Three Benedictine Academy Students Named Bloustein Scholars

ELIZABETH—Three seniors at Benedictine Academy have been named “Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars” for 2010. Priscille Dossekou and Barbara Diogo, both of Newark, and Thanita Kennedy of Hillside were honored.

In order to be eligible for the “Bloustein Distinguished Scholar Award”, students must be in the top ten per cent of their class and have a minimum combined SAT score of 1260, or, rank first, second or third in his or her class at the end of junior year.


The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), an independent agency of the State of New Jersey, administers the Garden State Scholarship Program, which includes the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar and Urban Scholar awards. This year, thousands of students statewide received scholarships in recognition of their high level of academic achievement.

Students may use these awards to continue their education at New Jersey institutions of higher education. Bloustein Scholars are offered an annual renewable reward of up to $1,000 throughout their undergraduate program, without regard to financial need, if the student enrolls in a New Jersey college or university beginning with the 2009-10 academic year. The purpose of the Bloustein Award is to recognize the academic achievement of New Jersey’s best high school students and encourage enrollment at New Jersey colleges and universities.

Dossekou’s academic accomplishments include being named a National Honor Society member, and achieving Academic Honor Roll status at the academy for four years. She has received the Presidential Service Award, Student of the Month Award, and has maintained perfect attendance at the Academy since her freshman year.

Dossekou is President of the French Club at the academy, and captain of the school’s varsity soccer team, on which she has played for four years. She is editor-in-chief of the school’s yearbook staff, and a peer mentor for the freshman class. She hopes to attend Boston College to major in biology and eventually become a pediatrician.

Diogo, a member of the National Honor Society chapter at Benedictine Academy, has been recognized for her outstanding academic excellence in many ways.  She has been named to the school’s Academic Honor Roll since freshman year and, has received highest honors in Art, English Language and Literature, Honors Geometry, AP American History I and II, Honors Chemistry, Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry, and French.

President of the school’s Art Club since freshman year, Diogo has been active in many extra-curricular activities. They include Campus Ministry community service projects, tutoring, food drives, working at the Community Food Bank, campus clean-ups, and serving as a student representative on the Academy’s Strategic Planning-Enrollment Committee.

Kennedy, also a National Honor Society member, has been a consistent academic honor roll recipient at Benedictine Academy since 2006.
She was elected to serve as treasurer of the Benedictine Academy Student Council this year. Kennedy was named a “Student of the Month” at the Academy and is a recipient of a “Young Science Achievers Grant”.  She is a member of the Benedictine Academy Math League. Her other school activities include currently serving as vice president of the French Club and manager of the track team.

Pictured from left to right are Priscille Dossekou and Barbara Diogo, both of Newark, and Thanita Kennedy of Hillside Photo courtesy of Benedictine Academey

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