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ESTABLISHMENT OF FIRST SCHOLARSHIP HONORING ACHIEVEMENTS OF METCO STUDENTS

2010

Press Release

 

THE CONCORD CARLISLE SCHOLARSHIP FUND ANNOUNCES ESTABLISHMENT OF FIRST SCHOLARSHIP HONORING ACHIEVEMENTS OF METCO STUDENTS

The Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund, the mission of which is to meet unmet financial need among college‐bound students living in Concord or Carlisle, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Anthony Halls‐Keenan Smith Scholarship Fund. This scholarship has been permanently endowed by Concord‐Carlisle High School alumnus Sam Presti, the current Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team.  Presti funded the Halls‐Smith Scholarship in honor of his high school friends, Anthony Halls and Keenan Smith. Halls and Smith were both participants in the METCO program at Concord‐Carlisle High School, and members of the high school basketball team under Coach John McNamara. Presti, who grew up in Carlisle and attended Carlisle public schools, met Halls and Smith in his freshman year at CCHS when they found themselves teammates on the basketball team.

The life of a student athlete is one of constant balance of the rigors of their sport and keeping up with their academics. In the case of Halls and Smith, they had to contend with a commute to and from Boston every day, late nights in Concord for practices and games, and all that time they also had to keep up their academic performance. It was the unflagging commitment and work ethic that Halls and Smith demonstrated with respect not just to their chosen sport but to academics that impressed Presti and has stayed with him. As Presti recalls it, neither Halls nor Smith ever complained about getting home at midnight after a game and turning around to get up at 5 a.m. the next morning to head back Concord the next morning. Indeed, they were grateful for the opportunity that the METCO program afforded them and were determined to make the most of it.

The Halls‐Smith Scholarship will recognize CCHS METCO graduating seniors who: (1) possess solid academic and attendance records; and (2) who have demonstrated strong athletic performance. The first recipient of the Halls‐Smith Scholarship is Kwaku Bosomprah Bonsu Kwaku, a 2010 graduate of Concord‐Carlisle High School and a participant in the METCO program. Kwaku, known to everyone as Obie, will be attending Syracuse University in the fall.

He wants to major in Accounting or Marketing with the hope of working in the field of sports.  Obie has been a member of the basketball team for four years, the track and field team for three years and played football for two. Obie has made the most of the opportunities available to him through the METCO program and CCHS, and he personifies the qualities that are central to the Halls‐Smith Scholarship.

Presti himself was a recipient of a scholarship from the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund and has always had in mind wanting to give back to the program that helped him to attend college.  He also knew from a young age that he wanted to find a way to honor his high school friends who taught him so much about hard work, commitment, attitude and excellence. It is Presti’s hope that the Halls‐Smith Scholarship will help raise awareness in the community about both the METCO program and the Scholarship Fund.

Halls and Smith both live in the Boston area and are working as financial services professionals.  Donations to the Anthony Halls‐Kennan Smith Scholarship Fund can be sent to the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund, Concord, Massachusetts. Donations will be matched by Sam Presti up to a threshold of $20,000.

The Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) that was established in 1966 by five Concord Carlisle Regional School Committee members. The Fund exists to help residents of Concord or Carlisle to afford college. Since its inception, the Fund has supported over 600 students in their pursuit of higher education. You can visit www.ccscholarshipfund.org to learn more.