SMECO Awards Four $1500 College Scholarships - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMECO Awards Four $1500 College Scholarships

Scholarship awardees from left to right: Alexandra Bryant, plans to study biology and attend medical school; De'ja McCleary, plans to study nursing and become a gerontological nurse practitioner; Maria Karisma Magsakay, a native of the Philippines, plans to become a nurse practitioner specializing in family care; Simran Kaur, plans to attend medical school to become a doctor.
Scholarship awardees from left to right: Alexandra Bryant, plans to study biology and attend medical school; De'ja McCleary, plans to study nursing and become a gerontological nurse practitioner; Maria Karisma Magsakay, a native of the Philippines, plans to become a nurse practitioner specializing in family care; Simran Kaur, plans to attend medical school to become a doctor.


HUGHESVILLE, Md. (June 2, 2016)—Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has awarded four scholarships to high school seniors for 2016. Each year, SMECO awards four college scholarships to students who live in the Cooperative's service area. Scholarships are based on the applicants' scholastic achievement, financial need, and school and community involvement. SMECO has awarded scholarships to 96 students in the 24 years since beginning the program in 1993. Each of the following students will receive a $1,500 college scholarship.

Alexandra Bryant, daughter of Jeff and Dara Bryant of Charlotte Hall, is a graduate of La Plata High School. According to Kathy Reamy, school counselor, "Bryant is an extremely driven, dedicated and innovative student who has worked very hard to achieve her many accomplishments. Through her strong work ethic, coupled with her reliability and determination, she has attained excellent results." Bryant consistently received Principal's Honor Roll awards throughout high school. She participated in the Student Council and National Language Honor Society and was on the varsity cheerleading squad. She volunteered at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, the Hughesville VFD and EMS, and the March of Dimes, and she served as an activities director for Best Buddies. Bryant plans to study biology at the University of Maryland, and she plans to attend medical school to become a doctor.

Simran Kaur, daughter of Barinder Singh of La Plata, is a graduate of La Plata High School. Colleen Wilson, Special Events Coordinator of the town of La Plata, says, "Simran is a very respectful and hardworking young woman. She is a joy to work with and appreciates that we all have a role in helping our community." Kaur speaks five languages, and she loves to dance and to read. She participates in Model UN, It's Academic, and Math Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and the World Language Honor Society. Kaur has volunteered at the La Plata Town Hall with a variety of events, such as the Fall Festival and Old Tyme Holiday Gathering. She organized a kickball tournament and raised $900 for Cystic Fibrosis research, and she organized a book swap for Read Across America day. Kaur plans to attend the University of Maryland to study biology, and she plans to attend medical school to become a doctor.

Maria Karisma Magsakay, daughter of Bernard Magsakay of La Plata, is a graduate of La Plata High School. Magsakay was born and raised in Makati City, Philippines, and she plans to attend the University of Maryland to become a Nurse Practitioner specializing in family care. She wants to be able to organize medical missions in third-world countries, to provide not only help, but hope. Karissa Prigge, a church leader, describes Magsakay as hopeful and dedicated. "She will be an amazing success as a Nurse Practitioner because of her strong attention to detail, her ability to deliver truthful answers in the face of opposition, her caring nature, and her ability to sense when comfort is needed," according to Prigge. Magsakay has served as a volunteer at Mary's Food Pantry, Safe Nights, and Vacation Bible School at Sacred Heart Parish, as well as the Genesis Elder Care Network in La Plata. She has received Principal's Honor Roll awards, Renaissance Awards, and academic letters. Magsakay has participated in the Student Government Association, Unified Bocce, and Chemathon, a team that competes with schools in the D.C. metropolitan area by completing chemistry challenges.

De'ja McCleary, daughter of Cynthia Lawrence of Prince Frederick, is a graduate of Huntingtown High School. According to Kathleen Augustine of the Academy of Health Professions program at the Career and Technology Academy in Calvert County, McCleary is "caring, personable, and well-liked by her classmates. She consistently demonstrates dependability, reliability, and professionalism, and she is dedicated to learning as much as she can about the health care industry." To gain skills and learn about the health care industry, McCleary participated in a summer internship program and served as a Patient Observation Attendant at Calvert Memorial Hospital. She was a member of the Academic Team, Skills USA, and the field hockey team. She is a 4-H member in the Creative Crafters Club, the Woof Pack Dog Club, and the Maryland Teen Council. McCleary has also participated in leadership forums at Johns Hopkins University. She plans to attend La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA, to study nursing and become a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.

SMECO provides scholarships to local students who excel in their endeavors and who show promise in their chosen field of study.

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