When Norwalk High School senior Emilia Cuevas found out she had won a $100,000 college scholarship, the young woman said she was speechless.
Cuevas, this year’s winner of the 23rd annual Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship for Norwalk High School students, named after Kevin M. Eidt, who was an 18-year-old Boston College freshman when he died suddenly in 1997 from cardiac arrest while playing in a basketball game.
"I was so overwhelmed at the thought that I had won," Cuevas. "All of the other finalists were so qualified and have such amazing accomplishments so it is an honor to be distinguished from an already outstanding grade."
Kevin's father, Christian H. Eidt, said Emilia was chosen as the most outstanding senior in the Norwalk High School Class of 2019, in recognition of her outstanding depth of commitment and breadth of interests, involvements, and accomplishments across the spectrum of academics, athletics, arts, and community and religious service, all areas in which Kevin participated and excelled.
"I am so grateful to the Eidt family for allowing me to go on to college without having financial worries and for being given the opportunity to carry on Kevin Eidt's legacy," Cuevas, who plans to study nursing and global health said. "It has also been so rewarding to see the way the community has reached out to me and supported me- it truly means a lot to me and shows me how amazing a community Norwalk is."
But, a quick look at how the young woman spends her time when not in school, provides a real look at how generous and caring she is too, all while maintaining a 4.83-grade point average.
At Norwalk High School, she is President of the Kevin M. Eidt Chapter of the NHS National Honor Society and President of the French National Honor Society. In addition, she is a four-year member of the combined Norwalk-McMahon Girls swim team and captain in her senior year. She was a member of the State Championship Team in 2017 and 2018. She was also the manager for the combined Norwalk-McMahon Boys swim team for the past three years.
In addition, Cuevas was recognized by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference as the Norwalk High School 2019 Female Scholar-Athlete. Emilia has been a member of the Zeus Swim Team since the fourth grade and a member of the school's choir for the past four years.
In the community, Cuevas is a volunteer for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission Food Truck and Global Leadership Adventures. As part of Global Leadership Adventures, she has taken trips to Belize, where she taught English at a middle school and the Dominican Republic, to work on public health initiatives.
She's also president of Best Buddies, a program designed to develop friendships between typical high school students and those with special needs.
And, when she's not swimming, singing, helping others, or studying, she can be found at her real job at Mr. Frosty’s Ice Cream Shop where she has worked for the past three years.
Cuevas isn't sure which college she will select but does know that eventually, she would like a career in health aboard. She has been accepted at American, Emory, North Carolina, Quinnipiac URI, Villanova, and Virginia. She has been waitlisted at Duke, Georgetown, Tulane, Tufts, and Yale.
"I feel that I am passionate about everything I immerse myself in, and I see this as a similarity with Kevin Eidt. from everything I have heard about him," she said. "I am so grateful to the community and to my parents for providing me with so many different opportunities and for all of the support I have received throughout high school."
In addition to the annual $100,000 scholarship, the Fund also provides eight additional $25,000 scholarships to students who shine in areas in which Kevin excelled.
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