Haley Pelletier and Alexa Jordan, 2013 winners of the Net Atlantic Scholarship AwardsFor the fifth straight year, as part of its dedication to giving back to the local community, Net Atlantic held a college scholarship contest for high school students attending public or private schools in Salem, Peabody, Lynn, Lynnfield, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, and Swampscott.

Two, $2,000 scholarships were available for students graduating in 2013. Eligible candidates were required to maintain a GPA above 3.0 and plan to pursue a four-year college degree in Business, Marketing, Public Relations, Communications, Computer Science, or IT. To qualify, they were asked to submit an application, including an essay in which they could share their accomplishments, passions, and intelligence. This year, for the first time, candidates could apply for one of two specific awards: Academic and Leadership Achievement, or Science and Technology Achievement.

Without further ado, here are the winners of this year’s scholarship contest!

Winner of the Science and Technology Achievement Award

Haley Pelletier of St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, MA

Haley is our first-ever winner of the Science and Technology Achievement Award – and for good reason! Some of her achievements include:

  • Participation in several clubs, including Science League Captain and Math Team
  • Geometry tutor
  • Volunteers at Camp Sunshine in Maine (a camp for children with life-threatening diseases) and for the Binky Patrol Team – a non-profit organization that donates and delivers blankets to children in trauma

Haley told us in her essay that, in her sophomore year, she joined her high school’s Science Team, which competes in the North Shore Science League. She was nominated team captain in her junior and senior years, which gave her confidence and reassured her that she wanted to explore the field of science more deeply. The Science Team was a big influence on her college goals and aspirations. Her favorite competitions were the ones that required her to build something in advance of the event. Over the years, Haley has built everything from a golf ball sorter, catapult, tight rope walker, and unique playable instruments. She loves the thrill of competition, and the reward of building someting from start to finish.

Our favorite quote from Haley’s essay: “True learning is not in memorization, but understanding concepts and being able to apply them in specific situations.” Is it any surprise why we chose her for our winner?

This fall, Haley will be attending Olin College in Needham, MA, and is considering electrical or computer engineering as her main area of concentration.

Winner of the Academic and Leadership Achievement Award

Alexa Jordan of Danvers High School in Danvers, MA

Throughout her high school career, Alexa showed her leadership skills by participating in several clubs, including:

  • Coaching and volunteering with the Special Olympics
  • VP of both Student Council and National Honors Society
  • PR Manager for National English Honor Society, where she was responsible for marketing and recruiting future applicants

In addition, she participated in extracurricular activities such as the math team, field hockey team, competitive dancing, key club, and DECA business club, as well as volunteering with the Hospice and Alzheimer’s Associations and the Danvers Field Hockey YMCA Camp. And, as if all that weren’t enough, Alexa also worked at various jobs including It’s a Girl’s Place, Cakes for Occasions, and Pure Energy Entertainment.

Alexa used a Ferris wheel as a metaphor for life in her essay, in which she discussed how, as a seven year-old girl, she and her father were both terrified of heights, but he wanted to confront his fear by getting on the Ferris wheel, while all she wanted was to run away. This experience provided her with an insight that would last her whole life:  when standing in front the of the ferris wheel of life with a decision to make, sometimes you’ll choose to get on and sometimes you’ll chose not to. But in the end it is always your choice. We have no doubt that this understanding will help Alexa embrace the challenges to come as she begins college this fall.

Alexa will attend the University of South Carolina in September, where she’ll pursue a degree in sports and entertainment management and marketing.

We wish both Haley and Alexa the best of luck as they begin the next phase of their lives in a few months. We know they will achieve all their dreams and more.