Three Kennebec County students — Nada Al Hoshan and Nathan Ayala, both of Cony High School, and Halah Al Subaihawi, of Waterville Senior High School, each have earned a $1,000 Kennebec New Mainer Scholarship. Sponsored by Hoang Realty and the Capital Area New Mainers Project, the scholarship helps immigrant students who graduate from public high school in Kennebec County pay for expenses associated with pursuing their education, according to a news release from Chris Myers Asch, of the organization.

Nada Al Hoshan Photo courtesy of Capital Area New Mainers Project

A native of Syria, Al Hoshan came to America in 2016 and arrived in Augusta just last year, but she has made a strong impression on her teachers. “She is willing to listen, ask questions, and learn from what she is being taught,” said Cony teacher Maria Elena Johnson, who admires Nada’s “strength and determination,” according to the release. She plans to attend either University of Southern Maine or University of Maine-Augusta and hopes to become a pharmacist.

Al Subaihawi is an Iraqi student with dreams of becoming a doctor. Her family came to Augusta in 2018, and she spent a year at Cony before transferring to Waterville. “Halah is a remarkable young woman with a strong work ethic and deep sense of curiosity about the world,” said Asch.

She plans to study at Kennebec Valley Community College before transferring to a four-year college. “I want to heal people, serve them, and help the community,” she said.

Nathan Ayala Photo courtesy of Capital Area New Mainers Project

Ayala left his native Puerto Rico with his family in 2017. As a student at Cony, he has earned a spot on the honor roll, the George Washington Book Award, and the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish. “He has consistently earned high marks in all his classes through sheer will,” said Cony’s Maria Elena Johnson, according to the release.

He plans to attend either Husson University, University of Maine, or University of Southern Maine. He wants to stay in Maine and become a pharmacist.

The Kennebec New Mainer Scholarship was launched in 2019 by Hoa Hoang, a refugee from Vietnam who arrived in the U.S. in 1975. Hoang graduated from Cony High School and founded Hoang Realty. She hopes the scholarships will help open the door of higher education to a new generation of immigrants.

For more information, contact Asch at or 370-5246.

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