For the 12th year in a row the Alumni and Friends of Belmont High School (AFBHS) has awarded four scholarships to outstanding graduating BHS seniors. In addition, this year, the BHS Class of 1963 also made its first scholarship award. Each of the five scholarships was for $3,500.
The photo immediately below shows the four AFBHS scholarship recipients, Aisha Bance (UMass Boston), Gabriella Landaeta (Tulane), Amanda Su (RPI) and Sophia Shen (UCLA), smiling at Senior Awards Day.
According to the committee of teachers and administrators that selected these recipients:
Aisha has been an outstanding student at BHS, becoming engaged in and assuming leadership roles in extracurricular activities while having to navigate a difficult day-to-day home life. She is excited to pursue nursing or public health at UMass Boston.
Gabriella is a creative scholar with awards for her oil painting in addition to successes in her other studies. She has enjoyed testing herself with outdoor activities including an 81 mile hike in the West. An art major at Tulane is in her future.
Amanda’s activities, in addition to her academic accomplishments, included being president of the Asian American Club, a leader on the sailing club, a student advisor to the Belmont Public Library and member of the track team. A first generation college student, she is headed toward a career in biomedical engineering at RPI.
Sophia is a dedicated and outstanding student with a commitment also to helping people. She has organized help for a school in Malawi, taught English and piano in Belmont, been a leader in the Performing Arts Company technical crew, and is a competitive ping pong player. She has interned in biology at Northeastern and is headed to UCLA.
The Class of 1963 Scholarship recipient LeFaith Massaquoi is shown in the next photo, receiving her award with her mother and Class of 1963 representative Charles Stone. LeFaith’s energy greatly impressed peers and teachers alike. She seeks out opportunities where she believes she will make a difference or an impact – as an active member of the Mayor’s Youth Council in Boston or hosting her own radio show, while still maintaining an excellent academic record. A first generation college student, she is looking forward to finding her career path at Bentley University.
Today for the 11th year in a row the Alumni and Friends of Belmont High School (AFBHS) awarded four scholarships to outstanding BHS seniors at Senior Award Day. This year four $3,500 scholarships were presented to Rebecca Salame (Johnson & Wales University), Tomas Donoyan (Framingham State University), Won Young Jang (University of Chicago) and Albert Chen (Dartmouth University). They are shown, left to right, in the photo below.
All four have been outstanding students. According to sources at BHS:
Rebecca wants to become a chef and own her own restaurant. She is self-directed and focused, earns excellent grades and is not afraid to push herself. While not on the high school soccer team, she is part of the Belmont town team and has held many jobs.
Tomas has been a leader on the basketball court and is admired by his teammates. He is a tireless worker, confident, out-going and resilient, overcoming a torn Achilles at the end of his junior and coming out on top.
Won Young is the perfect mix of maturity, a witty sense of humor and a vast vocabulary. His eclectic passions have made him popular and given him the ability to convene with anyone. He overcame a humble background to excel academically and succeed in many activities.
Albert wants to pursue science and history and does well across all subject areas. He is a conscientious student with writing skills that enable him to communicate ideas and concepts very effectively. He has also regularly demonstrated exceptional kindness and inclusion by helping others.
2017 marks the 10th year that the Alumni and Friends of Belmont High School (AFBHS) has awarded four scholarships to outstanding BHS seniors who need financial aid to pursue their education. This year the four $3000 scholarships were presented to Daniel Holt (Wesleyan University), Su Jing Chen (Case Western Reserve University), Fiona Martin (University of San Diego) and Ciara Murphy (Emory University). They are shown, left to right, in the photo below.
There aren’t enough positive enough adjectives to describe Danny Holt. BHS teachers have described him as inquisitive, creative, articulate, humble and kind as well as incredibly talented both in an out of the class room. With a 4.01 GPA he earned honors every semester; he was a member of the award winning wind ensemble, a drummer in the jazz combo and a drum line captain in the marching band.
Su Jing Chen developed a strong sense of independence and maturity at an early age. She and her father came to the US when Su was seven. Due to immigration policies, it took another five years for her mother to be able to join them. Now, according to her teachers, nothing seems to get in Su’s way, accessing experiences and reaching goals. She has been an outstanding student, a member of the orchestra and the volleyball team. Volunteering at a nearby hospital has helped her identify future goals in nursing and medicine.
Fiona Martin has been an excellent student and a real leader at BHS. Weathering a tough time personally due to parental divorce, she maintained high grades and captained the girls’ volleyball team. She is well prepared both academically and socially for college and is looking forward to college life on the west coast.
Ciara Murphy has been a model student at BHS, increasing the difficulty of her coursework every year, playing three sports for three years and working 20 hours a week throughout. What makes her success even more remarkable is been her personal situation. She began high school while living in foster care, was reunited with her mother and siblings in 10th grade and proceeded to live in a succession of three homeless shelters. She has used her bilingual skills to help other shelter residents and is looking forward to a future of continuing to contribute to society while engaging in college life and academics.
Who knew that Shakespeare, the Red Sox, Tip O’Neill and a rock opera all had links to Belmont? They do and the common connection is Paul Boghosian.
Paul T. Boghosian is the founder and CEO of HarborSide Films in Boston. HarborSide Films produces public affairs documentaries and special events for PBS and national cable networks; customized video and television programming for corporate and institutional clients; and feature films for premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime. During the past 6 years he also has produced theater shows that have played in Boston, NY, LA and Chicago.
