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Megan Ernst, a CSI freshman majoring in Business Management, had an opportunity to address the attendees at the second annual Celestial Ball, last month.

Ernst, a recipient of the CSI Foundation and John & Filomena Merlino scholarships, emphasized the important role that these funds play in the lives of students who do not have the financial resources to remain in college without them.

Discussing her own situation, Ernst said that the money that she received has “helped remove a finanical hardship for my family and even for myself. It helps me become one step closer to achieving my goals, as well as [helping me to give] back to the community that helped me.”

Ernst then told the audience that she wanted to get beyond her personal experience, so she surveyed other friends and colleagues to tap their opinions on scholarships. She reported that some feel that scholarships are defined as personal achievement, as a recognition of their hard work. Others, she said, are grateful to receive this recognition from the community, and in turn, have an opportunity to give back.

Before thanking the attendees, Ernst noted that the scholarship money helps students to envigorate the economy through student expenditures on essentials like food and transportation, but, most importantly, “scholarships help you take an extra step in life…an extra step leading down a new and wonderful path you never thought you’d make it down before.”

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery and read the Celestial Ball article.

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