Chelsea Jerome: 2012 Rural Recipient of Scholarship from Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund

Last Updated: July 27, 2012

This article appeared in the July 2012 Rural Policy Matters.

Editor's note: Links are free and current at time of posting, but may require registration or expire over time.

Chelsea Jerome's family got the good news that the Hazen Union High School junior had been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund, but they decided to play a little trick before letting her know.

Chelsea XXXX is the 2012 winner of a scholarship from the XXXX Fund.

Chelsea Jerome is the 2012 rural winner of a scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund.

“I got a call that I needed to get back to school to fax a paper about the scholarship, and I thought, ‘oh, no, it’s so late, my chances are so bad,” explains the seventeen year-old from Woodbury, Vermont. “When I got to the school they had balloons and cake and everyone I love was standing there. That’s how I found out I’d been selected.”

Gail Levin, director of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship and School Fund, explains that the four-year, all-expense scholarship is awarded to “high school juniors of uncommon intelligence, empathy, and drive who overcome challenging circumstances and demonstrate exceptional character and academic achievement. Beginning in 2008, five Leonore Annenberg Scholars have been selected each year from urban and rural America. Next year, the Fund expects to award a total of ten Leonore Annenberg Scholarships."

The scholarship is unusual in that students do not apply for it, but instead are nominated. Jerome learned she had been nominated in November.

“My school is small, so you really know everybody,” Jerome says. “We have great teachers and a great principal and guidance counselor. I owe everything to them.”

Jerome's interests are wide and she is open to possibility about her future academic pursuits. This summer she is visiting colleges, including Penn and Brown. She knows she’d like to remain in the region. “There are less than 800 people in Woodbury and we’re a really close-knit community,” she says. “So I know I’d like to attend college in New England or the mid-Atlantic area.”

As an active member of her school and community, Jerome has played on the soccer and track and field teams at Hazen Union High and volunteered at the public library. She is a member of the Varsity Club and National Honor Society, which emphasizes community service as well as academic achievement.

Receiving the scholarship was “totally relieving,” says Jerome, who has always planned to go to college but worried about how it might happen. “Getting this scholarship is a dream come true. I wish I could have thanked my generous benefactor, the late philanthropist Leonore Annenberg, in person for this chance for success that she has given to me and so many others.”

About the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund

The Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. By request, educational partner organizations nominate a very limited number of high school students who, in the face of difficult circumstances, demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and noble character. The scholarships cover all undergraduate expenses at fully accredited and academically rigorous four-year colleges or universities in the United States.

Visit for more information.

Read more from the July 2012
Rural Policy Matters.

Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters

Related Tags: Income Related Issues