Four seventh graders at Kids Unlimited Academy are set to attend Medford’s St. Mary’s School on full scholarships.

Iris Gaona Gomez, Brody Kiesser, Hannah Lusk and Jimena Velez all received news last week of their selection for the St. Mary’s scholarship. The awards to seventh graders represent an additional year each of St. Mary’s attendance, which historically has begun for KUA alumni entering their freshman year of high school. A private school, St. Mary’s enrolls grades 5-12.

St. Mary’s scholarship recipients are left to right: Brody Kiesser, Iris Gaona Gomez, Hannah Lusk and Jimena Velez.

KUA Principal Lindsay Ochs said the scholarship awards were “super awesome” for the four recipients, two of whom are on KUA student council.

The scholarship program, instituted in 2019, is the only direct collaboration of its kind between St. Mary’s and another school, said Bethany Brown, St. Mary’s director of advancement. She said the scholarship will continue after KUA sunsets middle school this spring, with 2025 awards going to KUA outgoing fifth graders.

The partnership between St. Mary’s and KUA began more than 15 years ago when St. Mary’s students volunteered to read to and mentor at-risk KUA students. Because of this unique relationship, supporters of both schools came together to completely fund four scholarships for qualified KUA eighth graders to attend St. Mary’s for four years of high school, said Brown.

KUA identifies their best and brightest students and encourages them to apply for the St. Mary’s Scholarship. St. Mary’s conducts the interviews and selects students who will enhance its community and benefit from its education.

Recipients of the scholarship receive full tuition including all academic fees, sports fees, textbooks, daily lunch and a Google Chromebook. Representatives of both schools say that a St. Mary’s education would be unattainable for recipient students without the generosity of donors funding this scholarship.