Paul T. Boghosian
Belmont High School Class of 1960
This article is the latest in a series written by Harry Lane, BHS Class of 1959. The complete versions of this (from the Belmont Citizen-Herald 1/12/2017) and all previous articles are attached as pdfs below.
Having awarded four $2,500 scholarships to outstanding BHS seniors each year for the past eight, AFBHS this year increased the individual amount to $3,000 and awarded four more. Presenting the scholarships at Senior Awards Day on June 3 were AFBHS Directors Angelo Firenze and Sarah Ellison. With them in the photo below are the recipients, from left to right: Naria Sealy (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Samari Winklaar (Franklin Pierce University), Mariam Abutaleb (Brown University) and Khenijah Soberanis (Savannah College of Art and Design).
Naria Sealy could consistently be seen throughout Belmont High School helping teachers, administrators, and students alike. She is particularly interested in the sciences and took several advanced placement courses including chemistry. She was chosen to participate in the CURE program at Dana-Farber that establishes mentorship opportunities for students to explore the field of cancer research and has also appeared on the track, on the stage in a musical, and in other leadership positions at BHS.
Samari Winklaar has drive and ambition that stands out among her peers. An enthusiastic and dedicated basketball player, she was a member of the BHS girls’ varsity team and hopes to play basketball in college.. To maintain her fitness she goes to the gym regularly and has impressed teammates with her perseverance through injuries and her love of the game. Singing and dancing are also a part of her life, and she regularly sings at her church. Samari holds herself to high academic standards and has succeeded in achieving an outstanding record.
Mariam Abutaleb is a young woman in control of her future. She is poised, mature, dedicated, and hardworking with aura of seriousness about her that is surely a byproduct of her devotion to education and her outside interests. She has been involved in activities that connect her with both her Japanese and Lebanese heritages and her general interest in humanitarianism. She is a leader in the schools Partners in Health Club and feels strongly about the international organization’s mission. An outstanding student, Miriam has the goal to serve the world as a researcher in the field of neuroscience.
Khenijah Soberanis is a very talented and highly creative artist and an excellent student. Her current passion is animation, a pursuit that she has explored through her involvement in the Cosplay Club at Belmont High as well as in the Smash/Video Game Club. In addition to following her dream of becoming an animator, Khenijah has become passionate about farming and food justice. She enjoys collaborating with others to educate the community, has volunteered for The Food Project in Dorchester and has participated in the Parkside Summer Enrichment program as a camp counselor.
Emily is a freestyle skier, aerialist, three-time Olympian (2006, 2010, 2014), six-time U.S. champion and nine-time World Cup medalist (including 3 gold). A 1997 graduate of BHS, Emily lives in Park City, Utah where she is the manager of sport and human potential for the audio brand, Skullcandy. Her mantra is “chin high, work hard, smile”.
This article is the latest in a series written by Harry Lane, BHS Class of 1959 and professor of international business at Northeastern University. The complete versions of this and all previous articles are attached as pdfs below.
This latest in this series of articles in the Belmont Citizen-Herald honors the career of Belmont High alumnus Ramon Hamilton. A graduate of BHS in 1996, Ramon is an award winning writer, director and actor in Los Angeles. He encourages current students to “Embrace all that BHS has to offer, and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and passions.”
The “Alumni Giving Back” series was created and the articles are being written by Harry Lane, BHS Class of 1959 and professor of international business at Northeastern University. This latest article and all previous articles are attached as pdfs below.
On June 25 at the annual Belmont High School Senior Awards Day ceremony, AFBHS, represented by Penny Whelan Scheideler (Board Member) and Erich Ippen (Treasurer), presented scholarships of $2500 each to four outstanding and deserving graduating seniors. This year’s recipients, shown in the photo below from left to right are Anna Khachaturova, Norman Kilavatitu, Doug Christian and Zaria Osborne-Pight.
Anna came to Belmont from the country of Georgia as a 6th grader and had fit right in. Creative and accomplished in several art forms, she hopes to combine this artistic talent in the future with her interests in coding, programing and computer science. She is headed to Wentworth Institute of Technology.
Norman is achieving his goal to be the first in his family to attend an American university. A passionate and dedicated athlete, he joined the varsity in soccer as a sophomore, became team captain as a senior and was a Middlesex All Star. He also played club soccer, coached a local Belmont youth soccer team and is looking forward to pursuing business, economics and psychology at New England College.
A talented student and class leader, Doug has been active in rugby and crew and was captain of the wrestling team. He has not yet decided on a specific academic direction but has an ambitious and positive view toward his future at College of Charleston, SC.
Zaria has commuted to Belmont High School from Boston every day on public transportation. Yet she has, for three years, made time to volunteer at a collaborative Belmont school for students with various mental impairments while still focusing successfully on her studies. Respected by her classmates for her dedication, maturity and good sense of humor, Zaria is interested in serving society in a career in criminal justice and will begin her studies at Westfield State University.
At the AFBHS Board of Directors meetings in October and January, Chris Starr ’80 and Mark Haley ’66 were elected Directors. Charles Stone was elected Vice President and Susan Orowan Martin was made VP Development. Peter Leofanti remains President; Sarah Freiberg, Secretary; and Erich Ippen, Treasurer.
The latest addition to AFBHS’s “Alumni Giving Back” series appeared in this date’s issue of the Belmont Citizen Herald. In the article, Don Chiafaro, BHS Class of 1963 and founder of the Boston-based real estate development and management company The Chiofaro Company, discusses how Belmont High School contributed to his success and why he is now giving back through AFBHS.