Our schools are abuzz with many activities as the 2015-2016 school year draws to a close. While this may be the busiest time of the year for our schools, amidst the hustle and bustle, a group of students and their families paused to celebrate. This month, 75 students were selected to form the second cohort of Maguire Middle School Scholars, an achievement undoubtedly worthy of praise.
The Maguire Middle School Scholars program offers a unique opportunity to high-achieving sixth through eighth-grade students in the IMS network of schools. Rising sixth graders who maintain a GPA of 85 or above and who participate in some form of community service are invited to apply for the program each spring. Each scholar receives a $2,000 grant towards tuition for each year they maintain their GPA through eighth grade. In addition to this program, the Maguire Foundation also funds scholarship programs for high school and college students, so, for many, membership in the Maguire Middle School Scholars program is the first step in an academic journey that has the potential to continue through college.
Over 150 students were eligible this year and submitted essays to apply for the scholarship program. In their application essays, students detailed what this scholarship program and the opportunities it offers would mean to them:
“When the principal was explaining the Maguire Scholarship Program, I was really shocked when I heard my name called over the loud speaker. I thought finally my hard work is paying off. I’m going to continue setting my goals. One of my goals is to become a nurse in the future.”
“To be a Maguire Scholar is very important to me because it is my way of helping my parents a little. It is my way of thanking them for the hard work that they do to pay my school, and then to come home and help me with my homework.”
“Being a Maguire Scholar means I will have a better education because it will encourage me to do my best to keep good grades. I would like to be a role model to the smaller children in my school, such as my little sister. I want to be a role model because my Catholic faith is important to me, just like it is important to the Maguire Foundation.”
The students are also encouraged to attend a summer camp session at one of four local institutions funded by the Maguire Foundation. This dual opportunity encourages students to consider education a year-round pursuit and to embrace learning not only in the classroom, but far beyond the reaches of their schools. The summer camp offerings also give students the chance to complement their core academic endeavors with experience in non-academic areas from art and spiritual development to basketball.
Before their summer learning begins, students from our two cohorts and their families celebrated their achievements at a reception held at West Catholic Preparatory High School. “It is an honor to have the chance to acknowledge the successes of such a dedicated and engaged group of students,” said IMS President, Anne McGoldrick, “We look forward to watching them progress throughout their middle school journeys and as they continue their studies in high school and beyond.”