Maha Alsaleh Contributed photo

AUGUSTA — Maha Alsaleh of Augusta, a 2021 graduate of Cony High School, 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 a Kennebec County public high school pay for expenses associated with pursuing their education.

A native of Syria, Alsaleh and her family had to flee their home because of the war. They came to America in 2016 and arrived in Augusta two years later. She played volleyball and ran track while studying early childhood education at Cony.

“Maha is a no-nonsense young lady,” her Cony English Language teacher, Maria Elena Johnson, wrote in a release from Capital Area New Mainers Project. “She has a ‘strong spirit’ and ‘does not procrastinate.’”

Alsaleh plans to the University of Maine-Augusta in the fall.

“Going to college will allow me to continue growing into a mature person and provide me with a stable environment. Having a career in optometry would be a blessing and would make me very happy,” said Alsaleh. “My life has been hard, but I am not a quitter. This challenge will be great and I am ready for it.”

The scholarship was launched in 2019 by Hoa Hoang, a refugee from Vietnam who arrived in the United States 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 Chris Myers Asch at [email protected] or 207-370-5246.