MSMHS Seniors Earn MLK Scholarships

MSMHS Seniors Earn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships
MSMHS scholars

LEARN is delighted to congratulate two of its scholars from the Marine Science Magnet High School (MSMHS), who were among 13 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship recipients honored on Thursday, October 17.

Ajia Brown and Ariannah Black are both seniors at MSMHS in Groton, where they are enrolled in rigorous advanced placement and college preparatory classes and are highly involved in extracurricular activities. College-bound and ambitious, their financial burdens will be reduced as a result of earning $20,000 scholarships through the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust.

Ajia and Ariannah joined 11 other students from high schools throughout the region honored on Thursday at an awards dinner at the Mystic Marriott in Groton. The MSMHS scholars are the fourth and fifth students to earn the scholarships in the school’s short history, dating to its opening in 2011. Since then, the school has been ranked highly both statewide and nationally as one of the best public high schools in Connecticut and New England. MSMHS is part of the LEARN family of schools.

Since 1968, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust has awarded over 150 scholarships to students in high schools throughout New London County.

Ajia Brown

When he graduates in the spring, Ajia Brown will leave as one of the most honored students in the history of MSMHS. A resident of the Town of Groton, he is a dedicated student, currently enrolled in five advanced placement classes and a member of the National Honor Society. Ajia is also a decorated athlete; playing for Fitch High School, he is a three-sport captain in cross country, basketball, and track, earning all Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) and all Academic ECC honors in basketball. He currently is the conference champion in the long jump.

Ajia is also a revered member of the MSMHS community. He is president of both the Class of 2020 and the entire student body.

“Ajia is on the Mount Rushmore of MSMHS,” said Dr. Nicholas Spera, the school’s principal. “He has become a role model for all students with his work ethic and efforts to ensure that everyone feels part of the MSMHS family.”

This fall, Ajia received a tremendous honor when the U.S. Coast Guard Academy presented him with a Letter of Intent inviting him to join the Class of 2024. He has verbally committed to the Academy, continuing an impressive streak of MSMHS graduates attending one of the finest service institutions in the country.

Ariannah Black

Now in her seventh semester at MSMHS, Ariannah Black has earned high honors during every academic semester of her high school career. With a 4.31 GPA, she is in the top five of the senior class and a member of the National Honor Society. Ariannah, of the City of Groton, has achieved her high GPA all while challenging herself with MSMHS’s most rigorous course loads.

Highly engaged in the community and in her school, she rows on the crew team and is active in the newspaper club among other extracurricular activities.

“Ari is one of the kindest people in the school,” said Dr. Spera. “Her intellectual skills combined with her amazing personality make her one of the most well-rounded students to ever walk the hallways of MSMHS.”

Ariannah’s top choices for college include some of the best Ivy League and liberal arts institutions in the country. She is applying to Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University, among other schools, and will make her college decision later this year.

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