SPARTA, NJ – A Sparta High School senior was recently named an Horatio Alger Scholar, earning a $10,000 scholarship. Simon Levien found out about the essay competition and submitted two 250-word papers to be considered.
“Simon is an accomplished creative and technical writer, and a member of the Sparta High School STEM Academy,” guidance counselor Jenna Valleau said. “He is also a member of the Top Ten at Sparta High School. The scholarship application was intensive, requiring several essays and letters of recommendation.”
Levien was one of 13 in New Jersey to earn an award in the national initiative, named for the prolific author of the 19 and early 20 centuries.
"The English Department is thrilled that Simon has been recognized for his academic accomplishments by the Horatio Alger Foundation,” English Supervisor Mary Hassenplug said. “Just as Alger worked tirelessly to achieve his goals, Simon has set his sights high and continues to be rewarded for his efforts. He has a promising future ahead of him and I'm happy that this scholarship will help him on his path."
According to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, “strives to promote the values exemplified in the books of Horatio Alger, Jr. and to honor those who have achieved success by adhering to them.”
Alger’s 128 books “recount how a ‘can-do-spirit’ and individual initiative can allow anyone to achieve their dreams regardless of circumstances.”
The criteria for the scholarship includes the applicant:
- is a high school student,
- is committed to pursue a bachelor’s degree,
- is involved in co-curricular and community service activities,
- displays integrity and perservenance in overcoming adversity,
- maintains a grade point average of 2.0
- has a financial need,
- is a United States citizen
It is funded in this state by the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund, funded by members, who like the scholars have experienced challenges but ultimately overcame them to become successful business and civic leaders, according to the organization.
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