By Veritas Staff
Camie Strojny and JohnCarl McGrady have been named the 2020-21 Nantucket Golf Club Foundation (NCGF) scholars, earning full scholarships to any college they choose to attend for the next four years. Strojny, Veritas’ Sports Editor, and McGrady, Editor in Chief, are both members of Veritas staff and have contributed extensively to the paper over the last four years. Two other finalists, Editor in Chief Maisie Cocker and Assistant Editor Reese Burns are also on staff, and three further finalists are regular contributing writers.
For Strojny and McGrady, this is a life-changing achievement that will allow them to graduate college debt free and without having to worry at all about the cost—which for higher education can often be exorbitant. Strojny, who was previously unsure of where she would attend school, weighing both which schools she wanted to attend and which schools she could afford, has now committed to Fairfield University next fall. “Grateful is an understandment. This entire experience has been so enjoyable and such an amazing opportunity. I’m thrilled to attend Fairfield in the fall, which I wouldn’t be able to do without the generosity of [the NGCF].” she says. At Fairfield, Strojny plans to study nursing with a spanish minor in health services.
McGrady will attend Williams College next fall, his first choice school, and says not having to worry at all about the cost is a “huge weight off of his shoulders” and a “massive relief.” McGrady doesn’t know what he will study next year yet, but is excited.
The rigorous scholarship selection process began in the fall, lasting almost the entire school year, and involving a series of group activities, interviews, and writing prompts that the scholarship selection committee used to evaluate all 34 of the initial applicants on several different metrics, first narrowing the group down to semifinalists and then the 10 finalists from whom the two winners were chosen.
This year, the committee consisted of former Superintendent of schools Michael Cozort, Nantucket High School (NHS) Spanish teacher Kathleen Hickson, NHS English teacher Liz Reinemo, La Languedoc owner Alan Cunha, NHS nurse and former scholarship recipient Kelsey Perkins, NHS guidance counselor Courtney Foster, NHS Pricipal Mandy Vasil, and NCGF executive director and chair of the committee Tom Brisette. The long process allows the committee to get an idea of what each applicant is like and make the best choice they can.
This was demonstrated on the selection night, when Cozort spoke at length about the qualifications and personalities of all 10 finalists, arguing to the community that all 10 were deserving of the scholarship—even though ultimately only two could be chosen to receive it.
The other finalists were Maisie Cocker, Reese Burns, Bella Cutone, Waverly Brannigan, Katie Genthner, Brian Nolasco-Ramirez, Ruby Dupont and Kameilia “Kamoy” Barnett.
“The other finalists are all such strong contenders and amazing community leaders.” Strojny said. “This entire process has been a delight and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, I only have gratitude and thanks to give to everyone involved.”
NCGF’s charitable giving on the island is vast, and the scholarship program is only one arm of a much larger operation. The scholarship program is not only highly prestigious and life-changing, but also well known and anticipated throughout the island, which is clear from the fact that the selection was broadcast not only on YouTube, but also on the local TV station, where many were watching along at home.
“I’ve seen so many amazing students get the award before,” McGrady recounted, “it’s insane that I’m one of them now.”
Next year, two more will join the ranks of Nantucket Scholars, earning the same scholarship.
Veritas staff would like to take this opportunity to express our immense gratitude to Camie Strojny, has stepped up and gone above and beyond the bounds of her position as Sports Editor at every turn this year. Not only has she become one of our best news reporters, covering some of the most important Nantucket High School stories and routinely landing on the front page, she has also become our principal recruiter for new staff, and has probably saved Veritas. Without her, there is a good chance this would be the last year of the paper. And that’s not all. Camie has also singlehandedly kept the sports section alive, finding authors for every article each month and handling the entire division of the paper on her own. Camie is a cornerstone of this paper; without her, we wouldn’t have produced a single issue this year.