Selected among more than a dozen applications, Ava Kooloian '21, Sam Kudarauskas '24, Emmett MacGregor '21, and Catherine McDonough '24 have been named the new 1923 Scholars for the 2017-18 academic year. The merit scholarship program recognizes students that demonstrate consistent academic excellence, strong character, a commitment to extracurricular, club and community service activities and a capacity to contribute as an engaged citizen at PCD. All applicants are nominated by an unrelated adult and must demonstrate how they encompass the PCD core values through a scholar project, which have included thoughtful essays, PowerPoint presentations, artwork and movies, among other creative submissions.
For his scholar project, Kudarauskas leveraged his love for Legos and creatively produced a Lego movie demonstrating his commitment to hard work and helping others. "It's important to make a difference in other people's lives," he said in the movie. Throughout the video, he voiced his love for reading, soccer, and shared his aspirations for becoming a software engineer. "I want to master a job that helps solve problems."
MacGregor designed and built a giant wooden compass that depicted PCD values like honesty as his "true north." Each point on the compass exemplified how he interprets and embodies the School's values but also showcased his love for basketball, learning history, and volunteering with Gifts to Give. When considering the PCD value teamwork, he proclaimed, "I realize that while I have strengths, those around me have other strengths. If we put them all together, we can do great things. In basketball, I know that I am a great defender, and that there are others who are great at scoring. Together, the team plays better and we motivate each other to strengthen our weaknesses."
Commitment and participation were big themes in both Kooloian and McDonough's scholar projects. Kooloian created a Sunday newspaper circular that depicted how she embodies the school's core values. "When I'm able to look back on something where I put my whole effort in, and it showcases who I am as a person, I know how much hard work really matters. It makes a positive difference in everything I do," she said in the flyer advertisement.
McDonough created a PowerPoint presentation that showcased her commitment to playing lacrosse, Irish step dancing and volunteering with the nonprofit Kids for Kids where she bakes and makes scarves. "Kids for Kids allows me to help kids in need, learn how to make cool things, and appreciate how lucky I am."
Their academic strength, diversity of extracurricular activities and wide versatility were among the characteristics that stood out among the new crop of 1923 Scholars, according to Dave Provost, director of admissions and financial aid. "The 1923 Scholars is one of the only programs at PCD that allows us to award students that truly distinguish themselves by demonstrating the values that we hold dear at PCD. All of our 1923 Scholars have demonstrated a clear track record of engaged citizenship that not only perpetuates our mission at the school but helps to advance it."