COLONIE — More than $200,000 was awarded to more than 100 Colonie Central High School students and their families at the annual Awards Night ceremony last month.
The financial assistance, often provided by local community members and businesses through organizations such as the South Colonie Dollars for Scholars Inc., was given out in memory of loved ones or recognizing specific achievements or goals.
In 2017, the South Colonie Dollars for Scholars program awarded 60 scholarships worth $32,450 to 41 different graduating seniors. The average scholarship awarded was $540.83. Students were recognized for academic achievement, extracurricular excellence, meaningful community involvement, and ‘in memory’ of former teachers.
Now in its 15th year, the South Colonie Dollars for Scholars chapter has awarded more than $320,000 to support students’ postsecondary educational pursuits.
“It’s a great organization,” said Frank Mauriello, an Albany County legislator who sits on the South Colonie Dollars for Scholars board and was on hand to present the awards to students during the ceremony. “I’m a board member because when my daughter graduated from Colonie Central High School, she received two Dollars for Scholars awards and I was just really impressed with the organization.”
Among the many Dollars for Scholars scholarships awarded this year, friends and family members donated monies in the memory of several former teachers in the South Colonie School District. These include:
•William E. Teiper Scholarship
(two $750 scholarships)
•Ann Sperry Elementary Education Scholarship (two $500 scholarships)
•Donna Christmas Education Scholarship (one $750 scholarship)
•Bonnie Bucci Memorial Scholarship
(one $500 scholarship).
Multi-year awards included the Grandparents’ Heritage Scholarship ($2,000) and Edward J. Szesnat III Memorial Scholarship ($2,000).
Thirteen donors contributed $1,000 or more in 2017. Most of these have been consistent donors for five or more years.
“We need the continued support of the South Colonie community to provide greater scholarship opportunities in future years,” said Chapter President Tami Sherry. “Community members, including businesses, should contact us to discuss funding scholarships to recognize their business or interests. For more info about us, visit our Chapter’s website at southcoloniedollarsforscholars.org.”
South Colonie Dollars for Scholars’ corporate parent is Scholarship America. Of the 600 locally based volunteer-staffed Dollars for Scholars non-profits around the country, 64 chapters are found in New York state.
See the online version of this story at spotlightnews.com for a list of scholarsh