Two Synergy Alternative High School seniors selected to receive $2,500 scholarship

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Nov. 8, 2013
Synergy seniors Joe Franklin (left) and Sabrina Glover (right) stand with Principal Dr. Craig Outhouse after receiving a $2,500 scholarship. Contributed photo. - Contributed Photo

Sabrina Glover routinely checks her e-mail as a way to keep in contact with her cousin who lives in Texas, but a recent check of her e-mail prompted an un-routine type of response. “I almost cried,” said the senior at Synergy Alternative School.

Glover was reacting to an e-mail that she found in her junk mail telling her that she had been awarded a $2,500 scholarship for college.

“At first I was like, 'Wait, am I reading this correctly?'" said Glover.  “And then I showed it to my mom and she was very excited for me too.”

Glover was one of two Synergy students to receive the Connecticut Higher Education Trust Advance Scholarship sponsored by State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier. 

“She has worked extremely hard during her time at Synergy,” said Dr. Craig Outhouse, the principal at Synergy. “There are days that have not been easy, but she kept plowing through. She has been someone who consistently has had very high grades, very strong attendance.  There probably wasn't a more deserving person of this.”

Joe Franklin, a fellow senior at Synergy, was the other student to receive the scholarship. Franklin recently completed the Above and Beyond Summer Youth Employment program with perfect attendance. Both Franklin and Glover have perfect attendance through the first few weeks of school and have a cumulative progress grade point average of 3.0.

The award was open to seniors across the state of Connecticut who are planning to go to college. Approximately 2,000 students applied, and roughly 200 were selected through a random process. “I figured out the math, it was like a 1 percent, 1.5 percent selection rate,” said Outhouse.

The scholarship winners were honored on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the State Legislative Building during a ceremony where they received a certificate.

“I've had doubts about going to college because I struggle with a lot of things,” said Glover. “My two sisters are in college and my older sister is now in grad school, so to be able to get a scholarship and know that I will have the same way to get to college, it means a lot to be me,” she said.

Outhouse said half of the scholarships in this program were earmarked for “turnaround and review schools," and Synergy is such a school. “Historically, these are schools who have not performed very well on the state tests, but they said, 'no, we want everybody to have an opportunity to go to college, and so half of the scholarships that we give out are going to target our neediest schools,' so that was really nice,” said Outhouse.

Glover has attended Synergy for four years, three full school years and is the student government vice president and school historian this year. “Teachers have gone out of their way to say how hard working Sabrina is, and I bet you if they could have picked, Sabrina would have been a student they selected,” said Outhouse.  “Her hard work here over the years has definitely made a positive impression on staff, and I think she's going to be someone who leaves here but still stays in touch and continues to pass the baton to our next generation of students.”

Glover said this year is different for her because she has been “able to do what I need to do at school but still tend to my emotional health.” Her journey through high school has faced some adversity, but Glover said she is proud of the personal growth she has experienced.

“It makes me want to cry when I think about it,” said Glover. “I was supposed to be held back in eighth grade because I was going through a lot of stuff and I never did my homework, but my mom fought for me to be able to go on to ninth grade.”

After graduating from Synergy, Glover plans to attend Manchester Community College for two years before transferring to one of the state schools, “preferably Southern,” she said.

Glover would like to be an author or a photographer. “I've always liked writing. It's always been something that I've enjoyed to do and always something that I've been passionate about,” said Glover. “And I had a photography class for our elective in middle school, and that kind of made me want to continue learning more about photography.”

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