Scholarships - 2019 Winners
Liam Sullivan: $2,500 First Place

Liam is a second time BCAA Award winner who is heading into his Junior year at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.  Our first impression of Liam was that he lives by the Bradford Motto “Surgo Ut Prosim” and has done so for most of his life.  Before college he contributed over 1,000 hours of community service working with The Boy Scouts of America.  He has been recognized with four gold level Presidents Volunteer Service awards for working with building reconstruction efforts, youth education, community infrastructure creation and maintenance.  He is an Eagle Scout award holder with Gold Palm recognition.  Once he aged out of The Boy Scouts he stayed on as an adult volunteer. 

This year Liam took on a job as a community assistant at St. Lawrence University. He realizes that the community connections he makes on campus will last a lifetime and states “fostering that community and keeping it safe and happy bring me great pride and joy at the end of the day.” 

Liam has begun taking classes in Arabic and realizes that there is a need for “more English speakers to bridge the language gap that is partially to blame for the destruction of countless lives.”  He is studying International Economics and has recently decided to add Arabic language to his major.  This coming semester Liam will be studying abroad in Amman, Jordan where he hopes to improve his skills in Arabic to the point of fluency.  Liam was sponsored by his father, Tade Sullivan ‘93.
Elijah Falk: $1500 Second Place

Elijah Falk is a 2016 high school graduate who attends Pitzer College in Claremont, CA

He is looking forward to a future career in education.  His professor says, “Elijah has been a pleasure to have in my class because of thoughtfulness, empathy and compassion for others, maturity, analytical skills, and passion for social justice which will be an asset not only in his future career in education, but also to our society as a whole.”

As a high school junior Elijah became aware that the federal government had introduced a new mandatory standardized test for 11th grade students as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.  This 8 1/2 hour assessment was only available on computers and the testing time was spread out over a week, replacing core Language Arts and History classes.  The failure rate was estimated to be over 60%, and for those who did pass, the test didn’t offer many rewards.  This test was not required for graduation and was not significant in college acceptance. State employees were required, by law to administer the test, but students did not face the same obligations when it came to take the test.  As a member of the student senate at his high school, Elijah had access to detailed information about the test and was able to make careful, calculated decisions about how he felt about it.  This was not true for most of his classmates.  Many didn’t know what the test was, let alone that they had the option to refuse to take it.  By creating a class Facebook page and using flyers he succeeded in informing all of his peers to read about the test and decide for themselves whether or not to take it.  This resulted in 100% refusal rate by the students.  Instead of taking the test they all attended their Language Arts and History classes. 

Elijah has logged over 130 hours of volunteer work at Huerta del Valle, a food justice organization in California. 

He was also involved in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange course at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, CA where he sat in on a class composed of 12 Pitzer students, 12 prisoners and 1 Pitzer Professor. It was there that he was inspired by the revolutionary potential of empowering education and began to consider a career in education.

Elijah also worked at Jump-Start, an organization committed to closing the achievement gap that affects children from under-resourced communities and spent time abroad in Costa Rica and Ecuador where he taught English to 6th and 7th grade students.

We have no doubt that Elijah will “impact the world through his education” as he hopes.  Elijah is sponsored by his grandmother, Leta Weiss Marks ‘51.

Isabelle Vernalia: $1,000 Third Place

Isabelle Vernalila is a 2019 high school graduate who will be studying at Regis College this fall where she hopes to major in education.  She is the daughter of two Bradford graduates and as such has been surrounded by the “Surgo Ut Prosim” motto for her entire life.

Her teachers say she is a “energetic and charismatic student who can always be counted on to step up to the plate”.  She happily helps wherever she is needed giving tours to incoming freshman and teaching anti-bullying education programs at the district’s three elementary schools.  She is a four-year member of SADD/Project Purple and is currently serving as Vice President of her school’s chapter.  Within these organizations Isabelle has promoted being your best self, being substance free, creating PSA videos about bullying, addiction and making good choices.  She has also been a member of the GSA and No One Walks Alone- a group focused on eliminating stigmas about mental health issues.  She is also a member of the Gender Equality NOW club promoting numerous feminists and discussing cutest events that are topics of interest.  She also hosted a March for our Lives walkout on her campus in 2018. 

Isabelle has been very involved in theatre both in and out of school and has recently been inducted into the Merrimack Valley Playwrights.  One of her works was elected for the Cannon Theater’s 10 Minute Play Festival last spring.  No stranger to the other arts, Isabelle is also a dance student who has served as a teaching assistant for a middle school hip hop class and is a member of her school’s honors chamber singers. She also holds a position on the Chorus Board. 

Through her church Isabelle has also volunteered at Easter Egg Hunts, soup kitchens, neighborhood block parties, Operation Christmas Child, Rise Against Hunger and the Anne Marie House Shelter.  She also volunteered to be an elementary crew leader for vacation bible school.  Through all of this volunteering Isabelle discovered her love of teaching and decided to focus her future career in education.  She hopes to use education to be important to others, shaping the future to make an impact no matter how big or small. Isabelle is sponsored by her parents Lynda Blair Vernalia ’91 and Drew Vernalia ’93.