High school graduation is right around the corner for students in Maryland. Over a hundred high school seniors who are preparing to attend accredited colleges received a helping hand from Comcast through their annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program.
A special event was held on March 23, 2016 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis to award a $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship to Stephon Moody, a senior who attends Baltimore Renaissance Academy in Baltimore and 109 Maryland Leaders and Achievers® scholarships to other students who each received $1,000. A total of $119,000 was awarded to Maryland high school students striving to achieve their full potential, serve as catalysts for positive change in their communities, and are involved in their schools and extracurricular activities.
Comcast officials joined Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford; Maryland House Speaker, Michael E. Busch; and other local elected officials and school administrators in recognizing the outstanding Maryland students.
Brad Palazzo, director of External Affairs for Comcast’s Beltway Region, explained that Comcast’s core philosophy— from a corporate social responsibility and community investment standpoint— is desiring to connect to their local communities and invest where their employees live and work. Through the Leaders and Achievers® scholarship, young people are motivated to achieve their maximum potential to be leaders. This scholarship is one of many ways that Comcast gives back to communities through the Comcast Foundation, which was founded in 1999, to provide charitable support to qualified nonprofit organizations. Three community investment priorities include expanding digital literacy, promoting service and building tomorrow’s leaders.
“Each year students are nominated by their school principals and guidance counselors and we actually do outreach to all schools in Comcast’s service area, not only in Maryland, but all across the country,” Palazzo said, noting that only one high school student per school may be nominated. “Nationally, we’ve given $25 million to nearly 25,000 high school seniors that are leaders and achievers.”
Comcast works with a program administrator specializing in managing scholarship programs. Assistance with the scholarship selection process is provided each year. Kristin Yvette Chaney and Samierra A. Jones are previous graduates of Baltimore Renaissance Academy who were awarded Maryland Leaders and Achievers® scholarships from Comcast in 2012 and 2013. Although Stephon is the first student from the school to receive the $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship instituted in honor of Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation, each 2016 Maryland Leaders and Achievers® scholarship recipient also met the required qualifications to win it.
“What we do each year is we take the pool of recipients, in this case—Maryland, and we randomly select the winner,” Palazzo said. “In our eyes they are all equally successful and all equally deserving.”