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Woodbridge Academy senior earns two prestigious scholarships

MCVTS Woodbridge Academy senior earns two prestigious scholarships

Philip Krotenok, a senior at the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge, has been getting a lot of good news lately.

Not only was he accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, he will receive a full scholarship for four years as one of just 1,127 U.S. high school seniors selected by QuestBridge, a program that connects high-achieving students with financial need with some of the nation’s top colleges.

Then he learned he was chosen as a Horatio Alger National Scholar, which brings with it a $25,000 scholarship and a number of other benefits.

“I was a little bit surprised because they only accepted 106 applicants,” he said about the Horatio Alger scholarship, adding that his parents also have been surprised by his achievements.

Philip, a resident of Parlin, is the son of immigrants. His mother, Natalia Kalmykova, was born in Ukraine, while his father, Vladimir Krotenok, is from Belarus. He has a twin brother, Anton, also a student at Woodbridge Academy, who is waiting to hear about college acceptances.

Philip, whose favorite subject is chemistry, said he hopes to enter the health-care field, possibly in the area of public relations.

“I still have some time to figure it out,” he said.

“Philip is an extremely kind and considerate person,” said Woodbridge Academy Principal Terri Ann Sullivan. “He is notorious for it.

“He is an amazing young man who is very humble for someone who has achieved what he has,” she added. “We are very proud of him; it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

At Woodbridge Academy, Philip has participated in an internship and independent-study project in conjunction with the Rutgers University chemistry lab and is a member of the National Honor Society, the Interact Club, the Newspaper Club and the Science League.

QuestBridge match-scholarship recipients, who must have high grade-point averages and SAT scores, receive early admission and full four-year scholarships from one of its 40 college partners. They were chosen from almost 15,000 applicants. Philip called the application process “intense.”

The Horatio Alger Association assists students “who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives.” It seeks to recognize “academic achievement or leadership potential” among students “who have exhibited determination, integrity, and perseverance in overcoming adversity, as well as have critical financial need.”

Philip will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., is April to attend the Horatio Alger National Scholars Conference, which will include college preparedness and other educational sessions. The program also includes ongoing counseling and referral services.

Sullivan said she is sure Philip will one day be someone “who gives back to the community.” She stressed that her students come from a variety of backgrounds, “but they are blessed with teachers and a school district that puts their learning needs first.”

“When you have that, there is no limit for them,” she said.

The Woodbridge Academy, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, is part of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation. MCVTS also has campuses in East Brunswick, Edison, Perth Amboy, and Piscataway, offering 34 career majors.