Huntsville, AL – Three local high school seniors were each awarded a $10,000 scholarship at the First Annual Vector Wealth Strategies Community Scholars Fund Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 1 at The Ledges in Huntsville. This year’s scholarship recipients are Meenu Bhooshanan, Isiah Franklin and Jonathan Marcus.
“The 16 applicants were all so strong and talented in many different ways,” Kim Backer, chairperson of the scholarship committee, said. “After hearing the candidates’ talk about their dreams, plans for the future and the ways they plan to give back to their communities, it gave me hope and confidence in our next generation.”
In 2017, the Vector Community Scholars Fund was established to focus on two groups in the greater Huntsville community. Half of the money raised each year goes to a student(s) whose parents or grandparents work in the local defense industry, while the other half provides scholarship money for a student(s) who is heading to college as a result of The Cap & Gown Project. The C&G Project focuses on making college a reality for underprivileged kids attending high school in Madison County. The recipients were chosen by a committee based on their extracurricular activities and how they plan to give back to their communities in post-graduate life.
“We hope that this scholarship also helps express our gratitude to parents like Srinivas Bhooshanan, Mark Marcus and the thousands of others who service our community through their dedication to careers in the aerospace and defense industry,” Jay Dryden, managing partner of Vector Wealth Strategies, said. “The men and women of the aerospace and defense industry are the backbone of our economy in Huntsville, Alabama, and they deserve to be recognized and appreciated for their service to our community.”
Bhooshanan attends Bob Jones High School, where she has a 5.05 grade point average and is involved in countless extracurricular activities such as being a competitive pianist and swimmer, founding of her school’s Interfaith Club and volunteering hundreds of community service hours. She plans to major in international relations and Arabic at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Franklin attends Mae Jemison High School. As a Cap & Gown participant, he visited several college campuses. The visits inspired him to continue his education after graduation — he took the ACT three times, bringing his score from a 19 to a 29. He received a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he plans to study English and possibly double major in political science or philosophy.
“Our goal is to take kids like Isiah from a part of town who have never seen beyond University and the Parkway, show them there’s more out there and then, encourage them to obtain it through hard work,” Devyn Keith, executive director of The Cap & Gown Project, said.
Marcus attends James Clemens High School, where he has a 4.0 grade point average. He is an AP scholar, animal shelter volunteer, saxophone player and a black belt in karate, among other activities. He plans to study meteorology/atmospheric science and fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist and a weather researcher at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
“We had a vision for what this would be, and we have already exceeded that,” Dryden said. “We want to thank our donors and The Cap & Gown Project for making this possible. We look forward to making this event even bigger and better next year.”
Vector Wealth Strategies is committed to serving our community through leadership development. We strive to build up the leaders of tomorrow and replace ourselves over time with the philanthropic funders of the future. To learn more about Vector Wealth Strategies and the Community Scholars Fund, visit vectorwealthstrategies.com/community-scholars-fund or call 256-469-7711. For more information on The Cap & Gown Project, visit capandgownproject.org.