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CBHS Senior Wins QuestBridge Scholarship!

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CBHS Senior Wins QuestBridge Scholarship!
Posted on 12/04/2020
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Casco Bay High School senior Margarida Celestino has been named a QuestBridge 2020 Match Scholarship Recipient. As a result, she will receive a full, four-year scholarship to Colgate University.

Margarida, whose career goal is to become a medical doctor, is the first QuestBridge Scholar in Casco Bay’s 15-year history, said Principal Derek Pierce.

“Margarida’s intelligence, warmth and precocious poise make her a natural leader. Margarida’s commitment to listening and service make her an exceptional one,” Pierce said. “Margarida is one of our top scholars, and she is the current chairperson of Student Cabinet. Her current aspiration is to become a gynecologist and address disparities in maternal care for Black women.  Margarida embodies the school’s noblest values and our motto: ‘Get Smart to Do Good.’”

The QuestBridge National College Match is a national program of QuestBridge, a California-based nonprofit. That program connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.

Out of more than 18,500 applicants to the 2020 program, QuestBridge selected 6,885 Finalists to be considered for Match Scholarships. Margarida is one of a record number of 1,464 Finalists nationwide to be recognized as 2020 Match Scholarship Recipients.

"The achievements of our 2020 Match Scholarship Recipients are particularly exceptional in the midst of a year marked by challenging circumstances,” said Ana McCullough, CEO and co-founder of QuestBridge. “The fact that our college partners awarded a record number of scholarships this year bolsters our hope for a brighter, more equitable future.”

Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring for these students and their families that an education at a top college can be affordable. QuestBridge’s 42 college partners include top liberal arts colleges such as Amherst, Pomona, and Williams and exceptional research universities such as Columbia, Duke, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and Yale. The Match Scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.

These 2020 Match Scholarship Recipients become the first QuestBridge Scholars for the Class of 2025. Based on previous years, it is estimated that over 2,000 Finalists will be admitted to QuestBridge college partners later in the year through Early and Regular Decision processes.

Earlier this year Margarida was selected to be student host of an EL Education 2020 Virtual Summit in October titled “What Matters Most: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools.” At the summit, Margarida shared her personal reflections on immigrating with her family from Angola, West Africa, life and learning during the pandemic, and conversations about race at her school. Learn more HERE.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced school meals.