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Park High School senior is awarded full scholarship

A Park High School senior will attend Belmont University in Nashville on a full scholarship.

Erin Sanislo, 18, of Woodbury, was awarded a Presidential Scholarship in February.

“The Presidential Scholarship is the most recognized and prestigious merit award that we have for the incoming freshman class at Belmont,” Dean of Enrollment David Mee said. “If we have a class of approximately 1,400 freshman, there will be approximately five Presidential Scholarship recipients. It’s certainly a very competitive process that draws students from around the country.”

Erin and her mother, Audrey, flew to Nashville in August to tour Vanderbilt University.

“I had always been interested in moving somewhere in the South, somewhere warmer,” Sanislo said. “I’ve always been attracted Nashville. I love the music there. I sing and play guitar so that attracted me, to live in a city where music was important.”

They found themselves with some free time, so they decided to pay a visit Belmont, a private  liberal arts university that is spread across 75 acres two miles southwest of downtown Nashville.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the environment and positive atmosphere at Belmont,” Sanislo said.

She was among the scholarship finalists who were invited back in February for a round of interviews. Mee said the committee was impressed by her extra-curricular activities as well as her academic achievements.

In addition to being an avid figure skater, Sanislo is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate full diploma program at Park. As part of the service requirement for the IB program, she helped organize the Memory Project, a 2013 art exhibition at Stafford Library in Woodbury. The exhibit featured portraits of poor or orphaned children from around the world. Local artists painted the portraits using photographs of the children.

Erin credits the intensely challenging IB program for her success.

“I think being immersed in six college-level classes prepared me to have the skills needed to be a strong applicant for college,” she said. “IB has taught me good study habits, a good work ethic and I’m satisfied with the difficulty and challenge the classes provide me.”

She said she couldn’t have done it without the guidance of her parents, Michael and Audrey.

“They both pushed me to always apply myself and to apply myself in school,” she said.

Sanislo said she intends to major in history and attend law school after graduation.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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