PMSA Senior Wins QuestBridge Scholarship
December 18, 2014 03:30 PM
A senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will be attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, next year on a full-ride scholarship.
Azher Jaweed was awarded a full QuestBridge Scholarship valued at $64,000 over four years from National College Match. It is a shining point in a journey that has taken Azher from Moghlapura outside of Hyderabad, India, to Bellwood and eventually PMSA.
"I could not have gone to a better school," Azher said of PMSA.
The QuestBridge recognition is part of a nationwide program designed to help high school seniors from low-income families gain admission to some of the most selective colleges in the United States. The program also helps the students earn full, four-year scholarships to pay for their education, as in Azher’s case. The colleges that are partners in the QuestBridge program include Ivy League schools such as Yale University and Princeton University as well as selective universities that are closer to home such as Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame, according to the program’s website.
To be selected as finalists, the students had to be in the top five percent of their class, take a rigorous course load, write an essay, and secure a teacher recommendation. Finalists in the program also typically have an average SAT score of 1940 out of a possible 2400 and an average ACT score of 30 out of a possible 36. Of the roughly 15,000 applicants, of whom about 5,000 are selected as finalists, only about 500 win a scholarship.
Azher said that he was encouraged to apply for the QuestBridge scholarship by both Ms. Rachel Sands, a social studies teacher at PMSA, and Ava Raddatz, a 2014 PMSA graduate. That began the application process that he said tested his endurance.
"It’s a tough scholarship," he said. "They emphasize your academics and the story of how you succeeded."
His academics have been boosted by his love of learning. He has taken five Advanced Placement courses (physics, statistics, psychology, literature and composition, and calculus AB) and wants to continue challenging himself.
"I’m interested in all of these AP classes," Azher said. "Those classes open my eyes to how the world works."
Along with his rigorous coursework, Azher also has been active in the debate club and history club at PMSA, both of which he helped to start. He also is the captain of the Proviso West High School tennis team and last summer, he completed an internship at an area law firm.
Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, said that Azher is a leader among the students at PMSA.
"Azher continually displays the high level of quality and performance that students at PMSA exhibit daily," she said. "We are so proud of his accomplishments and expect to see and hear great things from him in the future."