(Current or former recipients of CSSF scholarships: We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email!)
I graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley in 2004 with degrees in Sociology and French. I went to the University of Virginia to study culture and inequality in the Sociology Department in September 2004. I received a master's degree in 2006 and my PhD in 2010. My dissertation, entitled "The Hidden Injuries of Risk: Coming of Age in the Midst of Economic Crisis," explores how young working-class people make the transition to adulthood in this very risky and unstable economy.
I grew up in Concord where my father is a firefighter and my mother works at Concord Teacakes. As a first-generation college student, I greatly appreciated the help and support of the CCSF. It was very meaningful to me and to my family that the Scholarship recognized my hard work in high school and helped make it possible for me to attend a small liberal arts college. Wellesley provided the perfect steppingstone to grad school (my undergrad adviser still writes letters for me all the time). I graduated in May 2010 on an accelerated schedule after receiving an invitation to go to Harvard to be a post-doctoral teaching fellow.
Daniel Boehlke, CCHS Class of 1984
I was a resident of Concord from middle-school through high-school. I went to Northeastern University and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. My family resources were extremely limited for paying for college. The scholarship was hugely helpful in making ends meet at that time since the other financial aid packages from the US Government and Loans were short of adequate. With the scholarship plus the coop program at Northeastern (the coop program alternates work periods with school periods) I was able to graduate there on time.
Three of the students in my class went directly to grad school after college. One to Berkeley, one to MIT, and I went to Stanford University where I studied Manufacturing Systems Engineering--a joint program between the Mechanical Engineering Design Division and Industrial Engineering and Engineer Management Division. Since graduating Stanford I have been working in industrial robotics. For five years I worked at a company that makes robots. Since 1995 have been self-employed doing consulting on robotics and factory automation projects world-wide. I currently live in San Francisco.
I valued the funding from Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund so very much. It really made a difference since my family was not in a position to pay for private school. I just wish I had found out about the fund one year earlier as I hadn't learned about it until my sophomore year.
Thank you for the scholarship way back then. I was very glad to be living in a town with such a resource indeed.
Sarah Keleher, CCHS Class of 2002
My name is Sarah Keleher, and I am a 2002 graduate of Concord Carlisle High School, a 2006 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and a Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund Recipient.
When I was first applying to colleges, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, I still don’t. I had initially looked for schools with strong programs in theater and psychology, but I quickly strayed from how I had imagined my college career turning out. I graduated from Mount Holyoke with dual degrees in psychology and religion, and hadn’t set foot in a theater since I matriculated in 2002. The things that drew me to Mount Holyoke – the community, the professors, the comfortable campus and small class sizes – were still things I loved, but who I was and my interests had changed dramatically. I spent four years studying at an amazing institution, and I learned as much about myself as I did the academics I studied.
After I graduated from Mount Holyoke, I applied for jobs in Boston in non-profits, and began working in the Tufts University Alumni Office; I’ve been working here now for three and a half years. I love my job; I help alumni reconnect with their alma mater, and help support a vital and thriving institution. Tufts is a great school, and though it isn’t my alma mater, I am proud to work for such a great institution.
Though I love my work, I am considering starting graduate school. When I first graduated from Mount Holyoke, I wasn’t entirely sure where my career would take me, so I consciously took time off from my education before choosing a program of graduate study. Since then, I’ve come to realize that I want to continue my study of religion, and will be applying to Masters programs at Harvard and Andover Newton this winter. I hope to continue my work in non-profits as a chaplain or administrator, possibly even in a university setting. Mount Holyoke helped shape my vision of my future, and has secured my confidence in my own abilities.
I loved going to Mount Holyoke, and I consider myself immensely lucky to have had such a good experience. The Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund helped ease the burden of tuition on myself and my parents. Where other Mount Holyoke friends left school with seemingly unbearable amounts of student loan debt, I was able to leave school with minimal loans that I am easily able to make payments on now. My fiancé was not so lucky; he paid his way through college with both federal and private loans, and that will certainly be a financial challenge. But with help from the generosity of the CCSF, we can be confident in our future.
Looking back on my time at Concord Carlisle, I have to reiterate just how lucky I was to come from such an excellent school. It was readily apparent when I first started at Mount Holyoke just how prepared I was for college: other students struggled to keep up and had no concept of writing research papers or working in a lab, but CCHS prepared me well for the college experience. It was certainly hard work, but the attitude and encouragement that I experienced at CCHS was an excellent foundation for my future education. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I have allowed my experiences at CCHS and at Mount Holyoke to shape who I am and my future. I’m still determining where I’m headed, and I’m not afraid of being unsure, because I have confidence in my education at Concord Carlisle and Mount Holyoke, and that my own strengths will guide my way.
Jacob Allen-Fahlander moved to Concord at the beginning of his freshman year and graduated from CCHS with the class of 1996. An honors student, he quickly found a place for himself on sports teams, in community service opportunities, and as a counselor for the Concord Recreation Department. He received his B.A. from Union College in 2000 and since then has worked in financial services in New York City, currently at Morgan Stanley. Jacob was at the American Express headquarters next to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Like so many young people who witnessed the terror of that day, Jacob has confronted unexpected challenges. "Experiencing something like September 11th really puts things in perspective. It makes me appreciate more than ever how much we all depend on a community of family and friends. For me, a part of my support network has been the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund. Even though I worked every summer, I still ended up with several large college loans to pay back. Receiving direct grants from CCSF made a real difference as I got my feet on the ground in a new city and a new career."
Peter Greer graduated from CCHS in 1993, thankful for an excellent education, especially in the areas of French and mathematics. As a major in international business at Messiah College, he was introduced to microfinance as a way to use business skills to help the entrepreneurial poor break out of the cycle of poverty. After two years as the assistant business manager at Lexington Christian Academy, he joined World Relief's microfinance team as an advisor in Cambodia. He then worked with World Relief as the managing director of a microfinance institution in Rwanda. Currently, he is getting a master's degree in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. "Recently a client of our microfinance institution presented me with a giant yam. This gift was significant because it came from a widow of the Rwandan genocide who previously had relied on handouts. We helped her set up her own business and she wanted to express her appreciation in a tangible way. She was proud of the fact that she was no longer dependent on others and could provide for her family on her own. I don't have a giant yam to give to everyone who supports CCSF but, like this Rwandan widow, I would like to express my thankfulness to all of you. Your gifts allowed me to complete college and to receive the necessary tools to work for lasting change in the developing world."