July 23, 2002 – St. Croix resident Leia LaPlace, 20, will receive the first Friends of the V.I. National Park annual scholarship for students majoring in environmental studies.
"The scholarship is a key part of our effort to help develop the future conservationists of the Virgin Islands," Joe Kessler, Friends president, said in a press release.
LaPlace will receive $1,000 to defray tuition at the University of the Virgin Islands. With a double major in marine biology and business administration, she is in the fourth year of a five-year program on the St. Thomas campus. Next year, she will participate in an exchange program with a college in Hawaii.
LaPlace was eligible for a summer internship with the Friends, but she already had accepted a job, Friends development director Kim Lyons said.
Scholarship recipients must be Virgin Islands residents, have graduated from a high school in the territory, have completed coursework for a major in marine biology or biology with an emphasis on environmental studies, and have at least a B average for their first three semesters at UVI.

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