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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photo TRIO DUO: National Park College students Keanna Peck, left, and Howard Cheresnick were selected to receive scholarships from the each awarded a scholarship from the Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs. - Photo by Submitted photo

National Park College students Keanna Peck and Howard Cheresnick were each awarded a scholarship from the Southwest Association of Student Assistance Programs, the regional professional association for TRiO Programs.

The scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate leadership potential at school and in their communities.

"TRIO students from five states applied for these limited funds and it is rare for two students to be awarded from the same college," said John Tucker, dean of students.

TRIO is a set of federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. More than 850,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities from sixth grade through college graduation are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally.

The programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, as well as relevant training for directors and staff.

Peck graduated from Lake Hamilton High School and is a criminal justice student at NPC. She is involved on campus as a student ambassador and the Cultural Diversity Awareness Club. She also serves as a work-study student on campus, teaches evening dance classes for kids and has completed internships with the Garland County Juvenile Court and in U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman's office.

"Keanna is loved by her students, peers and all of the faculty and staff she comes in contact with," said Diane Meredith, Talent Search director. "She is such a unique and amazing young lady, with an energy and charisma that is rarely seen in someone her age."

Peck will graduate in May and plans to transfer to Henderson State University to major in political science before applying law school. She hopes to practice juvenile or family law before serving as a lobbyist or political correspondent.

Cheresnick is a nontraditional student working toward an education degree. He is the president of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and also serves as a student ambassador.

As president, Cheresnick initiated a peer mentoring program that enables students to receive mentoring from other students. He also volunteers with the Garland County Master Gardener and as a soccer coach for Lake Hamilton High School.

"As the parent of a child with autism, he has been an advocate for making sure that his child and others with special needs get the resources they need to overcome obstacles and achieve success," Stephanie Rizzo, NPC adviser. "He will make an incredible instructor and his servant attitude and desire for others to succeed make him and excellent candidate for the scholarship."

Cheresnick will graduate in May and plans to transfer to Henderson State University to pursue a degree in special education.

School on 03/01/2017

Print Headline: NPC pair selected for SWASAP scholarships

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