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West Haven High School seniors Aayah Osman and Renad Osman have been selected Match Scholarship Recipients through the QuestBridge Scholars Network. Aayah has been accepted and granted a four-year full scholarship to Wellesley College, while Renad has been accepted and granted a four-year full scholarship to Princeton University.

The QuestBridge National College Match is a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to 48 of the nation’s best colleges. Out of over 17,900 applicants, QuestBridge selected 5,613 Finalists to be considered for the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship. This year, QuestBridge’s 48 college partners matched with 1,755 Finalists, which is the highest number of Match Scholarship Recipients to-date for QuestBridge.

Aayah plans to major in computer science and minor in economics. After getting her degree, she hopes to solidify herself in the cybersecurity world and one day become a Security Engineer.

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Upon receiving the news, Aayah said, “I was honestly in a severe state of shock. When it came to college, one of my biggest worries was the financial burden it would have on me and my family. I saw the confetti and the ‘I MATCHED’ in big, bold, colorful letters and I screamed. I started running around the house out of excitement and relief. Then, I came back to my computer to see the school to which I was matched and read ‘Wellesley College,’ I screamed again. This was one of my absolute dream schools. Going to a historically women's college was an absolute dream of mine and being able to attend without worrying about how I would afford it just made me burst into tears. It takes a lot to make me cry, but this was it. It was honestly one of the first times I remember crying out of happiness and relief.

“My college plans were definitely to attend an in-state college because my parents simply could not afford to have me attend a college out of state. The out-of-state tuition is way more than we can afford plus all the other costs like traveling,” added Aayah. “Receiving the Match Scholarship impacted my future significantly because it has given me the opportunity to attend such a prestigious, renowned institution, which I could never have imagined just one year ago, and doing so without even worrying about debt.

“I would not be exaggerating by saying QuestBridge has changed my life. I owe it all to my parents, supportive friends, my sister who helped me navigate this whole process, and last but certainly not least, my counselor Ms. Quagliani.”

Renad plans to study either Civil Engineering or Architecture with the intent to get a Bachelor’s degree and possibly a Master’s. More than anything, she wants to be successful and proud of her achievements. She wants to help the world even in the smallest ways, maybe by making buildings and structures more accessible to people, or finding a way for structures to work better with the environment.

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“Going to a college out of state was always my biggest aspiration,” said Renad. “I dreamed of going somewhere new, somewhere I could meet new people and have new experiences. Despite my desire to move to a different state, I had no idea how it would be possible. QuestBridge may have been the only key to my future.

“When I opened my QuestBridge status update and saw the big blue ‘CONGRATULATIONS’, I felt the world lift off my shoulders. I realized it is true what people say, hard work will not go unnoticed. Although I know I could not have gotten this far without working hard, I also know how crucial it was to have people rooting for me.

“First, of course, are my parents who helped me with every aspect of my life and always kept me motivated, both by celebrating my successes and teaching me from my failures. My counselor, Ms. Quagliani, answered every one of my college-related questions, no matter how small. Last, my amazing teachers helped me through it all. Ms. Amato and Mr. McHugh, for writing the recommendations that made it possible for me to attend this beautiful institution.”

Added Renad, “all in all, I am immensely appreciative of the past four years I spent at West Haven High School and how well I believe they prepared me for my next four years at Princeton University.” 

Aayah and Renad mark the second consecutive year that two WHHS students were named QuestBridge Scholars, joining the 2021 recipients Aissatou Diallo and Nabiha Khan who went to Duke and Yale, respectively.

To learn more about QuestBridge, click here.