BCHS students win prestigious scholarships to top schools

Two members of the BCHS Class of 2022 have been named QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship winners. They are Colin Mikulski and Joanne Somide, who will each receive a full, four-year scholarship to attend one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Mikulski will attend Vassar, and Somide will attend Bowdoin College in the fall.

The Match Scholarship is a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors with full four-year scholarships to top colleges. Out of more than 16,500 applicants, QuestBridge selected 6,312 Finalists to be considered for this year’s QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship. Of these finalists, only 1,674 — including the two BCHS students — were named Match Scholarship Recipients.

There are 45 college partners who work with QuestBridge to recruit exceptional students. Match Scholarship recipients are admitted early to their college “match” with full four-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring for these students and their families that an education at a top college can be affordable. QuestBridge’s college partners include top liberal arts colleges like Vassar and Bowdoin, and some of the nation’s best research universities including Duke, Princeton, Stanford, UChicago, and Yale. 

The Match Scholarship covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. The majority of this year’s QuestBridge Scholars — 81% — are among the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college in the United States. 

Both Mikulski and Somide have participated in the Bridge to College program at Bethlehem Central High School, which provides additional support to students who are considered first-generation college applicants. The Bridge to College program is currently reaching out to high school juniors who may benefit from the mentorship program that focuses on making the college application process less stressful and easier to navigate.

Current Bridge to College students like Mikulski and Somide are in a unique position to provide insight for students looking to learn more about Bridge to College, and scholarship opportunities like QuestBridge.

“An aspect of the B2C program that piqued my interest was that each student was assigned a personal college mentoring coach. My mentor, Mrs. Herrero along with the Bridge to College Team (Dr. Carr, Ms. Conway, and Mr. Carlton), diligently worked with me on various areas of the college application process. Madame Atallah, another mentor in the program, referred me to the QuestBridge National College Match,” said Somide. “Students who meet the criteria for B2C should really consider this opportunity. Being a member of the B2C 2022 cohort simplified what could have been a much more complicated process.”

Mikulski said juniors who may be thinking about the school’s Bridge to College program should also know that it’s well worth their time.

“I would tell younger students to sign up! It’s such a great resource for pretty much anything related to the college application process – they even offer free SAT tutoring,” said Mikulski. “Meetings are only once a month, and you’re not required to attend every one, so it’s really not a big commitment at all. Plus, it’s a great place to meet new people and build a relationship with your mentor, who could be an excellent source of advice and letters of recommendation.”

Congratulations to both Colin Mikulski and Joanne Somide on their exciting news! They are making BC proud.

More information about the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarships can be found here.