Since its establishment as a nonprofit organization, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, Inc. has awarded an annual four-year scholarship to two Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School seniors. The total amount of money donated since 1986 now exceeds $300,000. Qualified students are recommended by the high school and selected by a Derby subcommittee. Because of the continued support of the Anne E. Clark Foundation, as well as the support of Vineyard Vines, in 2011 the Derby again was able to award two $10,000 scholarships in addition to two $5000 scholarships to the deserving students featured on this page. The Derby Committee congratulates these MVRHS graduates and wishes them success in their education endeavors.
If there is only one thing to say about Erica Bartlett, it is that she has resiliency and tenacity, second to none. Her formative years were challenging ones, shaped by the addictions of her family members with whom she lived. She was born in Barnstable, MA in August, 1994 and lived on Cape Cod until she was eight years old. She moved to Florida and lived with her step grandmother until she was fourteen when she moved to Martha's Vineyard to be with her mother. When Erica was sixteen she made the decision to inform the Department of Children and Families of her mother's addictions. She was placed in foster care where she resides today.
Over the last year Erica has experienced the loss of her step father and her mother. In the face of these losses Erica has chosen to focus on the things she loves and bettering her own life. A month after her mother passed she was granted the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship due to her high MCAS results. Erica also devoted herself to her mentorship at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium where she has deepened her love and knowledge for the field of Marine Biology. She spent many afternoons caring for animals at the Aquarium and helping to educate Aquarium visitors about the special work she does there.
The most important thing to Erica is the promise she made to her mother: the promise that she would be the first person in her family to graduate high school; the first to go to college; and the first to be successful with her life. Erica has been accepted into UMASS- Dartmouth and is planning to major in Marine Biology and Animal Conditioning. She is excited to embark on the next phase of life.
Erica said it best in her college essay. She writes, "I am a very strong-willed person and have high hopes and dreams to overcome my family's past of no education and not pursuing careers. I want to do something with my life and make a difference in this world whether it is little or large. I want to put my foot in the door and say, 'Hey my name is Erica and I am here to discover something new'."
When Ramon Espino entered Martha's Vineyard Regional as a freshman, one of his goals was to work hard academically so he could attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. Ramon enrolled in a solid college prep program which has included numerous honors classes. As a senior, he achieved this goal and will be attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the late summer. He is extremely excited about the opportunity to continue his education at this university while possibly continuing his career in baseball as well.
This year Ramon was chosen to be a student facilitator for our two-day Race Culture Diversity Training Retreat for 40 student leaders and 8 faculty members. Ramon had participated in the Retreat in a previous year and due to his perceptive observations and his ability to articulate his thoughts and feelings, he was selected. He did an excellent job helping run the retreat. He also has been in the position of responsibility as a lifeguard at the newly built YMCA. Ramon loves to recreate in healthy ways and really enjoys his participation on the football team and the baseball team. He thrives on the competition and likes being a member of a team.
Socially, Ramon is a caring, sensitive person who wants to make a positive difference in his community. He is growing and maturing into a very nice person. High school is a time of growth and learning. Ramon has been actively engaging this process and progressing both as a student and a person.
Eva is a strong student who is ranked in the top 5 of the class of 2012. Eva has excelled in some of the most challenging academic programs. Advanced placement classes (statistics, biology, US history and world history) and honors level classes litter her transcript and Eva has always succeeded with a mild-mannered yet confident demeanor that has made her a favorite of the teachers she meets. Along the way, Eva has taken a plethora of diverse electives that have seen her work with our Horticulture department at the same time she is taking psychology, leadership.
Outside of the classroom and in our unique community is where Eva has left an indelible mark. A young person who can win the high school English department award for "Excellence in English", can at the same time become a board member for "Saferides". A young person who can win the top prize from the MV Surfcasters Association, the Island Grown Initiative and our high school science department for the "study of the effects of smoke on seed germination in native Martha's Vineyard grasslands", can also be the founder of the MVRHS for Haiti group. A young person who can make presentations to the town selectman on behalf of the island Sustainable Living group, can also garner a $4,500 state grant to study Blue Claw Crabs on Martha's Vineyard. All these diverse interests and Eva can still work summers at the Edgartown Golf Course and serve our wealthy Island visitors.
Eva is planning on attending the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources. She is planning on majoring in Environmental Sciences. This summer she is planning on interning for a local non-profit (Biodiversityworks) where she will be monitoring endangered shore birds.
Eva is a warm and polite young person who always has a pleasant word and a smile for friends and strangers. Eva is committed to making her community and world a better place and she starts simply by being a decent human being. There isn't a pretentious bone in her body and other people respect and appreciate her.
Sarah was one of the captains on the soccer team and she led them with enthusiasm, encouragement and perseverance. She is a true competitor and she was a great role model for the younger players. Sarah has also been a member of the basketball and softball teams. Sarah has been the consistent hitter on the softball team this spring. She has hit a few homeruns and her defense in the field has helped the team win a few games. Sarah is a team player and tries effortlessly to bring the other players up to her level.
Academically, Sarah is ranked in the top 40% of her class, she is continuing her studies in math and science and she is sampling all of the humanities electives this year. She is very interested in studying either marine biology or environmental science in college. She took marine biology as a sophomore and it really sparked her interest. Her strength throughout has always been in the math and sciences and consequently she bumped up into the honors level in those areas. Sarah's teachers appreciate her strong work ethics, her leadership skills in the classroom and her conscientious efforts to see projects through to the end.
Sarah has spent time volunteering at our local nursing home helping with the patients and she also cared for the animals at the local MSPCA. She has participated in beach clean-ups and she worked with the recycling project at the high school. Sarah has been a consistent member of the schools honor roll and she has received many accolades for her prowess on the field and on the basketball court. Sarah is a positive, enthusiastic person who would bring that same energy to the University of New Hampshire's campus in the fall of 2012. She is excited about the opportunities that await her at the next level. She is focused, organized and ready to spread her wings.