Application deadline for the 2023 year has passed. Check back next year.

The Milton Fisher Scholarship is a four-year renewable scholarship open to exceptionally Innovative and Creative high school juniors and seniors, and first-time college freshmen. 

$4,000 - $20,000

Apply for this scholarship if you are . . .

  • a student who has solved an artistic, scientific, or technical problem in a new or unusual way, or

  • a student who has come up with a distinctive solution to problems faced by your school, community or family.

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The Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity is administered by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

2021 Winners

Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander. (Elmont Memorial High School, Elmont, NY)  After watching his father, grandmother and cousin suffer though the difficult side effects and great expense of chemotherapy, radiation and surgical treatments for their cancers, Christopher worked to help develop a way to target cancer cells with non-human viruses. The novel cancer-killing virus he characterized (named APMV-4) targets cancer cells while leaving other cells alone — without side effects, and at a very low cost. His research helps advance a very promising and affordable cancer treatment. He will attend Johns Hopkins University to study Molecular & Cellular Biology and Medicine, Science, & the Humanities.

Beatrice Amarante

Beatrice Amarante. (St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY)  As a high school student in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Beatrice was aware that problems that plaguing the favelas or low-income neighborhoods near the city included high crime, limited access to electricity, and the environmental hazard of proliferating discarded car batteries. She came up with a way to address all of these problems at once: knowing that while not enough charge remained in discarded batteries to run a car, enough remained to power a light, she developed a mobile street light run by the charge that remained in the old batteries that could be used to light dark streets and make residents less vulnerable to crime. The 180 mobile light poles she produced (with volunteers she recruited) from two tons of recycled batteries that would have otherwise been disposed of as trash made nine poor neighborhoods in favelas outside of Sao Paolo more safe, reducing crime there by over 70%. Beatrice is a freshman at St. Francis College.

Benjamin Chan

Benjamin Chan  (The Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY)  Realizing traditional methods of cancer diagnosis that rely on visual inspection by pathologists are slow, inefficient and often inaccurate, Benjamin created a digital pathology toolkit to produce results that were 89% more accurate than those produced by traditional methods. Benjamin’s method will enable artificial intelligence-based cancer diagnoses that will save lives by providing patients with access to early, accurate diagnoses, and therefore effective treatment. Benjamin will attend University of Pennsylvania to study Systems Engineering with a Concentration in Decision Science.

Brooke Dunefsky

Brooke Dunefsky  (Irvington High School, Irvington, NY)  When she interned in a stroke rehabilitation center, Brooke observed that the typical rehabilitation process involves very expensive equipment with advanced technology that is often hard for patients to use, and also must be used on-site in the rehabilitation center. To address these challenges, Brooke developed a device that implements neuroscience-based principles of rehabilitation which costs under $100 to build and is easier for patients to calibrate and use than the current equipment. The highly-affordable device, which patients can use at home, was awarded a full patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Brook is a rising high school senior.

Audrey Larson

Audrey Larson  (Lyman Hall High School, Wallingford, CT)  Skeptical that the problem of school shootings will be successfully addressed by a political solution any time soon, Audrey decided to tackle the problem through engineering. She invented Safe KIDS, a bulletproof wall system that can help protect students and teachers in the event of a shooting at their school. The bulletproof barrier would unobtrusively fold against a classroom wall, but could easily fold out from the wall to protect students. Its deployment would also automatically trigger notification of the police and warn other classrooms and staff in the school. Audrey will study Materials Science Engineering and Management Engineering at the University of Connecticut.

Neel Jain

Neel Jain  (Westview High School, Portland, OR)  Since he knew that his grandmother was in the highest risk category for COVID-19, and that a simple trip to the grocery store could become life-threatening, Neel helped deliver groceries to her at the onset of the pandemic. He soon realized how many other senior citizens nearby were in the same predicament, and organized a nonprofit, PDX Concierge, run by high school students to deliver food, prescriptions, and other essentials free of charge to senior citizens and others for whom simple tasks incurred high COVID-19 risk. Streamlining the fulfillment of requests through a website and an online ap and partnering with local food banks, Neel’s PDX Concierge made it possible for over 100 high school student volunteers to make over 600 deliveries in seven cities in Oregon. Neel is a rising senior in high school in Portland.

Krupa Sekhar

Krupa Sekhar  (Hunter College High School, New York, NY).  Troubled by the race-related and gender-related health disparities rampant in almost every disease, with little biological research as to why, Krupa developed a novel methodology to discover treatable biological causes of health disparities using epigenetics to bridge the gap between minority populations and accessible medical resources. Applying her methodology first to pancreatic cancer, Krupa found biological causes for population disparities between male and female patients (males have a significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer), and between African American and European patients (African Americans have a significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than any other race). Krupa hopes her research methodology can help reduce disparities by promoting earlier diagnosis in at-risk populations in the future. Krupa plans on majoring in both Human Biology and Race Studies.

Richard So

Richard So  (Staten Island Technical High School, Staten Island, NY)   Richard knew that oil drilling in Arctic Alaska was seriously disrupting migration patterns of wild caribou, a significant food source for many native Alaskan communities. But methods currently being used to gauge the impact of the drilling on this species (human analysis of untold hours of video), was time-consuming and inefficient. Richard constructed a robust, camera image caribou detection system using artificial intelligence and algorithms to accelerate Alaskan wildlife research, and provide environmentalists with the data needed to argue against policies that decimate this important species. Richard plans to major in computer science in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology.

2021 Honorable Mentions

Barry Brooks

Barry Brooks  (Stanford Online High School, Redwood City, CA)  Inspired by a love of books and reading, Brooks was determined to put books into the hands of children who did not have any. At eight years old, Brooks founded a book club that evolved into Wonderland BookSavers, a student-managed children's book-donation charity dedicated to promoting childhood literacy throughout the world. Since its inception, Wonderland BookSavers has provided 825,000 books to half a million children from 19 countries on four continents. Brooks’ innovative approach is inspiring children everywhere to “Realize the magical awesomeness of reading!” Brooks is a rising high school senior who lives in Southport, Connecticut.


Andre Borde unavailable

Andre Borde  (Forest Hills High School, Forest Hills, NY) Concerned by the Kessler Syndrome, which describes the phenomenon of nonoperational satellites losing control and crashing into other satellites — creating debris fields in the process that can crash into more satellites — Andre designed a technology to capture and deorbit obsolete CubeSats in low Earth orbit (LEO), thus significantly mitigating the growing problem of space debris. Andre will attend University of Michigan to study Engineering and Computer Science.

Nazira Davroni

Nazira Davroni  (50th Comprehensive Secondary School, Samarkand, Uzbekistan)  Having experienced first-hand how incredibly daunting the college application process can be for first-generation/low-income students, Nazira created a mobile app that helps them navigate college applications with the help of resources, mentorship, and community. In its beta-testing stage, First2College has increased every user’s understanding of the college application process. Nazira will attend Barnard College of Columbia University to study Human Rights and Anthropology.

Ella Moore

Ella Moore  (Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT)  As the COVID-19 infection rate and death toll rose, Ella began investigating the use of R-954 as a bradykinin 1 receptor antagonist to inhibit respiratory complications caused by the virus. Ella hopes that her continued research will provide evidence that leads to new treatments that will help reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths as the pandemic continues. Ella is a rising high school senior.