Merrimack Valley Striders’ Present $22,000 in College Scholarships to Local Graduates
LAWRENCE – The Merrimack Valley Striders’ running club announces 11 area high school graduates as the recipients of this year’s MVS Memorial Scholarship, supported by Schneider Electric.
Students were honored at dinner at Salvatore’s in Lawrence with guest speaker Dan Roche, sports anchor for WBZ TV.
“These students are not only talented athletes, they are also exemplary members of their school communities for their academic successes and community service,” said MVS club president Robin Condon. “We’re honored to be able to support the next phase of their journey through this scholarship fund.”
The scholarships are given to eligible seniors preparing for college who have participated in cross country, indoor track or outdoor track during their high school years. All high schools throughout the Striders’ membership area are notified of this scholarship opportunity. The students must submit a profile form along with an essay on "What running means to me" demonstrating their character and dedication to running.
In addition to the $2,000 scholarship, recipients receive a five-year membership in the Merrimack Valley Striders and one entry into the Feaster Five Road Race held on Thanksgiving morning in Andover.
Scholarship recipients are: Kyle Adams, Tewksbury High School; Alexander Arbogast, Tewksbury High School; Mallory Brown, Wilmington High School; Jacob Chisholm, Andover High School; Zachary Chisholm, Andover High School; Cole Giles, North Andover High School; Nathan Hammerschmitt Le Gal, Essex Agricultural & Technical High School; Molly Kiley, Andover High School; Ashley Sheldon, Andover High School; Sophia Wood, Salem (N.H.) High School; and Drew Phaneuf, St. John’s Prep .
The Scholarships are funded thanks to proceeds from the Feaster Five Road Race, presented by Schneider Electric. The Feaster Five is the largest Thanksgiving Day road race in Massachusetts, annually attracting 7,000 participants in the family-friendly 5K and 5 mile event. The 36th annual Feaster Five will be held November 23, 2023.
The MVS Memorial Scholarship began in 1998 and has awarded over $275,000 in scholarships to date.
Meet the 2023 MVS Memorial Scholarship recipients:
Kyle Adams, Tewksbury High School
Began his running career while participating in road races in the 7th and 8th grade with his mother. The Eagle Scout and Student Council member was a captain for all three seasons of cross country, indoor and outdoor track. He will continue his education at Merrimack College and join the track team as a sprinter and throwing events.
Alexander Arbogast, Tewksbury High School
Alexander was pursuing a baseball career from an early age, but it all changed when his geometry teacher encouraged him to run Indoor track. He eventually won the New England 55M hurdle championship, as well as qualifying for the New Balance Nationals. His involvement with Best Buddies lead to him assisting the Unified Basketball Team. He will study pre-law at the University of Rhode Island and run track.
Mallory Brown, Wilmington High School
The National Honor Society president said she found a similar passion in running as she did with academics. She cited running as a major influence on how she viewed fitness. Her numerous clubs included Best Buddies and peer mentoring. She will be studying neuroscience at Syracuse University.
Jacob Chisholm, Andover High School
Once he started running, Jacob said that nothing could replicate the feeling of community he found in the sport. He mentioned that running taught him to work harder which resulted in better grades. His numerous activities included being on the leadership board of the Mock Trial Club. He plans to continue his running at Boston College with a club team.
Zachary Chisholm, Andover High School
He said that running was a hobby that defined his high school career in terms of self-improvement and meeting people. His numerous activities included being involved in the Mock Trial and Pickleball Clubs as well as a student mentoring program. His passion for running and sense of community will continue at McGill University.
Cole Giles, North Andover High School
The Eagle Scout and class treasurer cited the big impact of running on his life. He has served as a volunteer coach with the North Andover Youth Track program and wants to “coach the next generation of runners”. He plans to continue his running while studying business or communication at the University of Colorado.
Nathan Hammerschmitt Le Gal, Essex Agricultural & Technical High School
Nathan’s interest in science led him to study how to improve his running and other aspects of his life. The class treasurer and student government member also had a summer co-op job in Gloucester with NOAA. He plans to study biology at Dartmouth and explore running a marathon.
Molly Kiley, Andover High School
Molly’s passion for running began at an early age while cheering for her mother in the Boston Marathon. She began running local 5K races while in grammar school. The National Honor Society and Student Council member also volunteered with “Healthy Kids Running” at her local church. She will be attending Boston University and plans to run cross country and track.
Ashley Sheldon, Andover High School
Ashley said that running taught her to “appreciate my efforts”. In addition to indoor and outdoor track, she also played soccer during four seasons. She co-founded the Endangered Species Club and was active in a group that raised funds to buy socks for a homeless shelter. Plans to get involved as a youth track coach. She will study psychology at Union College while playing soccer and running track.
Sophia Wood, Salem (N.H.) High School
Sophia cited four important aspects of her running: unwinding from pressure, remaining fit, forging friendships and lifelong memories. Her numerous volunteer activities include her local community. She stressed the importance of mentoring her younger teammates. Clemson will be her next stop while studying civil engineering.
Drew Phaneuf, St. John’s Prep
Drew is the first recipient of the MVS President’s Award. He has been a lifelong member of the club, along with his family. He began volunteering at the Mill Cities Relay and Feaster Five race. He cited MVS as the inspiration for his running. His numerous activities included being president of the Young Left and Philosophy clubs. He will be attending the University of North Carolina.
About Merrimack Valley Striders
Merrimack Valley Striders was founded in 1979 with the mission to encourage and enhance running at all levels. Every member of MVS is respected as an athlete — whether they are young or old, capable of winning races or further back in the pack, a seasoned marathoner, or a member who is simply seeking to improve his or her health. Though the organization was founded in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, it has grown and now touches runners as far away as Florida and California. To learn more, visit: https://www.merrimackvalleystriders.com/.