Geography Lessons

Bryan Geary
It's a big country: Regional Scholars add fresh perspective

Kendra Heredia ’18 found herself feeling homesick when she first started college. The Texas native had been busy with the whirlwind of moving in and learning about her new home for a few weeks, but quickly found herself thinking about a place that was more familiar.
 
“My homesickness, however, wasn’t for Texas,” she says. “It was for St. Paul’s.”
 
Heredia, now a student at Harvard, came to St. Paul’s as a recipient of the Hunt Scholarship for students from the Paso del Norte Region of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Her experience is shared by many other students who have attended the School via the Regional Scholarship program. With scholarships for seven distinct regions across the United States, St. Paul’s has graduated more than 100 Regional Scholars since 1973. The discovery and recruitment of these talented and deserving students is an essential part of the School’s pursuit to embrace diverse perspectives that enrich our community.
 
The program also helps to alleviate financial hurdles that may stand in between a deserving prospective student and a St. Paul’s education. “We recognize that attending St. Paul’s is expensive and we are committed to making it accessible to those who are qualified,” says Alessia Carega, director of regional scholarships and assistant director of financial aid. She also notes that the School has awarded more than $12 million in financial aid overall this year alone. The Regional Scholarships are designed with the entire St. Paul’s experience in mind – including books, travel, and other associated costs – to allow recipients to fully immerse themselves into the community.
 
“St. Paul’s did more than just prepare me for the rigorous academic studies I would pursue in the future,” says Heredia. “It gave me extraordinary mentors, lifelong friends, and joyful memories for a lifetime.”
 
Heredia and other Regional Scholars who have called Millville home over the years bring much to the St. Paul’s community. Those currently at the School participate in the performing arts, varsity athletics, leadership opportunities via clubs and organizations, and contribute to the dynamic nature of the SPS community. Many continue their academic careers at some of the finest institutions in the country. All serve as ambassadors for the St. Paul’s experience and help build the connection between their home state and SPS.
 
“In addition to the four Cook Scholars current at SPS,” explains Carega, “there are a total of eight students from Montana.” This is just one example of how these scholarships serve as catalysts to attract the best and brightest students to St. Paul’s. Carega also noted that during the last admission cycle the School enrolled at least one student (in addition to a Regional Scholar) from targeted areas such as El Paso, Texas, Alabama, Montana, South Carolina, and New Jersey. St. Paul’s enthusiastically welcomes all of these students into its fully residential academic community with the hope that they benefit from the experience as much as the School derives from them.
 
“I take SPS with me wherever I go,” says Heredia. “On a keychain on my backpack, through weekly FaceTime calls with friends, and through upholding the School’s values. The opportunity to attend SPS greatly changed my life. I am eternally grateful.”
 
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