or an obstacle they had to overcome in their lives and how it impacted them. Harris’ essay focused on her desire to become a music therapist and give back to others.
“The knowledge of first-hand experience will help me empathize and deeply understand those individuals in which I want to help,” Harris wrote. “I want to make an impact on those who struggle. I want to use the lessons I’ve learned and apply it in a productive way. I’m done with placing all my burdens on others. What it all comes down to is that I want to give more than I take.”
Raber said she appreciated the way Harris worked closely with an English teacher at the school to polish the essay before submitting it.
“We want to teach students self-advocacy,” she said. “Emily’s writing was excellent, but everyone benefits from getting expert advice.”
At the June graduation ceremony, Coleman said he congratulated students and told them to believe in themselves.
“I imparted to students that anything they’re trying to do, they can achieve it,” he said. “Even if they are not planning on coming to Montco in the fall, the College is always available.”
The Montgomery County Community College Full Tuition Scholarship is just one of over 500 scholarships offered to students each year. For more information about how to apply for scholarships and awards, visit the College’s scholarship landing page.