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    Big Y Awards Over $250K in Local Scholarships

    The New England grocer said its annual effort has to date brought more than $2.2 million to over 3,000 students.

    Big Y World Class Markets has chosen more than 300 academically outstanding students from its stores' surrounding areas to receive a total of over $250,000 in college scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year.

    Using Big Y scholarships, students from across Massachusetts and Connecticut will be able to attend Columbia University, Elms College, Yale University, Brown University, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Princeton University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to name just a few schools, this fall. Recipients were honored at a ceremony held in May.

    Since the Big Y program began in 1984, the grocer has given more than $2.2 million has been awarded to over 3,000 students. "We are grateful to be in a position to fill a real need in the communities we serve by recognizing the hard work, dedication to excellence, and outstanding academic achievement of so many fine young men and women who are our neighbors in our marketing are," said Big Y chairman and c.e.o. Donald H. D'Amour.

    In contrast to most of the region's scholarship programs, the grocer awards grants based on academic merit, regardless of financial need. Another difference is that the program is open to all Big Y customers and their dependents, as well as employees and their dependents.

    Scholarship categories in the program are high school graduate, undergraduate, community college, graduate, and nontraditional. There's also a special category honoring dependents of the law enforcement officers and firemen. This year Big Y awarded 12 such scholarships.

    Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y, a family-owned company, operates 58 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts and employs over 9,800 associates.

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