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MHS Senior Earns Horatio Alger Scholarship

Manchester High Senior Jay Dalal is among 106 students nationally who this year won a $22,000 scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association.

“I was really surprised,” said Jay, who enjoyed an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC earlier this month to attend the organization's annual awards weekend.

Jay, who is part of the Medical Careers Academy at MHS, said he plans to attend either UConn or Quinnipiac next year to study dental medicine.

He credits his time in the MCA with giving him exposure to a wide variety of possible careers in the field of medicine -- including dentistry.

Jay also said he is grateful to school counselor Denise Batista for encouraging him to apply for scholarships early in the year. He said he submitted his application for the Horatio Alger Scholarship (“which was a pretty long process”) in early October.

There is only one other Horatio Alger Scholarship winner from Connecticut this year -- Shiann Jenkins from High School in the Community in New Haven.

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is  a nonprofit educational organization “honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education.”

“The Horatio Alger Awards remind us all of how vital the American Dream remains to this day,” said Tony Novelly, chairman of Horatio Alger Association, adding that students” are recognized for their perseverance, determination and excellence.”

Jay was reluctant to share too much of the obstacles he has faced beyond sharing that he is from an immigrant family and that his parents.

“I had to take many responsibilities at a young age and had to become independent quite fast,” he said. “This was a struggle especially when we first moved here when I was in the 4th grade.”

In addition to being a top student, Jay is active at MHS as a member of the tennis team and secretary of the National Honor. He’s also a student ambassador, member of the Interact club and Link crew, and more.

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