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USM Senior is Wisconsin's Only Morehead-Cain Scholar

USM Senior is Wisconsin's Only Morehead-Cain Scholar

Donn Rhys Mondano ’22 is the only student in the state of Wisconsin to receive the prestigious Morehead-Cain scholarship this year, and he is the first University School of Milwaukee student to be named a Morehead-Cain scholar.

Donn Rhys Mondano ’22 nervously checked his phone while waiting for the Cum Laude induction dinner to start. When he read the news that would change his life, he leapt into the air and immediately ran to tell Head of School Steve Hancock. Hancock had served as his coach for the multiple, high-level rounds of interviews and gave him a giant hug. It’s hard to say who was more excited.

Mondano had just learned that he received the highly selective Morehead-Cain scholarship, which is affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and covers all expenses for four years of undergraduate study there, including tuition, books, and room and board. It also provides financial support for summer enrichment experiences designed to stretch students beyond their comfort zones. And it ensures a lifetime association with an elite community of Morehead-Cain alumni and mentors throughout the world—leaders in business, government, technology, medicine, and more.

Donn Rhys Mondano performs in the play "The Drowsy Chaperone."

“I’m thrilled and very honored to be named a Morehead-Cain scholar,” said Mondano. “I cannot wait to take advantage of the opportunities that the program will present and I am extremely thankful to the school for the nomination, and everyone who has helped me throughout the whole process.”

Mondano underwent a rigorous application process for the scholarship, which included a written application, video interviews, and virtual final selection interviews. All applicants must be nominated by their schools, and schools may only nominate two students per year. USM is one of only three nominating schools in the state of Wisconsin.

To prepare, Mondano received advice and feedback from Hancock, who has coached other students in the Morehead-Cain application process at his previous schools. “The main advice I gave Donn Rhys was that stories always win the day when you’re interviewing,” said Hancock. “If you tell a story that connects to someone, you become more memorable. This is an incredible opportunity and I’m so excited for Donn Rhys.”

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