In the late Spring of 2016, Lily Tang, a graduating senior at Braintree High School and first generation Chinese-American, was at the Massachusetts State House, seated among dozens of other high school seniors who had been chosen to receive a $1,000 Leaders & Achievers scholarship from Comcast.
Tang, who would be attending UMASS Amherst in the Fall to study political science, was excited about the scholarship, which rewards students across the country for their academic achievement and community service work. What she did not know was that she was about to receive a very big surprise.
“I was sitting with a mentor of mine from ACDC (Asian Community Development Center) enjoying the event when I saw my face on the screen next to the emcee and heard her say my name,’’ Tang recalled recently.
Tang was selected for the 2016 Comcast Founder’s Scholarship, a $10,000 prize instituted in honor of Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation.
She had completed an impressive 500 hours of volunteering at Asian Voices of Organized Youth for Community Empowerment (A-VOYCE) and won several academic awards including the AP US History Academic Excellence Award.
“It’s crazy to look back a few years ago and see that,’’ said Tang, now a junior honors student at UMASS. “I’m so grateful because I was not sure how I was going to afford UMASS and Comcast helped a lot with that.”
At UMASS, Tang is the Secretary of Diversity for the Student Government Association. She is also a Resident Assistant and a very active member of the university’s Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center for Asian and Asian-American students.
Tang’s experience with volunteerism in high school has truly influenced her desire to make a difference in the world. She plans to use a portion of the Comcast Founder’s Scholarship to travel to Shanghai next summer where she hopes to intern for a nonprofit working on humanitarian efforts.
“I’ve learned in college how much influence the US has on public policy around the world,’’ Tang said. “One day, I hope I can work for the State Department on global human rights issues.”
More on the program and how to apply for 2020 Scholarships:
Since the program’s inception in 2001, Comcast has awarded over $33 million in Leaders & Achievers scholarships to approximately 30,000 high school seniors from across the country.
High school seniors attending any Massachusetts public, charter or private school who have a 3.0 GPA or above and have demonstrated a commitment to community service are encouraged to apply for a 2020 Leaders & Achievers Scholarship. Winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship. But one very lucky student could win $10,000. Could it be you?
The deadline is December 6, 2019.