Person-to-Person's scholarship program is set to award more than $350,000 to 150 local high school graduates.

Each year, P2P awards scholarships to help bridge the gap between what a student can afford and the amount needed to attend college. For the students, this scholarship provides the opportunity for higher education and allows them to avoid thousands of dollars of debt.

Since 2008, P2P has assisted almost 800 college students, including 150 students this year, with more than $1.6 million in scholarships.

P2P hosted its annual alumni scholars event on June 6 at Person-to-Person in Darien.

"The Person-to-Person Scholarship allowed me to realize that there are people that are willing to help you, and it inspired me to push even further throughout my experience in college," said recent graduate Lisa Pierre-Louis. "I've had friends who ended up not continuing their college career because they didn't have enough financial aid, and knowing that Person-to-Person was there to help me out, it made me push further and continue on."

Alumni of the scholarship program, now in its 44th year, were recognized during the event, and spoke about the career success they have experienced in part because of Person-to-Person's assistance. In fact, several students have already set course to pursue graduate degrees in their respective fields.

"I don't believe that I would have done it without Person-to-Person, and I feel blessed," said 2009 graduate Natasha Beckford.

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Person-to-Person, Inc. was established in 1968 to provide low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services. A volunteer-driven agency, Person-to-Person is committed to helping clients achieve self-sufficiency through practical help, advocacy, education and problem solving initiatives. Programs include emergency assistance, campership and scholarship. In 2011, Person-to-Person helped 21,765 people avert crisis and make ends meet. These efforts are made possible by in-kind donations, a force of more than 2,000 volunteers, and financial contributions. Visit www.p2pdarien.org or call 203-655-0048.