Maple student awarded STEM scholarships
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.”
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.