Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri has announced a pioneering move to reward academic excellence and community service among tertiary students from his city, reports www.local.co.il. The mayor has decided to award eight NIS 10,000 scholarships to Ashdod students in their second or further years of study at universities around Israel who had achieved outstanding results and contributed to the cultural and social lives of their campuses. According to the report, several months ago Lasri wrote to the deacons of the Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hebrew, Bar-Ilan and Ben-Gurion universities, as well as to the deacon of the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, which has campuses in Beersheba and Ashdod, asking them to recommend students from Ashdod who had demonstrated outstanding academic achievements and had made significant contributions to the community. Six students, studying in fields as diverse as law, electrical engineering, bio-technology and social work, have already been named as winners of the scholarships, which aim to help them focus on completing their studies and realizing their potential. The report said the scholarships would be officially awarded at a ceremony in Ashdod this November.