This year, Dollars for Scholars crossed the half million dollar mark.
Since its inception in 2003, when $3,500 was awarded to Colonie High seniors, the program has steadily grown, awarding $37,658 in 2021 and 38,608 a year prior.
It is a 100 percent volunteer non-profit organization with funding provided by grassroots efforts as well as local, state and national partnerships.
Each year donations fund a range of scholarships, awarding students heading off to college with a financial grant for their dedication and hard work.
“With the high cost of post-secondary education and increasing reliance on loans, local scholarship programs play a critical role in assuring that deserving individuals will have access to programs and choices that best meet their needs,” according to its mission statement. “Dollars for Scholars volunteers believe that higher education is our best investment and want to assist motivated and deserving individuals achieve their goals.
This year’s award recipients are:
Above the Rim Scholarship
Seth Green, $500: Awarded to a senior who played varsity boys basketball and had an average of 85 or above. Applicant wrote an essay describing how basketball helped to shape them as an individual.
The Sheila Allen Memorial Fund Scholarship
Jenna Noguera, $3,000: Sheila Allen was a South Colonie High School student whose life was cut short and her dreams unfulfilled. This scholarship is awarded to a female student who had an average of 2.8 or higher, demonstrated community involvement, financial need, and demographic or social need.
Lawrence A. Bach Memorial Scholarship
Megan Weiler, $500: Awarded to a senior who is currently enrolled in music and has participated in a CCHS performing group all four years.
Backyard Fence Acts of Kindness Scholarship
Macie Trimarchi, $500: awarded to a senior known for acts of kindness and who is a selfless advocate for others. Student will attend either a two or four year college.
Best Buddies Scholarship
Madeline Norton and Grace Reilly, $250 each: Awarded to two seniors who have been an active member of Colonie’s Best Buddies program and plans to pursue a degree in education.
Dr. Thomas A Brown / Cecile B. David Scholarships
Isabelle Lewis, Eric Morales and William Petramale, $500 each: Awarded to three seniors who will be attending a community college or pursuing a degree in social work. Dr. Thomas A Brown was superintendent of schools in South Colonie from 1989 to 2005. Cecile B. David was a long time South Colonie resident and associate dean of the School of Social Work at SUNY Albany
Bonnie Bucci Memorial Scholarship
Madeline Ieraci, $500: Awarded to a senior who will major in education, pharmacy or nursing. Extracurricular activities might include varsity golf, or music.
Ross Buddenhagen Memorial Scholarship
Molly Lamendola, $500: Awarded to a senior who attended Lisha Kill Middle School, shows excellent community involvement, and plans to attend a two or four year university.
Anne Bernice Bytner Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Sophia Paro, $500: Awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in nursing, has volunteer experience in a hospital or nursing home and wrote an essay describing what it personally meant to them to be able to care for the sick.
J. Dennis Cafaro Memorial Scholarship
Morgan Dence, $1,000: Awarded to a senior who will be pursuing a degree in business, finance, accounting or economics and has demonstrated community service and leadership.
Cannon Funeral Home Caregiver Scholarship
Treva Warzocha, $500: Awarded to a senior who will be entering a curriculum that is considered to be a caregiver role, such as nursing, physical therapy, medical professional or pharmacist or may be a student who has demonstrated caregiving as a volunteer in a community-based organization.
The Michael & Patricia Carey Appreciation Scholarship
Kaley Jeudy, $1,000: Awarded to a senior who has experienced severe medical hardship or had a family member who experienced a medical hardship, making it hard for the family to pay college costs.
Dolores Carona Memorial Scholarship
Grace Weidman, $600: Awarded to a senior who will be pursuing a degree in education and is in memory of Dee Carona, a South Colonie teacher.
John F. Cavotta Technology Award
Jeffrey Washburn, $250: Awarded to a senior who has expressed an interest in and taken classes in technology and will be attending college. This Scholarship is in memory of John F. Cavotta, a former South Colonie teacher.
