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South High student honored by Dominican Republic group

May 24, 2010
  • Wandy Checo-Gomez
Submitted photo,

Wandy Checo-Gomez of South Hagerstown High School was honored May 16 as a Susana De Moya Foundation award winner at the seventh annual award ceremony and fundraising luncheon titled "Excellence through Academic Achievement" in Baltimore.

Checo-Gomez was one of seven students statewide from the Dominican Republic chosen for an award, which is based on academic achievement, community service, essays, letters of recommendation and an interview.

The award is not a cash prize, but instead based on a student's educational need: a computer, tuition, tutoring or escrow for college expenses upon graduation.

The late Susana De Moya was born in the Dominican Republic in 1922 and became only the second Dominican woman to obtain the degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Santo Domingo.

She began a career in the Foreign Service when her husband was named Dominican consul to Haiti in 1944, but she and her family were forced to flee because of tensions in Haiti, and sought exile in the United States.

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They established themselves in Baltimore, where her husband was eventually named Dominican consul, and Susana became a humanitarian force on behalf of Dominicans in Baltimore and in her homeland.

After her death in 2003, Susana's friends established the Susana De Moya Foundation to recognize the academic potential and achievement of Dominican students through economic contributions and the encouragement of mentors in the program.

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