The Connelly Foundation announced virtually its 2021 Neumann Scholars, awarding 40 academically-talented eighth grade students from 30 regional parochial schools with four-year, full scholarships to attend any Philadelphia Archdiocesan high school of their choosing. The scholarships are named for Saint John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, who is credited with founding over 200 schools in the Archdiocese.
Five students from Bucks County are among the recipients:
– Brendan Annulis – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (top score of all 2021 Neumann Scholars)
– Grace Schiedt – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
– Jonathan Hackman – Nativity of Our Lord
– Joseph Brandt – Nativity of Our Lord
– Xavier Kovac – St. Jude
“The Connelly Foundation is proud to shine a light on the accomplishments of and brilliance of the scholars across the Philadelphia Archdiocese, especially during this challenging time to be a student,” said Josephine C. Mandeville, chair of the Connelly Foundation board. “Through the Neumann Scholars program, we were able to reward their academic excellence and open the door to even greater achievement through a high quality education at an Archdiocesan high school.”
This year, 459 students competed for the scholarships, representing 112 parochial elementary schools in five counties.
“I was thrilled to learn that 40 eighth grade students from across the five-county Archdiocese were named 2021 Neumann Scholars. I am proud of each of these students for being a shining example of the very best that Catholic education has to offer. This outstanding achievement is a testament to their hard work as well as the dedication of their parents, pastors, teachers and administrators,” said Archbishop Nelson Perez. “All have played an important role in guiding them to success.
“I am eternally grateful to the Connelly Foundation for providing each of these young people with the gift of Catholic education and for its generous support of the Church in Philadelphia.”
Launched in 1995, the Neumann Scholars program identifies scholastically gifted eighth grade students through an independently-administered competitive examination. The Neumann Scholarship exam was administered virtually by computer on Oct. 23 and 24 at local schools and a small number of children took the test from their home due to COVID-19. This was the first time the test was administered by computer, pivoting to provide access to all eligible students. The criteria to sit for this year’s exam was adaptive and responsive to COVID-19 challenges as well, using sixth grade test scores rather than seventh grade, and making the essay requirement optional.
The cumulative scholarship total for the Neumann Scholars class of 2025 is $1.3 million, or $33,000 per student. The program’s graduates have enjoyed 100 percent college acceptance with over $185 million offered in college scholarships, 118 National Merit Finalists, four National Merit Semi-Finalists, 233 National Merit Commended Students, five National Merit Achievement Students and an average SAT score of 1418 and a high score of 1600 (combined with math and critical reading).
Visit connellyfdn.org for more information.