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Cheyney Scholars Receive Rotary Scholarships

August 14, 2017

 Cheyney Scholars Receive Rotary Scholarships

Keystone Honors Academy Scholars, Nina-Simone Beaver (l) and Samih Taylor (r), are the recipients of local Rotary scholarships for the Gundaker Foundation. Both were competitively selected for the honor.

Samih Taylor, a 2017 Cheyney University (CU) of Pennsylvania graduate is the recipient of a Rotary District 7450 Gundaker Foundation graduate grant for the upcoming academic year. The graduate grants committee awarded her a $3,000 scholarship to help defray the $68,000 a year cost to attend University Of Pennsylvania’s prestigious veterinary school, the top vet school in the country.

Theodora Voulgaris, Chair of the Gundaker Foundation Graduate Grants Committee, said, “It was a pleasure for us to meet and interview Samih and to award her one of the prestigious Gundaker Graduate Scholarships. Samih was selected because of her stellar academic achievements and community service experiences. Samih presented as a very intelligent, articulate, and determined young woman.  Her internships, her intellectual curiosity and motivation were impressive.  We look forward to hearing more about her academic success and community service in the future.”

Despite being on her own since age 17, the highly-driven 22-year-old held five fully paid internships and studied abroad three times, all expenses paid, while an undergrad. She graduated magna cum laude from Cheyney in May with a BS degree in Ecology and a BS degree in Biology. In addition, she helped others by volunteering her time to numerous community service organizations including blood and food drives, as well as dog-sitting and graveyard cleaning in her spare time. Next week, she beings classes at PENN Vet, her dream come true.

“This grant is so touching,” Taylor shared. “It is a testament to the good people in the world supporting positivity. I feel like it is as much an award as it is an accountability--I have to contribute to the sciences, I have to chase my dreams because so many people believe in what I'm doing with my life. I'm using their support to accomplish everything I can. I thank them from the bottom of my heart, but it's not enough to just be thankful, I'm going to show them I'm thankful through my actions.”

CU’s incoming Miss Cheyney, rising junior Nina-Simone Beaver, is one of nine undergraduates in the region to split $15,000 in grants. Gundaker Foundation’s Undergraduate Grant Committee awarded the New Jersey native $2500 for the academic year beginning Fall 2017.

"She was very, very impressive,” explained Dottie McGill, Chair of the selection committee. “She has worked very hard to take advantage of her education at Cheyney. We were very impressed with her. She was so polite, poised and enthusiastic. She had good grades and was doing service."

Beaver, a scholar-athlete and humanitarian, is a firm believer in paying it forward. Involved in community service both on and off campus, the Business Administration major who wants to be an insurance underwriter one day, is grateful for the grant.

“It’s a good feeling to know that hard work pays off!” she said.

Gundaker Foundation, a charitable non-profit corporation, provides scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in the five-county Philadelphia area.  Applications must be submitted to a local Rotary Club for their endorsement. The Concordville/Chadds Ford Rotary Club sponsored both Cheyney students.