Viya, the premier telecommunications provider in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has announced that two U.S.V.I. students were awarded 2018 Viya Scholarships for first-year college students in the territory.
The scholarships are awarded to two high school seniors — one in each district — who have already been accepted to a college or a university to pursue a degree in one of the following areas: science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business administration, accounting or related fields. The winning student in each district is awarded a one-time $10,000 scholarship to be used for tuition only.
Ajani Gordon of St. Croix and Varuna Mirchandani of St. Thomas were selected as the 2018 Scholars. These outstanding individuals were chosen from a total universe of 41 applicants from all three islands.
Gordon is a 17-year-old honors graduate from the St. Croix Educational Complex High School, a member of the National Honor Society’s Ruth Beagles Chapter and the Mu Alpha Theta National Math Honor Society. In addition to excelling in the classroom, he has demonstrated his leadership skills as the vice president of the Diversity Club and as an advisory board member for the 4H Program at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Last fall, Gordon’s team was the district winner for UVI’s 2017 Hackathon. His team created Hurricane Busters, which is an app that would create alerts of important information after a storm. The app would also use mesh interface that allows messages to be passed along a network of bluetooth connected phones. In the fall, Gordon will enroll at Florida Institute of Technology to major in computer engineering.
Mirchandani is an 18-year-old high honors graduate and a member of the National Honor Society at Antilles School. In addition to being a member of the Antilles School Student Council and participating in an array of community service activities, Mirchandani showed leadership skills as a member of Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands and Rotary’s Interact Club. She plans to major in business administration and marketing when she attends Suffolk University in the fall.
Jennifer Matarangas-King, vice president of public relations and governmental affairs for Viya, said, “Viya, formerly Innovative and Choice, has bestowed over $380,000 in college scholarships to talented Virgin Islanders over the last eight years. Through scholarships, internships, support for educational programs and youth initiatives, Viya actively encourages the development of the next generation of Virgin Islands innovators and leaders.”
“Viya is proud of our scholarship recipients, and we wish them heartfelt congratulations as they pursue their academic endeavors. We are delighted to be able to provide significant financial assistance to help them pursue their scholastic and career goals,” she said.