Thursday February 01, 2018
Pravesh Sharma Dahal was recently awarded the prestigious 2018 Horatio Alger National Scholarship. A senior at South Burlington High School, Sharma Dahal is in select company as he is one of 106 recipients who were chosen from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Awarded by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization, the scholarship recognizes outstanding students, like Sharma Dahal, who, in the face of great personal adversity, have exhibited an unwavering commitment to pursue their dreams through higher education.
“The Association is pleased to award this year’s selection of outstanding students with the 2018 Horatio Alger National Scholarship,” said Matthew Rose, president, Horatio Alger Association and 2013 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “Despite the significant challenges these students have faced in their young lives, they are deeply committed to pursuing higher education and serving their communities. My fellow members and I applaud their perseverance and look forward to supporting and mentoring each of these scholars as they continue on their journey towards a bright future.”
On receipt of the award, Sharma Dahal credited his mother, Laxmi Sharma, “I want to thank my mom because I would have never received this award without her support.” He also noted SBHS guidance counselor Lindsey Hudson, “She has made a difference in my life. She never hesitated to help me.”
Making a difference is something that is important to the young scholar. He says, “I like to be active and love getting involved in community work.” Sharma Dahal coached the track team during summer months as part of a South Burlington Recreation and Parks program. In addition, he volunteered at the ECHO Center every Sunday.
Hudson says, “It is hard to believe that it was just four years ago that Pravesh was new to the country, sitting in a classroom where his English language skills were limited, and everything was brand new. He has navigated this complex system with persistence, fierceness, and a willingness to utilize the resources around him. I could not be more proud of Pravesh and grateful to the Horatio Alger Scholarship committee for seeing him for all he is. He not only is a stellar student and community member; he is an awesome human being. His smile can turn someone’s day from bad to good in a second and his empathic nature allows him to make a positive impact on the lives of so many of us.”
Along with the scholarship award, Sharma Dahal also receives a trip to Washington D.C. in April to attend the Horatio Alger National Scholars Conference (NSC). There, he and other Horatio Alger scholars will have an opportunity to learn about the association, its esteemed members, and the various support programs in which they can partake during their collegiate careers. In conjunction with the NSC, national scholars will also be recognized at the association’s 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies, during which the association will induct 12 distinguished new members – accomplished corporate, civic and cultural leaders. The Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program and National Scholars Conference are wholly funded through private donations from association members and friends. Sharma Dahal says, “I look forward to meeting the other recipients and meeting Horatio Alger members.”
Sharma Dahal’s future plans include attending Champlain College and taking part in their Criminal Justice Program. He says, “My favorite topic to study is juvenile justice. I love talking about our justice system and how it impacts teens.”
“Pravesh has had his heart set on college from the beginning, pushing himself out of his comfort zone academically with challenging courses, maintaining employment throughout high school, and contributing to the high school community in big and small ways,” adds Hudson.
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty, and determination can conquer all obstacles. The association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime members. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $125 million in college scholarships to more than 25,000 deserving young people.
SOURCE: Carole Vasta Folley, The Other Paper