St. Thomas More High School is proud to announce that senior Marisa Garcia has earned the QuestBridge scholarship. This prestigious scholarship will cover all education-related expenses of her undergraduate education, including tuition and room and board. Garcia, who attended Bay View’s Fernwood Montessori School before coming to St. Thomas More, plans to study human biology at Northwestern University.
The QuestBridge College Match scholarship program connects high-achieving, low-income students to the nation’s top universities, awarding full scholarships to the qualified applicants. Garcia, who also plays soccer, swims, and participates in Relay for Life at St. Thomas More, was one of nearly 15,000 high school seniors to apply for the program in 2016. In December, QuestBridge notified Garcia and 766 other exceptional students – only five percent of the total applicants – that they would receive a four-year scholarship.
“Marisa’s intrinsic curiosity and her exceptional work ethic motivates her to learn and discover more than the material has to offer,” Dean of Academics Kevin Dineen, who taught Garcia for AP English, said. “Outside of class, Marisa is one of the most kindhearted students I have met. She is always willing to help her peers in any way she can.”
Garcia credits project-based learning for helping cultivate her interest in science. “At Fernwood, we only did hands-on, real-world projects, such as working in a greenhouse or building a solar panel for science class,” Garcia said. Garcia’s studies at St. Thomas More, especially in the project-based biomedical sciences program, allowed her to expand her knowledge of STEM while discovering which scientific discipline she wanted to pursue further.
“My favorite biomedical sciences project was analyzing our DNA to check for a certain gene that allowed us to taste a chemical. We then performed gel electrophoresis to visually see if we had the genotype and if it corresponded correctly with how we tasted the chemical,” Garcia explained. “The project introduced me to the connections science can have with health, and I’m excited to further explore that connection in college.”
This is the second consecutive year that an STM student has received the exclusive QuestBridge scholarship. Class of 2016 graduate Jenna Knueppel earned the QuestBridge scholarship to attend Brown University, where she is studying international relations.
About St. Thomas More High School
Located in Milwaukee’s historic Bay View neighborhood, St. Thomas More High School educates over 500 students in grades nine through 12. Emphasizing academic excellence and innovative project-based learning, St. Thomas More strives to nurture the whole student: spiritually, ethically, intellectually, emotionally, and physically, while encouraging students of all backgrounds to pursue their intellectual, professional, and spiritual interests.
For more information about St. Thomas More High School, please visit www.tmore.org.