Three Shelton students were among 200 high schoolers selected as recipients  of the 2018 Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Advance Scholarship.

Freshmen Grace McPadden and Alexis Resto and senior Bailey Schif joined their fellow scholarship winners at a ceremony held last month at the Legislative Office Building and hosted by Treasurer Denise Nappier.

“With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season right around the corner, it’s nice to take a moment to relax and share in the feeling of sheer enjoyment these students have at receiving a scholarship,” said Nappier, trustee of CHET, Connecticut’s 529 college savings program. “This night marks one of so many initiatives CHET sponsors to help Connecticut students reach their goals and dreams.”

2018 is the sixth year of the CHET Advance Scholarship program, which awards $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors and an initial $2,000 scholarship to freshmen. The freshmen have the opportunity to receive an additional $500 if the student’s family saves $500 in a CHET account by the time the student goes to college.

Among the speakers at the Nov. 29 ceremony was Jestina Gilbert of East Hartford, a 12th grade student at the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy, who thanked Treasurer Nappier and CHET for the scholarship, saying it shows that “there are people who believe in our future.”

Nappier, in her remarks, said that the CHET Advance Scholarship “embodies a goal that my office has always tried to advance: that an educated workforce is the single largest driver of economic growth and vitality for our state.

“If entering the CHET Advance Scholarship contest and winning has inspired or encouraged you to step up your commitment to your future, then you’re already on the path to success,” added Nappier. “Your actions speak louder than your words or what you meant to do, but didn’t do. So, just don’t talk about it, be about it. Never let opportunity arrive and find yourself unprepared.”

The winners, who were randomly selected from a pool of more than 1,500 applicants, hail from high schools across the state. All five congressional districts are represented among the winners. Of the winners, 125 are young women and 75 are young men.

CHET Advance Scholarship is administered by the Connecticut Higher Education Trust.  As Trustee of CHET, Treasurer Nappier negotiated for the establishment of the scholarship program. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. and the Hartford Funds, plan managers for CHET Direct-Sold and CHET Advisor-Sold, respectively, contribute annually into a scholarship account to finance the scholarship program. No state funds are used for awards issued under CHET Advance Scholarship.

To ensure the impartiality of the random drawings, International Scholarship and Tuition Services, which has more than 25 years of scholarship administration experience, administers the selection process with oversight from TIAA.