Milton Fisher Scholarship
Announcing the 2017 Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity. A total of $128,000 in college scholarships (payable over four years of college) was awarded this year to 7 high school students who came up with distinctive solutions to problems faced by their schools, communities, families, and the world. In addition, a total of $3,500 in scholarships was awarded to 7 high school students receiving honorable mentions.
While each application submitted for consideration highlighted a creative project, scholarships were awarded to the candidates who demonstrated the greatest innovation and whose projects have the most potential impact. The winners were recognized for projects involving the arts, science, technology, and social action.
Jack Adam (NYC iSchool, New York, NY) An adventurous street artist, Jack chose garbage as his canvas. His iconic signature tag — the stylized marker-drawn outline of a 1959 medium format Yashica-A camera and the words “Who Shot Who?” — began appearing in his neighborhood on hundreds of items discarded and left on the curb, sparking puzzlement, pleasure and conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. His quirky street art offered his neighbors unexpected, new ways of interacting with each other and with urban space. Jack plans to study Art at Yale University.
Alexander Bohr (Coventry High School, Coventry, CT) Caring deeply about the need to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and the need for more healthy food in his high school cafeteria and local food pantries, Alexander addressed both issues simultaneously by building a solar-powered acquaponic geodesic dome at his school that will help educate and feed his community. He will study Environmental Science at the University of Connecticut.
Gavrielle Kamen (Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC). Convinced that empathy and communication are the building blocks of world peace, Gavrielle created “Middle East Skype Sessions,” an organization that facilitates conversations between teenagers in the U.S. and teenagers in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She will major in Performance Studies and Peace and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Middle East Studies, at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Ana Larrazolo (Veterans Memorial High School, Brownsville, TX) Despite the discrimination and hostility, widespread illiteracy, and tremendous poverty endured by the Mexican-American residents of the Rio Grande Valley where she lives, Ana knew that the region was also a site of vibrant creativity. She founded an artist collective in South Texas, Artistas de la Frontera, to help poets, painters, photographers, muralists and others inspire and support one another through poetry slams, exhibits and a zine. She will study Acting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Neal Soni (Staples High School, Westport, CT) After seeing his grandfather suffer from excruciating low back pain, Neal devoted himself to developing an ingenious process to reduce the scarring that often occurs with back surgery. Combining the use of hydrogels with modeling prototype spinal columns through 3-D printing, Neal’s innovative intervention could have revolutionary and global impact. He will be a high school senior in 2017-2018.
George Stefanakis (Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY) The distinctive mathematical model and unorthodox conceptual framework in computational science that George developed can pave the way for a potentially groundbreaking approach to resolving some obstacles to the development of a large-scale quantum computer. He will major in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
William Yin (Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT) Troubled that there was no user-friendly, low-cost diagnostic test for the early detection of atherosclerosis (the leading precursor to heart attacks and strokes and the leading cause of death worldwide), William filled this gap with a creative, life-saving device of his own design. He developed an inexpensive, self-administered, tattoo-based biosensor patch resembling a Band-Aid® that can reliably detect arterial plaque build-up. He will study Bioengineering and Computer Science at Stanford University.
2017 HONORABLE MENTIONS
Christopher Arrandale (Daniel Hand High School, Madison, CT) designed an innovative 3D printing curriculum for middle school students. He will be a high school senior in 2017-2018.
Melissa Gurzenda (St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, CT) invented a lap desk with a crank-powered light to help children in areas without electricity read and write at night. She will study Entrepreneurship at Bryan University.
Dana Joseph (Engineering and Science University Magnet School, West Haven, CT) created inventive classes called “Code Pink, Code Blue, Code You” to encourage girls to explore computer science. She will study Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.
Jeffrey Richiez (Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology, New York, NY) developed software that helps teachers and guidance staff at his school do their jobs more efficiently. He will study Computer Science at the State University of New York, New Paltz.
Elora Rosedale (Canton High School, Canton, CT) produced thoughtful chemotherapy companion bags to provide comfort and aid to patients going through chemotherapy. She will attend the University of Hartford.
Kadir Sahin (Engineering and Science University Magnet School, West Haven, CT) developed an online, student-written publication to inform students city-wide of what is happening in all the high schools in the New Haven area and to give all students the chance to hone their skills as journalists and photographers. He will be a high school senior in 2017-2018.
Skyler Szot (Farmington High School, Farmington, CT) designed and built durable turtle basking platforms that will enhance the health and wellbeing of the local turtle population while allowing park visitors to view the turtles. He will study Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
HOW TO APPLY
The next application deadline is May 1, 2018
A complete of set of guidelines and a link to the online application (set to be live in November 2017) can be found at www.rbffoundation.org. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MILTON FISHER SCHOLARSHIP BACKGROUND
The Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity was established in 2003 at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven by the Reneé B. Fisher Foundation. This scholarship is not a traditional scholarship focused on rewarding academic achievement and addressing financial need. Its specific goal is to reward and encourage innovative and creative problem-solving. High school juniors and seniors and college freshmen from Connecticut and the New York metropolitan area are eligible to apply.
Milton Fisher was born and educated in New York City and was a Connecticut resident from 1960 until his death in 2001. He was an attorney and an investment banker who also taught a unique course for adults called “Applied Creativity” for over 25 years. His deep interest in the roots of creativity, and the many exercises he developed to help people become more innovative and creative in their lives, also led him to write the book Intuition: How to Use it in your Life, which has been translated into several languages. Fisher also served on the boards of several public companies and wrote two books about Wall Street.