Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) has awarded John O’Neill Scholarships to support the higher education of four local students.
Established in 2017 to honor longtime SCES Executive Director John O’Neill, the scholarship benefits outstanding students from Cambridge and Somerville who are pursuing studies in elder services, health care, advocacy, or policy work.
The following students will receive $2,000 John O’Neill Scholarships in 2022:
Stephka Lubin recently graduated from Somerville High School. She previously interned at the Visiting Nurse Association and took the Certified Nurse Assistant exam in May. She will attend the nursing program at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell this fall.
“I found my place taking care of people,” she said.
Tunmise Ogundeko recently graduated from Somerville High School. She previously interned with the Visiting Nurse Association and took the Certified Nurse Assistant exam in May. She will attend the University of Massachusetts- Dartmouth nursing program this fall.
“I cannot wait to enter the real world of wearing scrubs,” she said.
Sarisha Ray recently graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin. Her resume includes work at soup kitchens and her school chapter of Amnesty International. Sarisha will attend the University of Massachusetts- Amherst this fall, where she plans to study medicine and work with Doctors Without Borders.
“With change comes the discovery of more topics and activities that make me feel curious and passionate about the world that I am in,” she said.
Aaliya Shaikh is an Adams scholar from Cambridge Rindge and Latin. She interned at the Santa Maria Nursing Facility, did clinical work at Breakthrough Greater Boston and is certified in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care. She took the Certified Nurse Assistant exam in May and plans to attend the U-Mass Boston nursing program this fall.
“Working with the elderly has played an important role in how I will take care of my patients,” she said.
John O’Neill was Executive Director at SCES for 38 years, and the scholarship fund was established to honor his lifelong dedication to ensuring that older people have options to stay healthy and remain in their homes.
A central goal of the O’Neill Scholarship is to help meet the growing need for advocates and leaders in fields that serve older adults. SCES Board President Leslie Hergert said this class of scholars fits that bill well.
“The SCES Board is always impressed by the students we interview for this award,” she said. “Aaliya, Sarisha, Stephka, and Tunmise are shining examples of combining academic commitment and community service in health-related fields. With this award, we honor their past work, and support their future studies in areas we expect will contribute to the well-being of our communities’ elders.”
Interested seniors at Somerville High School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School should contact their school counseling office for information on how to apply.
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older adults in Somerville and Cambridge.
The O’Neill Scholarship is a donation-driven effort. To learn more about supporting the O’Neill Scholarship, visit the SCES Donations page, call 617‐628-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.