Two MHS Students Surprised With $25,000 Scholarships From Sallie Mae

Jemima Dathus and Josh Frechette were recognized in a national competition and both earned a big head start on college saving thanks to their hard work at MHS.

Methuen High School senior Jemima Dathus, and junior Josh Frechette, were each surprised with a $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship from Sallie Mae. Jemima and Josh were attending a college planning assembly — featuring educator turned hip-hop artist Dee-1 — with more than 900 of their classmates when they were revealed as winners.

Bridging the Dream Scholarship nominations were submitted by school and community leaders to recognize high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service, or school activities but may face personal or financial challenges when looking to fulfill their college dreams. Jemima was nominated by her school counselor, Jessica Lowe, and Josh was nominated by his teacher, Jeanette Symonds.

In just a few short years after emigrating to the United States with her family, Jemima mastered the English language and is now a math tutor for younger students. She is fluent in three languages, a member of the National Honor Society, and, despite some challenges at home, continues to excel in her new home country.

“Jemima always tells us there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Lowe. “Even after moving to a new country and not knowing the native language, she was never bitter or discouraged by any amount of hardship and has continued to persevere forward. I know this scholarship from Sallie Mae will help her spread her own light even further.”

Josh maintains a 4.2 GPA and has also been a top performer on the varsity golf team since his sophomore year. Even when faced with adversity, he remains positive and shines as the president of Methuen High School’s Best Buddies program — a nonprofit that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Josh has never been the one to seek any accolades or recognition,” said Symonds. “He leads by example and inspires his classmates and his community. He continues to spread positivity and kindness in his everyday acts, even while facing some of life’s challenges.”

“It’s humbling to meet such motivated and bright young adults who share the same passion for making the world a better place,” said Maureen Fagen, director, Sallie Mae. “We’re thrilled to equip both Jemima and Josh with the necessary resources to help expand their horizons and give them the ability to inspire more people. We look forward to watching them grow as they embark on their new paths after high school.”

Since 2016, Sallie Mae has awarded $560,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. This year, $225,000 will be awarded, including $40,000 raised directly by employees.

For more information about Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarships, visit, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.