Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Connecticut State Treasurer

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2018 CHET Advance Scholarship winners

200 Connecticut High School Students to Receive $500,000
Dec 03, 2018

HARTFORD, CT – More than 200 people attended an uplifting ceremony at the Legislative Office Building to celebrate 100 high school freshman and 100 high school seniors who were selected as recipients of a 2018 CHET Advance Scholarship.

“With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season right around the corner, it’s nice to take a moment to relax and share in the feeling of sheer enjoyment these students have at receiving a scholarship,” said Treasurer Nappier, Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), Connecticut’s 529 college savings program. “This night marks one of so many initiatives CHET sponsors to help Connecticut students reach their goals and dreams.”

2018 is the sixth year of the CHET Advance Scholarship program, which awards $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors and an initial $2,000 scholarship to freshmen. The freshmen have the opportunity to receive an additional $500 if the student’s family saves $500 in a CHET account by the time the student goes to college.

Among the speakers at the November 29 ceremony was Jestina Gilbert of East Hartford, a twelfth grade student at the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy, who thanked Treasurer Nappier and CHET for the scholarship, saying it shows that “there are people who believe in our future.”

She added that she plans a double major in college in legal studies and criminal justice. “I will attend college to become a force to be reckoned with, in the courtroom and as a woman,” she said. She advised her fellow scholarship winners to continue to work hard, saying “High school is all about growth.”

Treasurer Nappier, in her remarks, said that the CHET Advance Scholarship “embodies a goal that my office has always tried to advance: that an educated workforce is the single largest driver of economic growth and vitality for our State.”

She told the students, “If entering the CHET Advance Scholarship contest and winning has inspired or encouraged you to step up your commitment to your future, then you’re already on the path to success. Your actions speak louder than your words or what you meant to do, but didn’t do. So, just don’t talk about it, be about it. Never let opportunity arrive and find yourself unprepared.”

The winners, who were randomly selected from a pool of more than 1,500 applicants, hail from high schools across the state. All five congressional districts are represented among the winners. Of the winners, 125 are young women and 75 are young men.1

“The process of researching, applying for and deciding what college to go to is incredibly stressful for students and families. If we are able to help reduce that stress level by a small amount or help fill the cost gap with CHET Advance Scholarship, then that’s a win in my book,” Treasurer Nappier said.

CHET Advance Scholarship is administered by the Connecticut Higher Education Trust. As Trustee of CHET, Treasurer Nappier negotiated for the establishment of the scholarship program. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. and the Hartford Funds, plan managers for CHET Direct-Sold and CHET Advisor-Sold, respectively, contribute annually into a scholarship account to finance the scholarship program. No state funds are used for awards issued under CHET Advance Scholarship.

To ensure the impartiality of the random drawings, International Scholarship and Tuition Services, which has more than 25 years of scholarship administration experience, administers the selection process with oversight from TIAA.

About CHET

The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) college savings plan was established in 1997 and has enjoyed steady growth, surpassing $3.6 billion in assets under management and more than 152,000 accounts. In addition, since CHET’s inception, more than $1.8 billion in qualified withdrawals have been taken to cover college costs for approximately 51,000 students attending nearly every public and private college in Connecticut and several out-of-state schools.

CHET is administered by the Office of Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier. The State of Connecticut offers CHET to help families save for future college costs. Funds deposited into a CHET account have tax advantages and can be used at accredited colleges and universities across the country, including vocational and technical schools, and some colleges abroad.

Connecticut taxpayers are eligible to receive a Connecticut income tax deduction of up to $10,000 per year for married couples filing jointly and $5,000 per year for individuals on contributions made to CHET.

Investment earnings are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for qualified educational expenses.

For more information about CHET Direct, visit or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939. Find us on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@CHET529).