Colonie Pride Scholarship
Tyler Vazquez, $350: Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated a passion for community service. This student has made a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community or identifies as LGBTQ+.
Colonie Youth Court Scholarship
Mallory Pinkans, $250: Awarded to a senior who participated in Colonie Youth Court for two years, including senior year. The student has a GPA of 80 or above, and answered an essay on the importance of the Youth Court in the community, or provided a 15 second public service announcement promoting the Youth Court program.
The Niko DiNovo Scholarship
Kristine Kim, $508: Awarded to a senior that was challenged personally, academically, or socially in the beginning stages of high school and was able to turn it around and persevered, setting his or herself up for future success.
French and Spanish Language Award
John Connolly, $250: Awarded to a senior who intends to study foreign language in college and has a GPA above 90 percent in foreign language coursework over three years and has been active in the CCHS community.
Patricia H. Gordon Memorial Scholarship
Isabella Nicotina, $500: Awarded to a senior pursuing higher education in the field of special education or elementary education and has pursued their love of music as a member of a school-related music group.
Michael & Karen Grignon Service to Humanity Scholarship
Madelyn Terry, $250: Awarded to a senior who plans to pursue social work, psychology, or counseling.
Guy Hagen Scholarship
Samuel Holmes, $500: Awarded to a senior who has obtained the rank of Eagle Scout and plans to attend college in the fall.
Robert & Patricia Hagen Scholarship
Grace Weidman, $500: Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated academic achievement while overcoming learning obstacles.
Hsia Zappi Mental Wellbeing Scholarship
Emma York, $500: Awarded to a senior who has struggled with or has overcome a mental illness. This scholarship may also be awarded to a student who hopes to pursue social work and mental health services. The student has written essays on mental health and how it has impacted their life.
Key Club “Yours In Service” Scholarship
Kristine Kim and Megan Weiler, $250 each: Awarded to two seniors who are members in good standing and have shown exemplary service in leadership and volunteerism to school and community. It is also based on an essay of 200-250 words, “How has Key Club affected you?”
Jonathan D. Kirk Memorial Scholarship
Nina Tamaroff, $500: Awarded to a senior who will pursue a two or four year degree in accounting, finance, or a health-related field. The student has experienced health or medical challenges personally, or within their family and who has a proven record of volunteer work.
MacKenzie Kate Malone Memorial Scholarship
Sofia Oliveras, $3,000: Awarded to a female senior who has a true passion for helping the less fortunate through volunteer work, who has a love for traveling, and was an athlete who ran cross country, track, or played lacrosse.
Mr. & Mrs. Louis J. Marcelle Memorial Scholarship
Jeffrey Washburn, $500: Awarded to a senior who displays outstanding effort in social studies and who is continuing his or her education at a college or a university.
Metro Ford Scholarship
Stephen Tenney, $500: Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated academic achievement and is enrolling in college to study business or automotive technology.
Justin Mirabile Memorial Scholarship
Timothy Knowles, $1,000 Awarded to a senior continuing his education in the technology industry and based on an essay, academic achievement, and community involvement.
Nelson Family “Brass Ring” Scholarship
Joseph Baranowski, $300: Awarded to a senior who will pursue a degree in business, finance, or economics and who will be attending at two or four year college and had an average above 75. This scholarship is also based on an essay, “Discuss the role of private companies in the fight against Covid-19 – cite at least two and their impact.”
Kathie Kirk Patrizio Memorial Scholarship
Isabella Boardman, $500: Awarded to a senior who will pursue a career in health care or medical research. Student has an average over 80 and has shown community involvement. Student has answered an essay explaining who or what influenced them to become part of the health care field.
Pure Adapt Web Technologies Scholarships
Catherine Tran and Jahan Uddin, $500 each: Pure Adapt, Inc. is locally owned and operated by four Colonie High School graduates. This Pure Adapt Web Technologies Scholarship is awarded to two seniors who have an active interest in any area of web technologies and will attend college in the Capital Region.
