The Derby Scholarship Program
Since its establishment as a nonprofit organization, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, Inc. has awarded annual scholarships to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School graduating seniors. The total amount of money donated since 1986 now exceeds $500,000. Qualified students are recommended by the schools and selected by a Derby subcommittee. With the continued support of the Ann E. Clark Foundation, Vineyard Vines, and the Tony and Renee Marlon Charitable Trust, in 2016 the Derby again was able to award two $10,000 scholarships in addition to two $5000 scholarships to the deserving students featured on this page. One of the scholarships has been named in honor of island artist Ray Ellis, whose contributions to the Derby made the scholarship program flourish. The Derby Committee wishes these graduates success in their educational endeavors.
Gabe Canham, in his Personal Statement as a graduating senior from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, wrote, “I’m grateful to have been born on the island.” He described experiences exploring nature, designing boats, and reading books. His studies saw him complete projects in engineering and mechanics. His school advisor noted Gabe’s proactive, self-disciplined, and compassionate approach to school. His work ethic has served as a wonderful example for other students. He thrives off of the creative process – successes and challenges. He demonstrated the importance of collaborative learning, which is a cornerstone of the Charter School philosophy. During summers, he has worked for the Edgartown Harbor Department.
Gabe will attend Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine.
Kyra was ranked in the top 12% of her graduating class at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. She has taken five years of math and science classes. She was involved in student government and served as a board member of the Safe Rides program. In addition, she was a facilitator during a Peer Outreach retreat. She was described by her guidance counselor as responsible, dependable, and energetic. Kyra participated in community events such as beach clean-ups, the Crop Walk (to benefit the hungry), the Relay for Life/Cancer Awareness, food drives for the Island Food Pantry, and blood drives. In her senior year, she worked in a mentorship program with Island Grown Initiative.
Kyra will attend the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont.
Darby’s experiences in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s performing arts drew tremendous acclaim. Her commitment to these productions was remarkable, demonstrating a true love of theater and music. In addition to her school performances, Darby gave back to the community by performing for local fundraisers and by singing the National Anthem at events. She commented: “I love the arts because it is a realm of possibility. The possibility to form a community, like the island’s; or find a home, like the school musical; or learn, like I hope to do in the near future.” Darby is good-natured, considerate, and cooperative. She enjoys learning, and is ready to leave the Vineyard to explore deeper waters.
Darby will attend the Boston Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Margaret is a member of the National Honor Society, and was ranked in the top 19% of her graduating class at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. She earned numerous awards for her writing, contributing many pieces to the school’s award-winning literary magazine Seabreezes. Her talent and passion for art provided a deeper motivation in her studies. During summers, she has worked as a junior instructor at Sail MV.
Margaret will attend the University of British Columbia in Canada.
A special thanks to the "ANN E. CLARK FOUNDATION" and VINEYARD VINES for their unsurpassed support of the scholarship program.