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Philadelphia student wins full college scholarship; one of five in nation chosen

Asdy Wan, a senior this fall at the Julia R. Masterman School in Philadelphia, is one of five students in the nation who will receive full college scholarships from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund. The value of the scholarship will depend on the cost of the student’s college.
Other students chosen to receive the awards live in Boston, New York, Houston, and rural Vermont. The awards were made in the students’ junior year to allow them to select a college based on their aspirations and abilities, not finances. The all-expense scholarships cover tuition and fees, room and board, books, a laptop, as well as a modest stipend.
Now in its second year, the college scholarship program is part of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship and School Funds, a three-pronged philanthropic initiative that targets young people who possess the potential to become the cultural and community leaders of the next generation. The awards focus on exceptional young artists, successful high school juniors who have faced serious challenges, and public elementary schools lacking essential resources for their students.
The program reflects the late Leonore Annenberg’s lifelong commitment to public service, education and the arts, and her unparalleled efforts to improve the lives of the nation’s youth.
“These awards provide opportunities for artistic growth and educational advancement to beneficiaries whose contributions will strengthen American cultural life and enrich our democracy. Their conduct and body of work will serve as a constant reminder of Leonore Annenberg’s generosity and high standards,” said Gail Levin, director of the program.
This fall Ms. Wan will begin her senior year at the J. R. Masterman High School, a Philadelphia School District magnet school ranked in the top 60 high schools in the U.S. All of her courses there have been at the advanced level, and Asdy has earned straight A’s throughout her high school career. One experienced professional in the area of college prep described her as “a remarkably mature, focused, and optimistic student.”
With a view toward her career plans, Ms. Wan has participated in several accounting programs for high school students, including one offered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and another sponsored by the National Association of Black Accountants. This summer she attended a business program at Bryant University (Rhode Island) to learn the process of financing and marketing a product. She also was selected through a competitive process to serve an internship at the Philadelphia-area Environmental Protection Agency. Inspired by her mother, who must struggle to make ends meet for her family, Asdy plans to major in accounting in college and eventually join a Big Four accounting firm.
In addition to academics, Asdy shines in the extracurricular arena. She is a member of the Model Senate and World Affairs Club, and the JV Tennis Team, and is the co-founder and co-captain of the Varsity Badminton Team. She sings in the choir and is a member of the stage crew. As a member of School for Schools, Asdy helps raise money to build schools in Uganda. She is vice-president of the Asian Teen Union, and she tutors fifth grade students once a week after school.
Despite numerous obstacles – among them her family’s extreme financial difficulties, as well as severe skin allergies that cause her to miss school at times for medical treatment – Asdy remains resilient and focused on the future. The Leonore Annenberg School and Scholarship Funds Selection Council concurred with the teacher who wrote of Asdy, “Her integrity is beyond reproach, her service record exemplary, and her academic record is outstanding.”
Students who were selected as Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship recipients last year, 2008, will be attending Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and Tufts University this fall.