Continuing their annual tradition for the 14th year, the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation is awarding two students a four-year scholarship covering full college tuition. The Nantucket Golf Club Scholar Program continues to become more popular and is seen as a goal by many students. In the fall, the Nantucket Golf Club held an assembly for seniors and their parents to offer more information about this opportunity. Application packages were given to the families, and thus began the long process of determining the student scholars. In order to apply for this scholarship, the students were required to list any community service experience, academic awards, and extracurricular activities along with turning in a written essay, and a teacher and employer recommendation which was all due in January. Contrary to popular belief, academic achievements are not the main focus when looking for a student scholar. The review committee, consisting of Tommy Bresette, Executive Director of the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation; Michael Cozort, Superintendent of Nantucket Public Schools; John Buckey, NHS Principal; Courtney Foster, head of the NHS Guidance Department; Anita Small, NHS Guidance Counselor and 2008 scholar; and Kate Hickson, chair of the NHS World Language Department work to discover students with outstanding personalities and unique characteristics which make them great candidates for the scholarship. After receiving the applications, the applicants participate in a group forum, followed by individual interviews. With the applications and the information gathered from each personal interview and forum, the applicant pool is narrowed down to 20. After that, the students then participate in a group dinner at one of Nantucket’s many fine dining establishments, after which another round of individual interviews is conducted, and the ten finalists are selected.
When asked what his favorite aspect of the scholarship program is and how he feels about this being the fourteenth year, Bresette said, “meeting the seniors every year and getting to know them and learning about all the things they are doing, they are usually very well-rounded. I think every class is different and the most important thing is that it evolves every year, from the first year we are always trying to improve. I also wouldn’t be able to do it without the committee and I really appreciate the fact that they volunteer their time every year.”
As of now, the ten finalists have been decided and will move on to sit down to another dinner with the committee, make a presentation for the school faculty, and engage in another interview. The 2019 Golf-Club Scholarship finalists are; Jennifer Lamb, Stephanie Ryder, Marta Saravia, Anna Steadman, Jenna Genthner, Beck Barsanti, Emmet Clarke, Owen Hudson, Henry Dupont, and Matt Nesselrodt. Once all ten of the finalists have completed their last interview and made their presentations, the two winners can be announced near the end of the school year. The two winners will then be granted a full scholarship to the college of their choice where they can fulfill their higher education.
Emmet Clarke shared his experience with the scholar program, saying, “I am super happy to be a finalist in this scholarship program. A lot of other really accomplished kids applied so I do feel proud to make the top ten.” He added, “I would tell any juniors who are thinking of applying to apply. A lot of kids don’t think it is worth applying because they don’t have good enough grades when in reality, grades are just one part of what the golf club evaluates.”
Jenn Lamb said, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be a finalist in this year’s scholar program. The opportunity to participate in this program alongside my peers has been incredibly fulfilling and eye-opening. Getting to know each of the other finalists on a deeper level during our group events has certainly been a highlight of my senior year, and I feel very grateful to have been able to do so.” Jenn also wanted to recommend, “to those interested in applying next year, you absolutely should! This process has made me far more comfortable with personal interviews and speaking in front of a group, both of which are important skills that not all young people have had real experiences with. I would definitely recommend applying to the scholar program because it provides seniors with valuable experience in both these areas, as well as the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your peers.”
By Reese Burns