It's not every day Connecticut's Secretary of State Denise Merrill comes to your high school to specifically see you, but that is exactly what happened to Bryan Niebanck this week.

The Foran High School senior learned only a few days ago that he had been selected to receive one of only five scholarships in the state — and that it would be delivered personally by Merrill at the Milford school.

The Secretary of the State's annual scholarship, the 12th Grade Excellence In Citizenship Scholarship, is awarded to high school seniors who have demonstrated selfless service to the community and have exhibited an interest in civic activities.

The annual award is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Citizenship Fund, Inc.  Scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded — one per Congressional district in Connecticut. Bryan received the award for the 3rd Congressional District.

In her official presentation to Bryan at the high school, Secretary of State Merrill said, “Bryan — we are proud of you, and after reading about all the wonderful things you do the State of Connecticut is counting on you to continue your work here for a long time to come.”

Academically, Bryan has taken the most challenging coursework throughout his four years at Foran, including nine AP courses, (AP Statistics, AP American History, and AP English Literature, to name a few).  He was recognized last year as an AP Scholar with Honors for high scores on his AP annual exams and has continually succeeded in his schoolwork. He currently ranks in the top 10 of his class.

Bryan was the treasurer of the National Honor Society, vice president of the Bible Club, and active in the Natural Helpers group at school.

Bryan attained the high honor of Eagle Scout through his active participation and dedication in the Boy Scouts, earning 76 merit badges in the process.

During his high school years, Bryan has accumulated 710 community service hours. He has volunteered on several mission trips to New Orleans, Boston and Atlantic City, helping to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. On his trip to Boston, Bryan helped cook for the homeless, and assisted in rebuilding a water damaged church.

In his recommendation letter, Foran Principal Max Berkowitz wrote, “Bryan Niebanck is a caring and compassionate person who has made a difference through his devotion and commitment to helping others. His quiet leadership and dedication to helping people has made his school, community and world a better place.”

Bryan will be attending Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. to pursue a degree in religious studies, with a minor concentration in philosophy.