Falmouth Scholarships In Memory of Arlene Hanlon
By: ELIZABETH W. SAITO, June 18, 2014
This year’s graduating class of high school seniors was awarded a collective half million dollars in scholarship money from Falmouth organizations, the largest amount to date.
One new scholarship fund this year was the Arlene Hanlon Memorial Scholarship, set up in memory of Arlene K. Hanlon, a member of the Falmouth High School administrative staff, who died suddenly last fall.
Ms. Hanlon coordinated the administration of the MCAS test and MCAS tutoring program. She was a mentor to many students who struggled academically, and her scholarship benefits these same students.
One of the students Ms. Hanlon worked with was Eric J. Davis Jr., 18, of East Falmouth. Mr. Davis is bound for Bridgewater State University in the fall, and received $1,500 from the memorial fund.
“I’m very thankful for this award,” Mr. Davis said, sitting at his kitchen table Wednesday afternoon. “If I saw Mrs. Hanlon, I’d give her a gigantic hug.”
Mr. Davis said he has an IEP (an Individualized Education Plan for special needs students) because often he needs teachers to explain a concept in alternate ways before he can fully grasp it. He said he was in remedial classes the first years of high school, but that he “worked hard and stuck with it” and was then able to enroll in regular classes.
Joanne M. Holcomb, Falmouth’s English department head and a member of scholarship committee, wrote that “based on the breadth of his improvement the last two years,” Mr. Davis was awarded the scholarship.
Mr. Davis moved to Falmouth from Cleveland, Ohio, seven years ago. He said it was difficult to come to town as a teenager, and start 7th grade without knowing anyone. But he spoke positively about his experience in Falmouth High School, both academically and socially. “It helped me a lot,” he said.
Mr. Davis plans to major in clinical psychology at Bridgewater State College, and hopes to someday work with adolescents. “I want to be that person to be that inspiration” to teenagers struggling “through drama,” he said.
Mr. Davis was also accepted at Curry College, a private college outside Boston. That is where he most wanted to go, but the tuition, which is $49,000 per year, was too high, he said. “My parents said ‘look, we really want you to go to Curry, but you should to Bridgewater State because it’s less expensive.’ ” Mr. Davis agreed. He calculated that pursuing the degree he is interested in will cost $12,000 per year at Bridgewater. Mr. Davis said he will work part-time and take out student loans to put himself through college. He is working at the New Seabury Country Club this summer.
Six other students received Arlene Hanlon Memorial Scholarships. To be eligible for the award, students had to have been accepted to a college or vocational school. The other winners are: Amanda Kelly, who will also attend Bridgewater; Dominique Ehmann, Kyla Jonathan, and Alexa Scribner, who will all be attending Cape Cod Community College; Chase Soares, who will attend Southern Maine Community College in the fall; and Caroline Windle, bound for Empire Beauty School.