FRAMINGHAM – Worcester Technical High School graduate Marlin Polanco was terrified about the prospect of accumulating a lot of debt while trying to pay her way through college. The daughter of Salvadorian immigrants, and the first in her family to attend college, Polanco knew that her parents would not be able to contribute a lot to her education during tough financial times.
So when she was informed that her application for Framingham State University’s Mancuso English and Humanities Scholarship had been approved – and that it would cover the cost of her tuition, fees, room & board for up to four years – she found it hard to believe.
“Even today I still can’t really believe it,” says Polanco. “It’s incredible and a huge relief to me and my family. My parents said that they were scared of telling me that I might have to be on my own. It means so much to all of us.”
Polanco joins New Salem resident Cameron Doyle as the latest recipients of the Mancuso Scholarships, which were created in 2018 thanks to a $2.5 million gift to Framingham State University from Professor Halcyon Mancuso. A total of 10 students have received the scholarship since that time.
“It’s really incredible,” says Doyle. “My parents make a good living, but I have multiple siblings and when all of us are in college we will wrack up a lot of debt. This just makes the whole process easier, not worrying about having to pay off a loan.”
Doyle will major in History at FSU and is thinking about pursuing the University’s 3+3 accelerated law degree program, which can be completed at Suffolk or UMass law schools.
“I’ve always loved learning about American and European history,” Doyle says.
Polanco describes herself as a creative person who has always found escape in reading and writing stories. At FSU, she will major in English and is excited to hone her skills in creative writing.
Mancuso designed the scholarship opportunity with an emphasis on career-readiness. Mancuso scholars are required to participate in at least two meaningful internships prior to graduation and also will need to complete a curriculum offered by the Career Development office.
“More than ever, businesses and government so desperately need employees who have studied the humanities and social / behavioral sciences,” says Mancuso, who also launched the Mancuso Humanities Workforce Preparation Center at FSU to aid the career readiness and growth of all students studying the humanities. “Such employees possess the ability to think critically, abstractly, and with nuance and compassion for others and, therefore, are prepared to imaginatively confront the challenges of our diverse world. Their learning does not channel them into one narrow area but, rather, affords flexibility that their future careers will require.”
The students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher, participate in at least one extracurricular activity each semester, and write a paper at the end of each academic year reflecting on their career and academic growth.
To learn more about the scholarship, visit https://www.framingham.edu/admissions-and-aid/financial-aid/types-of-aid/scholarships/the-mancuso-english-and-humanities-scholarships.