December 3, 2018

The full list of the 2018 CHET Advance Scholarship recipients is as follows:

9th Grade Student Winners:

  • Colin Abbott, Monroe
  • Christina Acheampongmaah, Manchester
  • Isaac Adler, Clinton
  • Alyzza Alicea, Enfield
  • Angel Jobani Andrew, Meriden
  • Tiana Bailey, Bloomfield
  • Kylie Baker, Sandy Hook
  • Kerstin Bauer, Kensington
  • Madison Benson, Sandy Hook
  • Dajara Bird, Bridgeport
  • Ayanna Blowes, Hamden
  • Kendra Bogart, Oxford
  • Isabella Bontatibus, Weatogue
  • Christopher Bracey, Bridgeport
  • Rocco Brucoli, Waterford
  • Mia Bulgajewski, Broad Brook
  • Zoe Calhoun, South Windsor
  • A'jah Canty, Windsor
  • Jeferson Castillo, New Haven
  • Ronald Chabla, Middlebury
  • Nicholas Chadha, Avon
  • Timothy Chen, Danbury
  • Giovanna Congiu, Meriden
  • Haley Considine, Salisbury
  • Elisabeth Craig, Gales Ferry
  • Ruth Cruz, Bridgeport
  • Jessica D'Aniello, Prospect
  • Brooke DeJesus, East Granby
  • Alexandra Delaney, Hebron
  • Grace Downing, Cheshire
  • Tatum Drake, Bridgeport
  • Amelia Duval, Manchester
  • Jivonne Feliciano, Bloomfield
  • Dhaniela Fernandez, Meriden
  • Spencer Flaherty, Norwalk
  • Romina Flores Diaz, Hamden
  • Eric Franco, Westbrook
  • Brooke Fraulino, Rockfall
  • Samuel Freeman, Westbrook
  • Jack Gatta, Old Saybrook
  • Giovanni Gerard, Bridgeport
  • Joseph Glorioso, Milford
  • Jenesse Gonzalez, Meriden
  • Ian Graham, Meriden
  • Evan Gray, Plainville
  • Liana Haggerty, North Branford
  • Hennessey Hernandez, Bridgeport
  • Adam Herrera, Bridgeport
  • Leo Houser, Redding
  • Meijin Hsiao, Bloomfield

  • Haylee Johnson, Ansonia
  • Ananya Jonnakti, Stamford
  • Victor Kapostas, Ansonia
  • Braden Kowalik, Wallingford
  • Angel Maca, Willimantic
  • Marco Malinconico, Old Saybrook
  • Sophia Maselli, Northford
  • Kate McAvoy, Willington
  • Grace McPadden, Shelton
  • Rhea McTiernan Huge, New Haven
  • David Mejia, Stamford
  • Olivia Melendez, Danbury
  • Ryan Mendola, Milford
  • Ava Messina, Middlebury
  • Arlena Michaud, Prospect
  • Mila Miller, East Granby
  • Gary Moore, New Haven
  • Josh Morrison, Ashford
  • Isabella Myshrall, Watertown
  • Kalista O'Connor, Milford
  • Yarelis Perez, Bridgeport
  • Samuel Quinn, Meriden
  • Magali Ramirez, Meriden
  • Alexis Resto, Shelton
  • Melissa Reyes, Stamford
  • Dianeshka Rivera, Hartford
  • Olivia Roark, Bolton
  • Camille Rollins, Southington
  • Oseas Roman, Meriden
  • Ethan Rosenthal, Cheshire
  • Brianna-lee Saling, Hartford
  • Thalia Sappleton, Bloomfield
  • Jalina Secchiaroli, West Haven
  • Tiffany Serrano, Bridgeport
  • Laila Smith, New Haven
  • Rachael Springer, Lebanon
  • Conor Stewart, Brooklyn
  • Timothy Stone, Bridgeport
  • William Sullivan, Granby
  • Nelly Torres, New Haven
  • Holly Trumpler, Milford
  • Olivia Urszulik, Seymour
  • Nickolas Victory, North Haven
  • Spencer Weinland, Storrs
  • Connor Whitehead, Southington
  • Kyra Williams, Colchester
  • Jake Windas, Danbury
  • Jane Winkleman, Plainville
  • Nicholas Wong, South Windsor
  • Eva Zerega, Norwalk

11th Grade Student Winners:

