by Abby Crowell
Renowned author James Patterson has continuously funded a scholarship program in his name at Manhattan College and this year’s recipients of the award have recently been announced.
Patterson graduated from MC in 1969 with a degree in English. It has been many years since Patterson was a student at MC, but that does not stop him from being an involved alumnus.
Years after his graduation from MC, Patterson has donated $2 million to bookstores and libraries in 2015, yet his altruism does not stop there.
Patterson displays his generosity annually through the award of the James Patterson Scholarship. This academic year is the 6th year that Patterson has allocated this award to outstanding upperclassmen, 10 juniors and 10 seniors.
The demographic of the recipients varies greatly. The winners included students from the Engineering, Science, Liberal Arts, Business, and Education and Health schools. Patterson created this scholarship in order to honor Jaspers that portray strong academics as well as leadership roles.
The junior recipients of this year’s scholarship include: Rinor Ahmetaj, Karla Ortiz, Jaycie Cooper, Kaiyun Chen, Alessandra Palmisano, Muhammad Buttar, Meghan Polhemus, Melissa Gallardo, Claudia Ramirez, and Diana Balaj.
The seniors who received the scholarship are Shane Duggan, Mia Bertolli, Lorraine Bishop, Lisa Maria Nilaj, Maria Mazo, Alessandra Eraifez, Kathia Coronado, Shimul Miah, Yulemmy Mendez, and Carly Corbett-Frank.
Each of the recipients will receive $5,000. This scholarship is an exceptional example of how MC alumni work hard to give back to the school that helped make them who they are today.
Two of the scholarship winners, senior Shimul Miah and junior Diana Balaj expressed their gratitude for winning this beneficial scholarship.
“I’m really grateful for Manhattan’s opportunities. The scholarship and school is a great asset to me. I wouldn’t be here without the help of the college, and this scholarship shows this school truly cares about a kid from the Bronx,” said Miah.
Miah’s submission essay consisted of anecdotes about his early life in the Bronx, his international adventures and LOVE trips, and his struggles.
When asked why he believes his essay stood out to James Patterson, he stated, “I was being myself. I told my story and he recognized me for who I am and where I come from.”
Miah’s career goals consist of humanitarian aid work, diplomacy, or working with the United Nations. After the experience of winning this award twice, Miah says he will continue to apply to other scholarships.
As for Balaj, the scholarship has also been very beneficial. The Dobbs Ferry, NY native discovered the James Patterson scholarship after receiving an email that included an invitation to apply. This scholarship stood out to her due to her fondness of Patterson’s novels.
“With this financial break I can now put into affect my other goals and even give back to the world,” said Balaj.
Balaj acknowledges that Ms. Elen Mons was very helpful in her scholarship process. The guidance from Ms. Elon Mons, as well as her writing experience contributed to why the committee chose her submission to be a winner.
After winning this scholarship, Balaj is very excited for her future.
“I want to pursue a International Law degree after my undergrad at MC. So we’ll see where that takes me!”
Balaj is also intending to go on a LOVE trip through the school or International Studies HQ.