Three local high school seniors are among 10 Washington seniors who have been awarded the Horatio Alger Washington Scholarship.
Taylor Courser of Mark Morris High School, Sileena Stevens of R.A. Long High School and Jennifer Martin of Toledo High School all will receive $5,000 that will go toward their college tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board.
Taylor was born with beta-ketothiolase deficiency, a rare condition that makes her unable to digest animal protein. She was so sick at birth that doctors feared for her life.
She has never tasted meat, and she has to avoid eating more than 30 grams of other types of protein a day — the equivalent of one 3.5 ounce chicken breast.
Throughout her school career she has been active in sports and has regularly made the honor roll.
Sileena, who was featured as a Daily News “standout grad” June 8, had to help raise her eight younger siblings after the loss of their father when she was in eighth grade.
She has taken leadership roles in cheerleading, track, church and community service, and has regularly made the honor roll.
Jennifer had to repeat much of her junior year due to a serious illness, but she graduated with a 3.9 grade-point average and was one of the top 5 percent in her class. She received a Daughters of American Revolution “Good Citizen” scholarship for her commitment to community service. She was highlighted as a top scholar in The Daily News graduation section.
Horatio Alger scholarship recipients have been chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to education, dedication to community service, and strength of character in overcoming personal obstacles to achieve academic excellence. Alger was a 19th-century American author best known for novels about boys from humble backgrounds who achieved success through hard work, determination, courage and honesty.
“It is a privilege to play a part in these young people’s college education,” said Tony Novelly, president and chief executive officer of the Horatio Alger Association. “They have already shown perseverance and courage in the face of adversity, and with opportunities made available through higher education and our free-enterprise system, there is no limit to the things they may achieve.”