Pelham Parkway student receives $10,000 college scholarship at Manhattan College

The student says getting this scholarship gives her a chance to pay it forward. It will allow her more time to volunteer.

News 12 Staff

Jun 21, 2024, 2:20 AM

Updated 31 days ago

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A Pelham Parkway student received a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for college.
”Having this huge kind of load taken off my back has been a game changer.” said Elizabeth Kalaj, who attends Manhattan College.
Elizabeth Kalaj is the first-ever recipient of the John L. Paluszek Scholarship.
Manhattan College awards this scholarship to a student who is a first generation college student, is enrolled in the college of liberal arts and a student who is in excellent academic standing.
“Everything I've done up to this point has really kind of paid off,” Kalaj said.
Elizabeth is able to juggle working two jobs, being a resident assistant, being a part of four clubs and maintaining a 3.86 GPA. She says it is all about time management.
Mehnaz Afridi, a professor at Manhattan College, who personally took part in choosing Kalaj for this scholarship. She says there was not a more perfect choice.
“She not only is has one major and two minors, she's also involved with campus ministry. She's involved with leadership on campus. And that to us was very impressive.” said Afridi.
Kalaj says her family is her support system and they are the reason she stays motivated.
”It's kind of also a symbol to them that their hard work paid off because they've been working their entire lives and like trying to hit the American dream.” said Kalaj .
Kalaj says getting this scholarship gives her a chance to pay it forward. It will allow her more time to volunteer.
The scholarship awards ceremony will happen in the fall, and Kalaj will serve as an ambassador for future award winners. Manhattan College plans on making this an annual scholarship.


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