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Seniors Receive Prestigious Scholarships to Top Universities

College-bound Stanners are making decisions that will impact their next four years and beyond. Acceptance letters have arrived, and with them, scholarship offers! In addition to academic awards offered by various schools, Stanners also apply for other prestigious scholarships that are offered to well-rounded high school students with high academic standing. Molloy is proud to announce four seniors that have been offered such awards: Joseph Castaño-Medina ‘24, Antonia Dey ‘24, Annie Bacani ‘24, and Fabio Colindres ‘24.


Annie and Fabio have received the Posse Scholarship to Brandeis University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively. The Posse Foundation is a globally recognized program that awards full-tuition scholarships to a diverse group of academically inclined high school students. The foundation helps prepare scholars with a Pre-Collegiate Training program that offers students guidance from staff and faculty mentors on their respective college campuses. According to its website, “For over 30 years, Posse has identified and trained young people with extraordinary potential… placing Scholars in supportive, multicultural groups of 10 students - Posses.”


Annie Bacani first heard of Posse through Molloy’s College Guidance Department. Nominated by Mr. Gus Esgro, Annie decided to apply for the scholarship to honor her father. “My dad wanted to retire,” she shared, “and when I heard of Posse, I knew this was the way to help him.” After further research, Annie knew the program wouldn’t just benefit her family, but would greatly benefit her college career and beyond. “I loved the idea of having a group of people specifically there to uplift each other, to help each other succeed. It was a guaranteed support network, and it ensured I would have a community.” Annie’s list of extracurricular activities - both in and out of Molloy - propelled her to becoming a finalist for Posse. Within the halls of Molloy, she is Secretary of the Biology Club, and a Senior Leader of the Social Justice Club. For the last year, Annie has volunteered at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and has also worked with BCBA to help autistic children. She is also a NY State director of recSTEM, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting accessibility to the STEM field/equipment to students in underprivileged communities.


Fabio Colindres was also nominated to receive the Posse scholarship by Mr. Esgro. Fabio was grateful, knowing that Posse would guarantee him a strong sense of community. He believes it is “important for him to have people with me to support each other in our college and career journey, so that together we can make sure we thrive.” Fabio chose the University of Wisconsin-Madison because it has a great STEM program, has extensive research programs, and a great computer science program. Before he becomes a college student, however, he will finish out his Molloy career as President of the Biology Club, a member of the National Honor Society, and an AP student. Outside of Molloy, he is a counselor for REACH, a program that helps kids in underserved communities to progress to high school. “My time at Molloy was so great, but I’m excited to move on and learn more about programming and work with incredible research facilities,” says Fabio, and his extracurricular activities have surely prepared him for his future career. 


Joseph and Antonia received full scholarships to Columbia University and Northwestern University, respectively, offered through QuestBridge. QuestBridge is a program partnered with top colleges and universities across the country that awards high-achieving students full-tuition scholarships. QuestBridge believes “intelligence, talent, motivation, nobility, and grit are distributed across the entire economic spectrum of America's youth,” and that all students deserve mentorship and opportunities. 


Mr. Esgro encouraged Joe to research QuestBridge, which led to him applying because “all of their college partners are amazing schools that anyone would be proud to attend.” He adds, “ My mother has made constant sacrifices for my education, so I believed that taking care of the college cost would be the greatest gift I could give her.” Although Joe attended Questbridge’s College Prep Scholar Program to learn about the college process and better his application, it was his extracurriculars and leadership qualities that surely got the attention of the admissions personnel. During his time at Molloy, Joe has been President of the Spanish Club, a Speech and Debate captain, a lead attorney in Mock Trial, President of the  National Social Studies Honor Society Rho Kappa, and a camp counselor. Joe’s hard work paid off, earning him 1 out of 87 spots to Columbia University through QuestBridge, covering tuition, room and board, books, and travel. He says, “Overall, I’m just so happy to take the burden of paying for college off of my mom’s shoulders. I’m really thankful for all the support I received, especially from friends, teachers, and family.”


Antonia learned about QuestBridge through her sister, and decided to apply because it would make her financially able to attend an elite university without having to contribute to tuition herself. Although she was “incredibly doubtful that she would even be a QuestBridge semi-finalist,” she ended up matching with Northwestern. She says, “QuestBridge made it incredibly easy to apply, providing videos, articles, and Zoom workshops to those who needed help.” Antonia deserved her “match,” as she is a selfless Stanner that wants to study environmental engineering to help engineer sustainable housing and agricultural practices. Before she does so, she will finish out her senior year at Molloy as an AP Computer Science student and an award-winning leader of the STEAM Club. She is excited to continue her passions in college, especially as a QuestBridge Scholar, because, “Once you're awarded the Questbridge scholarship you're invited to join the QuestBridge Scholar Network where you can connect with other scholars. Similarly, at Northwestern there is a Questbridge Scholar community/organization that is there to provide support for Questbridge Scholars specifically.”


Stanners are encouraged to research all scholarships available to them. If help is needed, Molloy’s College Counselors are here to help. Annie, Fabio, Joe, and Antonia are just a few Stanners that have received these prestigious scholarships over the years, making college affordable and providing them with guidance and a sense of community. There’s no limit to what Stanners can achieve when they put their minds to it!