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Employee Memorial Fund Awards Scholarships To Bridgeport Students

De’Yani Mechelle Delva, left, will attend North Carolina Wesleyan College. Kijhauna Autumn Stevens is attending Fairfield University.
De’Yani Mechelle Delva, left, will attend North Carolina Wesleyan College. Kijhauna Autumn Stevens is attending Fairfield University. Photo Credit: contributed

BRIDGEPORT – Avangrid, the parent company of United Illuminating, recently announced that it has awarded $4,000 in college scholarships to two Bridgeport students.

De'Yani Mechelle Delva, a graduate of Central Magnet High School in Bridgeport, is the recipient of the 2016 Kim Norris Scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship is for this academic year. Next month, Delva starts her freshman year at North Carolina Wesleyan College.

"Receiving the Norris Memorial Scholarship allows me to focus on my studies while easing the worry of additional financial responsibilities during college," said Delva.

In her scholarship application, she highlighted her commitment to school, academic performance and her involvement with buildOn, a service-learning program that offers volunteer and mentor opportunities for high school students. Her career goal is to become a marketing manager.

The scholarships, from the company's Kim Norris Memorial Fund, can be renewed yearly while the students are in college.

Kijhauna Autumn Stevens of Bridgeport, who will enter her sophomore year at Fairfield University this September, received a $2,000 renewal of her scholarship because of her academic achievement as a freshman. Stevens, who is the first in her family to go to college, was named a Norris scholarship recipient in 2015.

The scholarship fund was established in memory of Kimberly Norris, a training specialist who worked for the United Illuminating Company for 30 years, before passing away in 2012.

Norris believed in lifelong learning and recognized the importance of education. She returned to school later in life to get her associate's degree as she pursued professional growth. She inspired her colleagues with her determination and perseverance. The memorial scholarship is a tribute to her memory and is a partnership between the company and the Bridgeport Public Education Fund.

The fund awards a college student attending a two- or four-year college with a major in business. Avangrid employees contribute to the scholarship fund during the company's annual Employee Giving Campaign, and Avangrid contributes matching dollars. Students participating in the Bridgeport Public Education Fund's College Assistance Program are eligible to apply.

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