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LOWELL - The University of Massachusetts Lowell has awarded Tsongas Scholarships to two Lowell High School graduating seniors, which will provide them tuition, fees, and room and board for their entire undergraduate careers.
The scholarships, named for the late U.S. senator, Lowell native and chairman of the Board of Higher Education, were awarded to Heather Makrez, 195 Mansur St., and Rachel Mendes, 11 Robbins St.
Makrez, who is ranked 9th in a class of 715 students and has taken all but one of her high school courses at the honors or advanced placement level, has been in the National Honor Society for two years. She is a member of the Lowell High School International Language Club, Science Club and Student Government, and is president of the Mock Trial Team. She also has volunteered at the House of Hope, Holy Trinity Church and Saint Stanislaus School.
Mendes, who is ranked 21st in her class, is currently taking a biology class at UMass Lowell, on top of her demanding program of studies at Lowell High. She hopes to pursue a career in scientific research or forensics. Mendes also is an accomplished athlete who is a member of the Lowell High School Track and Cross Country teams. She was selected as captain of the Cross Country Team this year.
The full scholarships are contingent on the students maintaining at least a 3.0 cumulative-grade-point average while at the University.
The Tsongas Scholars program began in December 1997 through the Board of Higher Education. UMass Lowell will graduate its first two Tsongas Scholars this spring, Elizabeth Dubuque and Emily Byrne.