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20th Day of Pride will honor top high school students (Released: 11/8/95)

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Fifteen of Connecticut s top minority high school seniors have been offered full, four-year scholarships to the University of Connecticut in the fall of 1996, and will be honored at the 20th Annual Day of Pride scholarship awards banquet Saturday, Nov. 11 at 4:15 p.m.

Another 100 outstanding minority high school seniors who will be offered early admission to UConn for the fall of 1996 also will be recognized at the banquet in Putnam Refectory.

The University is committed to acknowledging and rewarding excellence in young people, said Ron Taylor, chair of the Scholarships Advisory Council and director of the Institute of African-American Studies.

The Day of Pride was started in 1976 to identify, recognize and honor minority students achievements throughout Connecticut. In 1981 the mission of the program expanded to include active recruitment and enrollment of these students at the University.

The Day of Pride is one of several initiatives of UConn to identify and recruit students of color to the University, Taylor said. It highlights academic excellence and other personal achievements of young people who, in some cases, have overcome incredible odds to reach this level of accomplishment.

Two people who will be honored Saturday are Vanessa L. Bryant, a 1978 Law School graduate, and seventh-semester French major Janine M. Letellier, a 1991 Day of Pride recipient.

Bryant, the 1995 Day of Pride Graduate Honoree, is a partner in the financial law firm Hawkins, Delafield & Wood. The AVON resident is the principal author of three major pieces of Connecticut legislation, including UConn 2000.

Letellier, a Windsor Locks resident, has been selected this year's student honoree. Over the last four years, Letellier has won the New England Scholar Award for achieving at least a 3.5 grade-point average, she has been on the dean s list since fall 1992 and will receive the Gilliam- Barberet Prize for academic excellence in French. Lettellier credits most of her success to the Day of Pride program.

Day of Pride has been a great opportunity for me, she said. I would not have been able to accomplish what I have without the support of the program.

Since its inception, about 3,800 minority high school students and 40 UConn graduate honorees have participated.

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