Ryan Berard of Oakland, a senior at Messalonskee High School, was awarded the 2014 Joseph B. Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship.
Ryan was the leader of the Messalonskee High School Food Drive, which in the first year resulted in a record breaking 4,000 items being collected. Last spring he co-founded a “Day of Caring” at the high school. The majority of students cleaned walking trails, cemeteries and the schools, as well as visited nursing homes. He pushed for this event in hopes that other students would find the same joy in volunteering as he does.
Along with joining school extracurricular activities, he is a Senior Mentor to a younger student. Ryan also volunteers in the community.
Ryan plans to continue his education at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, and wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in political science.
Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship Committee convenes annually to award the prize to a local graduating senior with an exemplary record of citizenship and community service. Applicants are required to submit an essay on their community involvement, and finalists are interviewed by the Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship Committee.
“We are very pleased to award the 16th annual Ezhaya Scholarship to Ryan Berard,” said Kimberly Lindlof, president and CEO of Mid-Maine Chamber and coordinator of the scholarship, in a press release. “The committee chose Ryan from an impressive group of accomplished applicants, because of his dedication to service and leadership truly reflect Joe Ezhaya’s spirit and generosity.”
The scholarship is awarded by Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce in memory of Joseph Ezhaya, a dedicated community volunteer, and successful candidates share his interest in citizenship and involvement. Recipients must be graduating from a high school in mid-Maine and attending post-secondary school in New England. Awardees receive a $750 scholarship after successfully completing one semester with a grade point average of 2.0 or better. For more information on the annual award, visit www.midmainechamber.com/chamber/about/scholarship.html.