Sunday, March 1, 2009

Victoria Measles awarded $20K

Register Citizen - Sunday March 1, 2009

TORRINGTON — A local student has been selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship from a national organization.

Victoria L. Measles was selected by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans to receive the National Scholarship Award. Measles was chosen because she had overcome great obstacles in her life while demonstrating a strength of character, a commitment to pursue college and a desire to contribute to society, the organization said.

Being able to receive the award was a “huge surprise,” Measles said.

“I feel so lucky to get it,” she said. “I didn’t expect it... so many people applied for it.”

Measles was one of two recipients of the scholarship in the state, and one of 104 throughout the country. She is scheduled to go on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., from April 1 to April 5 to receive the award.

In the nation’s capital, Measles will join other recipients of the scholarship in listening to speeches of former members and partake in the formal award ceremony. The organization provides nearly $7 million in annual awards for need-based students.

Measles is the sister of Maryann Measles, who was murdered in 1997 at age 13.

A Torrington High School senior, Measles is a heavily active in the theater scene at both school and the Warner Theatre. She has held star roles in “Kiss Me Kate,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Peter Pan,” “Cinderalla” and “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

Opening in May, she will star as Gretchen in “Seussical the Musical.”

Measles is part of the Thespian Troupe No. 611, the Chamber Choir, Interact Club and School Set Design. Measles also actively volunteers for organizations such as the Penguin Plunge and the Salvation Army.

Apart from school and theater, she also works during evenings at Coffee House Plus.

“I think I’m pretty self-made when it comes to getting money for myself, doing the whole college thing,” she said.

Measles noted that she’s the first one in her family to attend college. Her top choices are Fordham and Pace, and while she has yet to hear from Fordham, Pace has already offered her a $15,000 academic scholarship. Fordham, however, is still the top choice, she said.

Despite the seemingly endless process of applying to college, the application to the Horatio Alger Scholarship process took more time, she said. Short essays, recommendations and transcripts were required.

“They asked you not only about yourself, but personal questions about your past,” she said. “How much in your life you have had to deal with, and how you overcame any of those things.”

Measles plans on continuing theater by taking it up as a major. She hopes also to do internships and to study abroad in England and France, where she can use her proficient knowledge of French, she said.

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