Four Jefferson Parish students receive full scholarships through Questbridge National College Match program

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HARVEY, La. — Jefferson Parish Schools announced that four Riverdale High School students were selected to receive full four-year scholarships through the QuestBridge National College Match program.

These outstanding students and their matched college scholarships include Oyshee Lahiry (Princeton University), Chi Pham (Stanford University), Vivian Santillo (Grinnell College) and Maida Shahid (Princeton University).

“The commitment to academic excellence shown by these students during what was truly a challenging year should be an inspiration to us all,” said Dr. James Gray, Superintendent for Jefferson Parish Schools. “All students deserve the right to attend a four-year university without creating a financial hardship for their families. Providing access to QuestBridge National College Match is one way Jefferson Parish Schools is making college attainment more equitable and inclusive.” 

QuestBridge National College Match connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.

This year, QuestBridge’s 42 college partners matched with a record number of 1,464 finalists. The Match Scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses.

These students pursued the most rigorous course sequence offered at Riverdale High School through the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. IB aims to develop students who are inquiring, knowledgeable and caring. These IB students exhibit strong academic, social and emotional characteristics.  The four recipients are Class of 2021 Full Diploma Candidates.

When asked what the QuestBridge National College Match meant to them, the students gave the below responses.


Chi Pham: “As a naive middle school student, Stanford was my dream school. When I got to high school, I realized how unreachable Stanford was. I gave up my dream and buried it deep in the bottom of my heart. However, Questbridge opened a door with limitless opportunities for me. It made me realize that anything is possible. Questbridge turned my dream into reality.”


Oyshee Lahiry: “As a low-income student, Princeton University proved to be an unreachable dream to me at first. Receiving the Match Scholarship has opened endless doors of opportunities for me to not only follow my academic interests but also discover more about myself and the community around me. QuestBridge has provided me with the ability to fulfill my dreams by removing the financial barrier that limited my success.” 


Vivian Santillo: “Questbridge has allowed me to attend a top liberal arts college for an extremely affordable price! I am so grateful for this opportunity. This has been life changing for me. If I had not received this scholarship, I would most likely have not had the opportunity to attend an out of state, competitive, private college. This has really opened many new doors for my future!”


Maida Shahid: “It seemed easier to dream and harder to achieve. I allowed the boundaries that separated my dreams from reality to define my capabilities. It may be true that not all dreams come true, but QuestBridge is a reminder that hard work and determination truly do pay off. The National Match Scholarship has provided me with opportunities not just to grow academically but personally. Both QuestBridge and Princeton University have acknowledged that my background is my pride and the secret to my passions.”

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