For some, the overwhelming desire to succeed is what drives them. These are the few and select individuals who want to go that extra mile, who push to reach academic excellence, and who inspire others to do the same.
On Friday, April 27, ten senior exemplars of all these traits crowded into a room filled with adrenaline for their chance to win the 12th Annual Nantucket Golf Club Scholarship. The scholarship not only boasts a free four-year tuition to the school of the student’s choice, but also includes a plethora of high-end gifts for all ten finalists, including brand new Apple watches, Beats headphones, and a cashmere blanket. But just getting into this small, crowded room requires a significant amount of backtrack.
Each of the scholars had been working exceptionally hard and strategizing for years to get to where they stand today. It is fair to say that both Evan Borzilleri and Sophie Kuhl, the winners of the 2017 scholarship, have long-since been training for this moment. As Kuhl puts it, she’s always “been trying to work really hard in school, and just be involved in this community because it’s such a special place.”
Borzilleri also came off with a very modest disposition. He confessed that he has had no strategy in winning the scholarship, but simply following his own life choices has brought around his own success. When asked what advice he’d give to present and future Nantucket High School Students, he took a step back and responded carefully by explaining how if you find something you love you should “stick with it… my main thing was, ‘here’s this thing I really love, I’m going to just keep doing this, and hope that reflects in what I do.’”
Part of the selection process included two dinners with the Scholar Review Committee as well as group and individual interviews. After the ten finalists were narrowed down the process became a lot more “intimate”, as finalist Kristy Ringer puts it. The ten finalists were then subjected to even more interviews, group discussions, as well as a community panel.
The eight other contestants and finalists should not be undermined by any means, however. All of the finalists have achieved outstanding grades, on top of participating in a number of extra-curricular activities and sports. The eight other finalists include Fernando Young, Kristiana Ringer, Matthew Allen, K’sha Bloise, Isabel Beal, Kathleen Tornovish, Daniel Surprenant, and Lianna Harrington. Ringer reflects on the whole journey in a positive light, and inspires others to follow in the footsteps of her and her peers, by describing the process as “amazing.” Ringer added that she “learned so much about myself, and the people I go to school with, as well as the people that work in the school.”
Kuhl and Borzilleri did not make it alone, either. Borzilleri, planning to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where he will major in mechanical engineering, has one special person he’d like to thank: “He [Dr. Williams] is arguably the reason I am where I am right now and going the places I’m going, because of him.”
Kuhl, who will be attending Brown University, also insisted on thanking her parents and the opportunities that led her here, including tutoring elementary school students and participating in programs at the library. The whole scholarship would not be possible, however, without the generous donations and fundraising on part of the Annual Nantucket Golf Club Tournament. Tom Bressette, director of the Nantucket Golf Club for the eleventh year, also acknowledged and thanked the Scholar Review Committee, the Nantucket High School Board of Directors, staff, and personal contributors to the event.