WEST BURKE – Kai Aviles, of West Burke, was recently selected as a semifinalist for the Dell Scholars program. The program selects 500 highly motivated students from across the United States every year who demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles. Candidates are chosen by their demonstration of a unique “GPA” of Grit, Potential and Ambition in their quest for a college education.
Kai attends Lyndon Institute, in Lyndonville, and has been a participant in the Lyndon Upward Bound program housed at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon for the past four years. Upward Bound is one of the federally funded TRIO educational opportunity programs, and supports students from modest-income backgrounds who are often the first in their families to attend college. Kai is bright, kind and determined and her character and hard work has positioned her for success in college and beyond.
In school, Kai is a stand out student-athlete who takes a full college preparatory and honors level course load while also playing on the varsity ultimate Frisbee team. Kai is also passionate about the performing arts and has dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy to the theater and drama clubs at LI. She attributes her time with the theater department at the school as a huge part of her success, and acknowledges that theater has really kept her motivated throughout high school, and is a very safe and inclusive community that she is proud to be a part of.
Kai is also an important part of her community and has volunteered over 200 hours with the Saint J. History and Heritage Center, Umbrella, the Green Mountain Book Store, Cobleigh Library, and with LI. Kai understands what it means to serve her community and enjoys giving back and helping whenever she can. She is also passionate about social justice issues and has become an involved social justice advocate and ally over the past couple of years.
Kai plans to study social work or psychology while in college. She is prepared to take this next step in her educational journey. She has dedicated her entire high school career to future planning, college tours, leadership opportunities, college and career research, getting involved in the community and school, and taking a very rigorous college preparatory coursework. This is exactly what a college-bound student needs to do to be successful and it will pay off in the form of college acceptances and scholarships for college.
Kai is an emerging leader and rising star, and is well positioned for future success. She will now work on the second half of the Dell Scholarship application with hopes of becoming a Dell Scholar in March.
Upward Bound at NVU–Lyndon is a college preparatory program funded through the United States Department of Education committed to providing modest income, First Generation College bound students the academic background, college preparatory experiences, and support needed to succeed in college immediately after high school. The program works with 75 students in nine Northeast Kingdom high schools, who are dedicated to achieving their post-secondary dreams. Upward Bound students receive support services throughout the school year and spend six weeks of their summer on the campus of NVU–Lyndon. For more information, contact Rick Williams in the Upward Bound Office at (802) 626-5000.