O’Neill Scholarships support higher education of local students

Isadora Oliviera

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) has awarded John O’Neill Scholarships to support the higher education of two 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 received $2,500 John O’Neill Scholarships in 2023:

Isadora Oliviera recently graduated from Somerville High School (SHS) and plans to major in biology at Endicott College.

Isadora graduated the SHS Pharmacy Tech program and plans to intern in various health fields, with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant or a similar position. She was a member of the National Honor Society, played varsity volleyball, and was a community service volunteer. Her resume of volunteerism includes working with Best Buddies and mentoring two Portuguese-speaking students.

Aya Mahrous

Aya Mahrous is a recent graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. She plans to attend UMass and major in health sciences/biomedical, toward the eventual goals of graduate school and a degree in dental medicine. Aya has passed exams to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Her resume includes work as a CNA at the North End Rehab and Health Center in Boston and various community service activities.

The scholarship recipients were also given another $250 to help cover incidental expenses of preparing for college.

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.


Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older adults and adults with disabilities in Somerville and Cambridge. For free advice and guidance on questions of aging, caregiving or disability, contact our Community Support Center at 617-628-2601, email info@eldercare.org, or visit our website eldercare.org.