Milana Larin knew she would need help paying for college, so last fall, at the beginning of her senior year at Benjamin Cardozo High School, she began researching scholarship opportunities.
Larin, who lives in Bayside, found the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area and discovered a program from which she could win a scholarship.
All she had to do was write an essay on her high school experience and fill out an application.
“I was fascinated by it because I read the bios of previous winners,” Larin explained. “I thought ‘I can do this.’”
Her essay underwent 15 drafts before she finally submitted it. Larin also wrote about her family’s financial hardships. She also said she had to write several more essays as part of her application.
Larin found out she won the scholarship a couple months ago.
“I was just ecstatic and overjoyed,” she said. “It’s such a big help in paying for college.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area Executive Director Christopher Perry said Larin was chosen because of her academics and activities.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and was a tutor at Cardozo. Larin was also a four-year starter for the Varsity Girls Lacrosse Team at Cardozo and in conjunction with the nonprofit lacrosse organization CityLax, founded the first girls’ NYC CityLax Tournament team.
“Milana’s passion for giving back to her community truly makes her a standout student all around, and she is extremely deserving of this award,” Perry said. “Coupled with her ambitious goals and aspirations, Milana has a bright future ahead of her at Barnard College and beyond.”
Larin is enrolled in Barnard College in the fall, where she will study economics.
As for what wants to do in the future, Larin is still undecided. Her eldest sister is studying to be a dentist, while her second sister is going into finance. Larin said she was interested in pursuing a career in finance, but will take pre-med classes at Barnard too.
“My opinions on where I see myself in 10 years have changed this summer,” she said.