Four students will be spending their last secondary school summer holiday studying at Harvard University.
Solwina Tagao from Delia Memorial School (Broadway), Alice Wang from Yew Chung International School, Sally Cheung Sum-yi from St Antonius Girls’ College and Sarika Mahbubani from Renaissance College were chosen as the winners of the second Harvard Book Prize Scholarship by a panel of Harvard alumni based on their essays and interviews.
The students, who graduate secondary school next year, will be able to take two courses of their choice. “The scholarship presents an opportunity to change the lives of Hong Kong teenagers who are talented but may not have considered studying abroad or may not have considered Harvard within their reach,” says a spokesperson from the Book Prize Committee.
Each scholarship is worth HK$150,000 and covers tuition, room and board, airfare and stipend for their stay at the prestigious American university.
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Every year, schools can nominate three students to win the Havard Book Prize. Each student will receive a book, and become eligible to compete for the scholarship. Alice, a social entrepreneur who founded the Uniformity Project to recycle old school uniforms into new products, plans to take courses on business and sustainable product design. “I have always wondered what makes Harvard such a special university,” she says. “Maybe I will enjoy the courses so much I’ll continue to take the two majors.”
Sarika, an internationally ranked debater, says Hongkongers should spend more time abroad. “I love the city, but it’s like a bubble and people take safety, financial stability and social cohesion for granted. Exposure to other cultures will help us understand just how valuable these things are and make us more willing to fight to preserve them.”
This year, 550 students from 192 secondary school received the Harvard Book Prize. They will receive a copy of Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximise Imagination, Productivity and Innovation in Your Life by Harvard Professor Shelley Carson at the awards ceremony this evening.