The event, held in the Conte Forum Shea Function Room, honored AHANA undergraduates who compiled at least a 3.0 grade point average in the 1996 spring and fall semesters, and were recommended by their AHANA graduate assistants.
Juniors Destiny Harmon, Felicia Carrington and Elsie Lai (from left) were among the nearly 100 AHANA Scholars who achieved a minimum 3.0 grade point average in the 1996 spring and fall semesters and were honored at the March 19 event. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)
Organizers and students said the awards ceremony has become a tradition, one which affirms AHANA undergraduates' dedication to realizing their potential and asserts the importance of helping others achieve theirs.
"Our feeling is, if we offer students encouragement it will sustain them for another day," said AHANA Student Programs Director Donald Brown, "and the more we do this, the more they will continue to excel at Boston College. But we want to send another message: There is a service component to education, and as you move ahead you have the responsibility to reach back and pull someone else along."
"It means a lot to the students to be recognized," said Acting Associate AHANA Director Joana Maynard, the event coordinator. "They often note on their resumes that they were selected as AHANA scholars. It also represents a goal for other students who may be struggling, but who can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone, that there are people here who believe in them."
The reception underscored that message with appearances by deans and faculty members representing University schools, departments and academic programs, Maynard said. Also on hand were participants in the Mays Mentoring Program, which pairs AHANA students with faculty members. The event was more informal this year, Maynard said, so as to encourage more dialogue and conversation.
"It's very much like a family event," said senior Jean Gabeau, a political science and economics major who has attended the event in each of his four years. "I know that I value the appreciation that is shown us and so do the other AHANA Scholars. You need to have an opportunity to get together and emphasize the good things in your lives and realize what you've accomplished."
"Hearing the stories about students who achieved beyond what anyone expected of them is very uplifting," said first-time honoree Nina Sumilang '97. "That's something you can take with you wherever you go."
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