Two St. Mary’s High School seniors have advanced in the selection process for the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship. Paulina Menichiello and Ben Cloud recently learned that they are now both finalists for the award.
That means that next month Menichiello and Cloud will be among the 72 Boettcher Scholarship finalists who will be interviewed to determine which 40 will be named Boettcher Scholars.
“I’m a nervous person so I’m trying not to freak myself out,” Menichiello said in February when she was named a semifinalist. “Although I do forensics, I find it hard to talk about myself so I know the interview will be a challenge for me if I move on.”
The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 scholarships each year, providing essentially a full-ride to any four-year university in Colorado. More than 1,300 students apply for the scholarships each fall. Since the scholarship program started in 1952, more than $60 million dollars in scholarships has been awarded.
Cloud loves the idea of the scholarship. He said that he loves the state of Colorado and would love to attend college here. He also loves the idea of being close to family and the activities he loves, like skiing.
“It’s a great idea—to keep Colorado’s ‘best and brightest’ in the state for college,” he said. “It would be a great honor to receive the scholarship and to be a part of a foundation that upholds standards of integrity, morals, and work ethic.”
In tough economic times, the prospect of a full-ride to college is blessing to most families. That is what Menichiello keeps in mind as progresses through the selection process.
“I need as much scholarship money as I can get,” she said. “I want to help my family out, especially since I have two younger sisters who will go to college.”
For Cloud the whole process has been an honor, although at times a nerve-wracking one.
“I’m approaching it by acknowledging that it has already been such an honor,” Cloud said. “So regardless of what happens, it’s an experience that I’ve already appreciated.”
By Amy G. Partain, Communications Associate
St. Mary’s High School
Below, Ben Cloud and Paulina Menichiello, both seniors at St. Mary's High School, have been named Boettcher Scholarship finalists.