St. Paul's Sina Kassaw of North High School in North St. Paul
Shakopee's Bennett Olupo of Shakopee High School
North Minneapolis' Chakia Hall-Watley of Richfield High School
St. Paul's Tarik Kidane of Highland Park High School
The Comcast Foundation was started in 1999 to provide charitable support to local communities and to empower and enrich lives across the country. Honored for their leadership, academic achievement and community service, the winning seniors will be recognized at a special Leaders and Achievers Scholarship reception to be held at the Saint Paul Hotel, June 26, 11:30 a.m.
Kassaw received the Academic Letter Award, Biology Student of the Month and the high school Scholar Award. She was the vice president of her school's African American Club and mentored younger students about self improvement and community service. She also was Miss Black Talented Teen Minnesota. She will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study Neuroscience.
Olupo played on the school's basketball team and was captain of the track team. He and his mother founded the Minnesota chapter of ConKerr Cancer, an organization that delivers pillow cases to kids in the hospital battling chronic diseases. He will be attending University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study Neuroscience and Spanish.
Hall-Watley was vice president of the National Honors Society, photo editor of the yearbook committee, captain of the track team and captain of the cheerleading squad. She was awarded 2013 Track and Field Trackster of the Year and voted Miss Congeniality in 2013 Miss Black Minnesota Pageant. She will attend Stanford University in the fall.
Kidane was president of his senior class council, CEO of Minnesota Business Venture, and received Link Crew's Top Leader Award for helping freshmen students through their transition from middle school to high school. He was a member of TDAS Boys Mentorship Group, and was track & field captain, cross country co-captain and assistant basketball coach for Highland Park girls' junior varsity team. Kidane coordinated a basketball tournament fundraiser that raised $300 for charity and was the coordinator of Scot's Stroll, which raised $500 for Boston bombing victims. He will attend the University of St. Thomas to study marketing.
"We are excited and honored to provide scholarships for these talented students," said Jeff Freyer, Comcast – Twin Cities regional vice president. "Comcast looks for students who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, academics and giving back to the community throughout their school years. These are our future leaders and we hope this scholarship support will help to power their dreams for success."
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program provides one-time $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors who strive to achieve their potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people every opportunity to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities, and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.
Since the national program's inception in 1999, Comcast has provided scholarships to more than 19,000 students totaling $19.8 million. In the Twin Cities, Comcast started its student scholarship program in 2004 and to date has honored 380 students, awarding a total of $420,000.