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Academy Senior Honored with Inaugural Scholarship

Ashley R.is grateful for Christel House. “It’s like every connection I get in my life comes back to Christel House,” says the smiling Christel House Academy South student. Ashley, a senior has much to be grateful. She recently was honored with the inaugural Paul M. Chase Memorial Prize. The PMC Prize and a pledge of $2,500 towards college expenses are awarded to humanitarian-minded seniors. 

The Prize is named in memory of Paul Chase, a highly respected public interest lawyer, whose life was taken in a 2014 car accident. “Paul directed his exceptional talents towards championing the causes of working families, senior citizens, LGBT citizens, and the environment during his decades-long career at the Indiana Statehouse,” said Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda, who founded the Paul M. Chase Memorial Prize Fund.

For Ashley, applying for this particular scholarship was meaningful. “I did not want to apply to something I did not feel an actual connection with. The Paul M. Chase Memorial prize was about service, about having an open heart toward people. I immediately felt a connection with it.” Ashley has balanced a strong academic career with choir, a part-time job, and a variety of service projects. She regularly volunteers at the Humane Society. She loves cats, dogs and especially horses. She aspires to be a veterinarian. 

Getting the scholarship was a challenging process. Over 50 students were considered for the prize. After a series of interviews, Ashley was excited to find out she was selected. “It was a really big honor.” 

Ashley has been a student at Christel House since eighth grade. She hopes to attend IUPUI (Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis) to get her undergraduate degree then attend graduate school at Purdue University to become a veterinarian.

When she reflects on her first day at Christel House, she is amazed at how much she has changed and grown. “My first day of school at Christel House was a blessing. It’s cool being a senior here at Christel House – I have friends all around me.”

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