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Carson Scholar

by Pat Burns


The Carson Scholars Fund awards five hundred college scholarships yearly to nominated students from across the United States.  Mount Mercy Academy is proud to announce that sophomore Vayana Stoyanova of Gowanda is one of the recipients for this year.

The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. was established in 1994 by world-renowned John Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson and his wife Candy in response to a study they had read that noted that United States students ranked 21 out of 22 countries in math and science. They felt compelled to respond to this crisis in education and established the Scholars Fund.  They established the fund based on the premise that if children were taught early to excel in school, they would remain motivated and thus have a higher chance of educational success later in life.

Schools from across the country are eligible to nominate students and 500 winners are selected and receive a $1000 college scholarship.  The awards were initiated in 1996 and are granted to students who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.  In addition to the monetary award, scholarship winners also receive the prestige of being named a Carson Scholar and are presented with an Olympic-sized medal and a trophy for their school.

Stoyanova is an honor student who takes advanced classes and is extremely active in activities at Mount Mercy.  She is a member of the school newspaper, Sparks Music Ensemble, and Speech and Drama, to name just a few. She is also a willing and active volunteer at the school, serving as a student ambassador, a member of the school’s YouTube announcements team and an active participant in planning and reading at school prayer services and liturgies. 

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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