Maple stu­dent awarded STEM schol­ar­ships

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Maple El­e­men­tary School fifth-grade stu­dent Josiah Har­ris was re­cently given two schol­ar­ships to help him at­tend a week-long STEM ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram this sum­mer at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land.

The awards were pre­sented by the Eastern Shore Net­work for Change and the Cam­bridge Elks at the sec­ond-an­nual Glo­ria Richard­son Day cel­e­bra­tion on Satur­day, Feb. 10.

At a price of about $2,400 for the week, the pro­gram was a bit cost-pro­hib­i­tive. The two or­ga­ni­za­tions came to­gether to make it pos­si­ble for Har­ris to at­tend.

ESNC founders Dion Banks and Kisha Pet­ti­co­las pre­sented Har­ris with a $500 schol­ar­ship. The Cam­bridge Elks, pre­sented by Greg Meekins, awarded him a $2,000 schol­ar­ship.

Pet­ti­co­las said they are proud of Har­ris for even hav­ing an in­ter­est in STEM, for

get­ting ac­cepted into this pro­gram, and for spend­ing a whole week of his sum­mer in Col­lege Park.

“We ex­pect big things out of you, and when you come back you gotta tell us all about it,” she told him.

Har­ris also plays the sax­o­phone for the Maple March­ing Lions.

“I am hon­ored and thrilled,” said Meekins upon pre­sent­ing the schol­ar­ship. “I’ve grown up here, and it’s so de­light­ful to see young peo­ple grow and de­velop. As a mem­ber of the Elks, we be­lieve in giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. I help them make sure we be­lieve in ed­u­ca­tion, and when there are stu­dents with po­ten­tial, we want to help.”

Meekins ex­pressed his love for the Eastern Shore of Mary­land, and pride for the ac­com­plish­ments the area boasts.

“If you’ve got a de­sire to learn, you can go any­where, and be any­thing you want to be,” he said. “I want to say that as en­cour­age­ment for our young peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, and for par­ents who are do­ing the right thing, keep do­ing the right thing. Help other par­ents who need help to do what they need to do.”

Har­ris’ par­ents were over­come with ap­pre­ci­a­tion. His fa­ther, Troy Har­ris Jr., said he was at a loss for words and on the verge of tears at the gen­eros­ity that will make this ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble for his son.

“There are no words,” said Har­ris’ mother, Ash­ley Har­ris. “It’s in­de­scrib­able that peo­ple are in­vest­ing in our child. It’s over­whelm­ing, and just amaz­ing.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Maple El­e­men­tary School fifth-grade stu­dent Josiah Har­ris, sec­ond from left, re­ceives two schol­ar­ships from the Eastern Shore Net­work for Change and the Dorch­ester Elks 223 dur­ing Glo­ria Richard­son day in Cam­bridge Satur­day, Feb. 10.

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