Five Lucky Winners Turn Lieberman\’s Old Campaign Cash into College Dollars

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Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman gave his take on everything from student loan interest rates to immigration to the ever-changing whereabouts of Edward Snowden during his a trip to Hartford on Tuesday.

But all that probably took the spotlight off the real reason why Lieberman was back under the golden dome: to reward five outstanding high school graduates with college scholarships.

The five recipients–all female students–will receive $1,500 scholarships for their freshmen year of college and they could get more if they keep up their performance in the classroom. Lieberman said 512 people applied for the scholarship, which is partially funded with leftover money from his days in office. He said he hopes to raise $1 million for the Connecticut Scholarship Fund by year\’s end.

\"Scholarship_Recipients\"

The winners for this year are Emily Castle, a graduate of Ridgefield High School; Abigail Hungaski, a graduate of Newtown High School; Quiyin Ren, a graduate of Ledyard High School; Paige Wallace, a graduate of Wilton High School and Christine Xu, a graduate of Weston High School.

Four of them (Castle absent) came to the Capitol on Tuesday to accept their awards and say a few words, mostly that they\’re grateful for the award in light of the rapidly rising cost of a college education.

More details about the five accomplished ladies are after the jump.

This year\’s winners (this is from the Fund):

Qiuyin Ren is a resident of Gales Ferry who will be attending John Hopkins University, majoring in Biomedical Engineering.  She was valedictorian at Ledyard High School, a member of the Connecticut State Math Team and received the U.S. Air Force Math and Science Award.

\”I am extremely grateful and honored for this scholarship that to me, is the passing of the torch of philanthropy from one generation of dreamers to the next,\” said Ren.

Christine Xu, accepted at Harvard College and planning to major in Biology, was captain of the Junior Engineering and Technical Society (JETS) team and placed 3rd in the state, was Executive Treasurer of student government, co-president of the National Honors Society, Captain of the Math Team, and is a laureate in piano competition (and played at Carnegie Hall).

“I am honored to be rewarded for my academics, leadership, and community service, and receive this scholarship. It will help me attend the college of my dreams by defraying the cost. I will definitely live up to the standards set forth by the scholarship over the next four years,\” Xu said.

Paige Wallace, whose major field of study at Harvard University will be the Classics, received the Gold Medal on the National Latin Exam, the Wilton Historical Society Award, and the Jamie K.Wilson Scholarship Award, given to a senior with an interest in teaching.

“I applied for this scholarship to help my family pay for the high cost of my college education, especially with my older sister in college at the same time,” said Wallace.  “To me, high quality education for all is very important.  My ultimate goal is to promote education reform in the United States. Senator Lieberman’s scholarship is helping me fund that goal.”

Abigail Hungaski, enrolled in American University in Washington, D.C., plans to study political science.  She was Debate Team Captain, recipient of the DAR Good Citizenship Award and the Western Connecticut Military Officers Association Young American Award.

Emily Castle, who plans to attend Dartmouth College majoring in Economics this fall, is a  Girl Scouts Gold Award Recipient, National Merit Scholarship Commended, and an AP Scholar with Distinction.  She is also a member of the Hot Shoes Senior Dance Company.

“I am so grateful for the generous scholarship from Senator Lieberman,\” she said. \”It is an honor to be recognized by such a distinguished leader.”

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