  • Denise Aguilar, Danbury
  • Jaylyn Armstrong, North Grosvenordale
  • Justice Austin, New Haven
  • Jake Baker, Meriden
  • Yasin Balogou, Windsor
  • Nathaniel Bartone, Derby
  • Michaela Bedard, Southbury
  • Fawaz Ben Malick, New Haven
  • Grace Berlage, Stamford
  • Evelyn Black, Waterford
  • William Bonnell, West Simsbury
  • Leah Brennan, Watertown
  • Kaelyn Brezina, Seymour
  • Kenneth Brink, Seymour
  • Felipe Bueno, Willimantic
  • Andrea Calderon, Manchester
  • Calista Carrignan, West Haven
  • Anna Cartelli, Newtown
  • Grant Cerrone, Pomfret Center
  • Niome Chaney, Hartford
  • Damaris Channer, Stamford
  • Ashley Choi, Stamford
  • Isabella Christiana, Terryville
  • Derrick Christie, Hartford
  • Ian Colalucci, Greenwich
  • Nissi Cossou, New London
  • Michael Cotton, Newtown
  • Aya Cruz, Hartford
  • Safa Danesh, Waterford
  • Lauren Davis, Sandy Hook
  • Makayla Dawkins, New Haven
  • Kelsey DeJesus, Watertown
  • Kali DeV ellis, Bridgeport
  • Ruzziliann Diaz, New London
  • Joseph Disalvo, Stamford
  • Donahugh Doyle, West Haven
  • Dejon Duffus, Bridgeport
  • Karissa Frederick, New Haven
  • Sarah Gada, Salem
  • Chase Galayda, Southington
  • Kiarra Gamble, Hartford
  • David Garces, Naugatuck
  • Ashley Garen, Portland
  • Madison Gettings, Middlebury
  • Jestina Gilbert, East Hartford
  • Marc Grandpre, Prospect
  • Jibril Hakim, Bloomfield
  • Maria Hanchuk, South Windsor
  • Emma Houston, New Haven
  • Julenny Jimenez, Bridgeport

  • Samantha Kachur, Southbury
  • Kayla Kidd, New Haven
  • Sydney Korchman, Wallingford
  • Andrew Krasuski, Southington
  • Olivia LaBelle, Guilford
  • Eric Lipka, Durham
  • Larenzo Maldonado, Waterbury
  • Kelsea Mann, Cheshire
  • James McGovern, Bloomfield
  • Jenisiz Miller, Ansonia
  • Anastasia Miller, Meriden
  • Maddie Monterosso, Stamford
  • Ashley Nguyen, East Hartford
  • Cole Niedmann, Durham
  • Max Noonan, Southington
  • Anna Panciera, Willington
  • Elizabeth Passeck, Thomaston
  • Elyece Patterson, Hartford
  • Nicolas Perez-Sosa, Stamford
  • Zaria Perrin, Bridgeport
  • Thamar Pierre, Bridgeport
  • Sophia Polistina, Riverside
  • Daniel Ramirez, Bridgeport
  • Mike Remache, Danbury
  • Isabel Richards, Griswold
  • Jamiel Robinson, Bridgeport
  • Raul Rodriguez, Wethersfield
  • Mia Rotatori, Naugatuck
  • Emma Sabbadini, Stonington
  • David Sanders, Bridgeport
  • Sofia Santiago, Stratford
  • Bailey Schif, Shelton
  • Nazish Shakeel, Farmington
  • Maxwell Shamas, Monroe
  • Cristian Smina, Stamford
  • Jennifer Sortini, Cheshire
  • Jacob St. Laurent, Manchester
  • Christopher Stevens, Stratford
  • Sara Taylor, Cheshire
  • Rachell Taylor, South Windsor
  • Michelle Taylor, South Windsor
  • Nikeila Thompson, New London
  • Tylia Meyers, Bridgeport
  • Grace Valentine, Wallingford
  • Julia Vampatella, Mansfield
  • Lana Vilcinskas, Marlborough
  • Ranique Walters, Bridgeport
  • Dominick Whalen, Enfield
  • Nicholas Willey, Broad Brook
  • Carly Zajac, Stratford
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