Depth of Field: Dease Scholarship Day

Some of the most joyous moments in the St. Thomas community take place as high school seniors find out they are a recipient of the Dease Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship generally awarded to students of color, first-generation students and graduates from urban high schools who demonstrate commitment to academic excellence, leadership and their communities. Named after St. Thomas’ 14th president, Father Dennis Dease, the scholarship focuses on diversity by bringing underrepresented students to St. Thomas’ community of scholars. Twelve to 20 scholarships are given out each year, and the program has brought more than 200 students to St. Thomas since its inception in 2004.

One of this year’s recipient, Vanessa De La Vega Meza, currently attends Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul, and was surprised to find her “interview” morphing into a celebration.

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6 Responses

  1. Christina

    I noticed that too about Harding vs. Highland. Such a great video and surprise. Would love to know more the recipient and process! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Matthew Wash

    Great video but I’m also curious – what specifically did Vanessa do to show community leadership? The article lacked all information about what specifically she did to earn such an honor – it’d be great for her impact and achievements to get some recognition as well.

  3. Kathleen Hauser

    This is a beautiful impactful video — it made me tear up! One question though: The video says, “We are here at Highland Park High School” and shows a picture of the front of Highland Park High School…but the article says Vanessa is a senior at Harding Senior High School?

    • Kate Metzger

      Kathleen, thanks for your comment. We made the correction. We should have posted this story with a mascara alert!


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