Nick Durkin Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to 2019 Costa Rica students

City High juniors Jeynaba Traore and Jeremiah Davis have been selected to receive the Nick Durkin Scholarship for the 2019 trip to Costa Rica. Additionally, a third student, Gwenyth Zeis-Miller, received a special recognition.

After the loss of Nick Durkin almost one year ago, Nick’s family wanted to find a way to keep his memory alive and enjoy the memories of Nick as he was – adventurous, kind, generous and funny. Nick attended the trip to Costa Rica while he was a senior at City High and it was one of the most positive and affirming experiences for him. He returned much more mature, confident, mission-driven and educated about the world.

After the loss of Nick Durkin almost one year ago,
Nick’s family wanted to find a way to keep his memory alive and enjoy the memories of Nick as he was – adventurous, kind, generous and funny. Nick attended the trip to Costa Rica while he was a senior at City High and it was one of the most positive and affirming experiences for him. He returned much more mature, confident, mission-driven and educated about the world.

The fund was created to cover a portion of the costs for one student to attend the annual service trip (the school pays for a portion of the trip through grants and students are expected to pay for the rest of the trip costs). Nick’s family believes in the life-changing value of the trip and wanted to make sure that finances are not an obstacle to a student who has the qualifications and desire to go.

Donations for the scholarship over the past year have exceeded all expectations, raising over $7600. This year, the fund is able to award two scholarships instead of just one.

Of the 20 students selected by City High to make this trip, 8 applied for the scholarship. Applicants had to demonstrate that 1) they possessed qualities that Nick himself had: a desire to be of service, a curiosity about the world, and the ability to make others feel safe and supported; and 2) they would not be able to fully fund their student-portion of costs, preventing them from participating in the trip.

The applications were reviewed by Nick’s mother, Mindy McHale, and sister, Kathryn Durkin. They agreed that the answers provided by the two scholarship winners embodied the heart and spirit of Nick.

City High students Jeremiah Davis and Jeynaba Traore will each receive $1100 to cover their entire portion of the trip cost.  Additionally, the fund made a small donation of $250 to Gwenyth Zeis-Miller as we believed that her concern for her fellow students, the environment and the global community merited special recognition.

In 2019, a group of 20 junior students at City Charter High School will embark on a journey to Costa Rica. The annual trip focuses on service learning and immerses students into the culture of Costa Rica’s capitol of San Jose and the rainforest in addition to practicing Spanish skills with the locals.

The Nick Durkin Scholarship Fund is always accepting donations. His family hopes to grow the fund and award at least one scholarship per year to a deserving student for many years to come. You can donate at: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/nick-durkin-scholarship-fund.


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