Two Merrimack Valley Residents Receive 2020 Stephen G. Sullivan Scholarship

Rabeka Saouma and Johsuar Moya, recent graduates of Central Catholic High School and Lawrence High School, will attend Babson College and UMass Lowell in the fall.

Rabeka Saouma, a recent graduate of Central Catholic High School, and Johsuar Moya, a recent graduate of Lawrence High School, were each awarded the 2020 Stephen G. Sullivan Scholarship in the amount of $10,000.

Rabeka and Johsuar participated in two impactful JA programs: The JA Company Program and JA Summer Institute. The JA Company Program is a program that unlocks the innate ability in high school students to fill a need or solve a problem in their community by launching a business venture and unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. JA Summer Institute is a week long summer program held at MIT for high school students to ignite their entrepreneurial spirit, explore career options, learn about personal finance, network with business leaders, and collaborate with peers from different schools in Greater Boston.

Rabeka participated in Junior Achievement’s Company Program for three consecutive years and attended two JA Company Pitch Competitions. She will be attending Babson College in the fall to study Accounting or Finance and minor in International Business. “I was very shy my first year doing the Junior Achievement Company Program because I was not a great public speaker, especially around the board members, and was shy around new people. However, the mentors, who were there to help my teammates and I, helped me grow out of my comfort zone by teaching me how to pitch our product to other people. I quickly learned that it was easy, and I grew to enjoy speaking in front of large crowds.”

Johsuar participated in Junior Achievement’s Company Program for three consecutive years and attended JA Summer Institute. He will be attending UMass Lowell in the fall to study Business Management with a focus in entrepreneurship. “The JA Summer Institute was an opportunity I knew I had to take. I learned skills like creating my social media presence and how to budget my personal expenses. One of the things I took away from the program was understanding stocks. I knew they existed, but I never knew how they worked. It was not until one particular workshop I learned more about them and I liked the idea of being able to share ownership in a company.”

The Stephen G. Sullivan Scholarship was established by the JA Board of Directors to recognize Mr. Sullivan for his leadership and long-time service to the organization. Mr. Sullivan had a noteworthy career and served as Senior Vice President of Communications at Liberty Mutual Group in Boston until his retirement in 2009.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be college-bound high school seniors and first in their immediate family to go to college with English not being their first language. Applicants must also represent the goals and mission of Junior Achievement through successful participation in one or more JA programs. This year, the candidate pool was so impressive that Stephen Sullivan graciously decided to not only award the funds for the top two candidates but also decided to double his scholarship so both students would be able to receive $10,000 each to put towards their first year of college tuition. Stephen Sullivan says, “I believe deeply in the mission of JA and the power of financial education. Johsuar and Rabeka had a deep commitment and excitement over the programs they participated in. Their dedication and perseverance showed.”