A sweet success

Local students were selected from more than 1,600 applicants to receive the Dunkin’ Donuts Scholarship Award

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Every morning, Dunkin’ Donuts provides millions of people with the sugar and caffeine needed to go about their day. For many, it’s a necessity. But beyond the bagels and french vanilla syrup, Dunkin’ is providing a service that’s even more vital — scholarships to assist local students in pursuing a college degree. This year, 25 high school graduates, four of whom are from Bucks County, were selected to receive the eighth annual Dunkin’ Donuts Scholarship Award.

The recipients were chosen from a pool of more than 1,600 applicants based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership and proven commitment to their schools and local community. In conjunction with Scholarship America, the country’s largest nonprofit scholarship and educational organization, Dunkin’ will award each student $2,000 to pursue a full-time undergraduate degree at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school of their choice. In total, $50,000 will be awarded.

“This program is very special to us at Dunkin’ Donuts, and we are amazed at the incredible nominations we receive year after year,” said Perry Shah, local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee and Philadelphia region advertising committee chairman. “The 25 recipients of this year’s scholarship are truly deserving of this award, and we are so excited to see all of the amazing things these students will be able to accomplish in the future.”

Scholarship recipient Sarah Kelly of Langhorne was surprised but honored her years of service and dedication paid off.

“I’m a firm believer in working hard to earn things, and I always put my effort into giving back to the community,” she said. “This scholarship from Dunkin’ Donuts means so much to me knowing that it will help with education expenses. I worked extremely hard for opportunities like this, so it’s nice to know that someone out there noticed.”

Sarah Kelly. PHOTO: Julia Bardzil

Recently graduating from Neshaminy High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and miniTHON, Kelly plans to put her scholarship to good use at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania this fall where she will pursue a degree in nursing.

Dorothy Zhao, a graduate of Council Rock High School North, will attend Princeton University this fall to study public policy. In addition to the Dunkin’ Donuts Scholarship Award, Zhao received the award for the John Fisher Citizen Scholar and 6ABC Best of Class. She was also a Presidential Scholar semifinalist and founder of the STEM nonprofit E3.

Dorothy Zhao. PHOTO: Julia Bardzil

Doylestown resident Olivia Qiu graduated from Central Bucks High School East as a National Merit finalist and the public relations officer of Senior Class Council. This fall, Qiu will pursue a biology degree with a pre-med track at Cornell University.

Olivia Qiu. PHOTO: Julia Bardzil

Central Bucks High School South graduate Joy Zhao of Chalfont will attend Yale University to study pre-medicine. During her high school years, she was the vice president of student council, participated in the United States National Youth Orchestra in 2016 and 2017 and is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

Joy Zhao. PHOTO: Julia Bardzil

The 25 recipients, who also hail from the counties of Burlington, Chester, Delaware, Gloucester, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, New Castle and Philadelphia, will be honored at an awards ceremony on Aug. 5 from 6–7 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester. Honorees and their families will also be invited to attend the Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas match immediately following the ceremony. ••

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com