Raider Memorial Scholarship
Molly Lamendola, $500: Awarded to a graduating senior pursuing a two or four-year degree and has given back to the community with a good heart. This award was created from money raised to create a memorial garden for Corey Womack and Justin Mirable who both died during their Senior years at CCHS.
The Vito Ramundo Scholarship
Batul Alshabout and Joseph Baranowski, $500 each: Awarded to two seniors who plan to attend Siena College. These scholarships are based on community involvement or students who participated in a team sport. The students maintained an average of 90 or better.
Kyle Ruth Baseball Scholarship
Joshua Slater, $500: Awarded to a senior on the school baseball team with an average over 85. Student answered an essay describing the role baseball has played in their life and how the experience will positively influence their future.
Shana Salecker Marra Memorial Scholarship
Madeline Norton, $500: Awarded to a senior who will be pursuing a degree in special education and is in memory of Shanna Salecker Marra, a South Colonie reacher.
David Scaringe Memorial Scholarship I
Christopher Kurbiel, $1,000: Awarded to a senior pursuing a career in engineering with a secondary interest in music. This scholarship is also based on an essay, “Why do you feel you are deserving of this scholarship?”
David Scaringe Memorial Scholarship II
Stilian Mile, $1,000: Awarded to a senior pursuing a career in engineering.
Sherry Family Scholarship
Emma Gepfert, $400: Awarded to a senior who ran cross country or track and who plans to study either science or business in college. Student wrote an essay, “How has running impacted your life?”
South Colonie Friends of Theatre Arts — Theatre Scholarship
$300 Madelyn Terry, $300: This scholarship is sponsored by South Colonie Friends of Theatre Arts and is awarded to a senior who is a member of South Colonie Friends of Theatre Arts, has worked with the middle school or high school theatre program, and plans to pursue theatre work at college.
South Colonie Girls Softball Scholarship
Molly Ryan, $600: Awarded to a senior who played South Colonie Girls Softball as a youth. This scholarship is also based on an essay, “Please describe what playing softball has taught you.”
South Colonie Alumni Scholarship
Jordene Wynter, $500: Awarded to a senior for exceptional time and effort devoted to community service. This scholarship was established in 1998 through a grass-roots effort of individual alumni.
South Colonie Dollars for Scholars Chapter Scholarships
Liam Keane, Alexia O’Keefe, Mallory Pinkans and Clarissa Rowan, $500 each: Awarded to four seniors who have devoted exceptional time and effort to community involvement and volunteerism. Funding for these scholarships comes from individual South Colonie Dollars for Scholars officers and directors.
Albany County Legislature Grant Scholarship
Treva Warzocha, $500: Awarded to a senior who has devoted exceptional time and effort to community involvement and volunteerism. Thank you to the Albany County Legislature for the funding.
South Colonie Dollars for Scholars Directors Scholarships
Selma Osei, Macie, Trimarchi and Tyler Vazquez, $350 each: Awarded to three seniors who have devoted exceptional time and effort to South Colonie Dollars for Scholars officers and directors.
Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match Scholarship
Grace Reilly, $500: Awarded to a senior who has made a difference in their community.
Edward J. Szesnat III Memorial Scholarship
Zachary Fruiterman, $500 per year for four years: Awarded to a senior who is a student athlete or cheerleader and is based on an essay describing a lesson the student learned by playing sports.
Tabner, Ryan & Keniry LLP Scholarship
John Connolly, $500: Awarded to a student athlete with an average of 85 or greater who obtained a varsity letter during senior year and will attend a four year college.
Greg Aidala Presents: “The Knock-Knock Who’s There?” Scholarship
Tyler Vazquez, $250: Awarded to a senior planning on attending college for a degree in the arts.
The Lauren Tanski Literature and Arts Scholarship
Sage Mahar-Rysedorph, $500: Awarded to a senior going to college to study literature, photography, journalism, or other forms of art.
Adriana Truesell Memorial Scholarship
Selma Osei, $500: Awarded to a senior who plans to pursue a degree in nursing or medicine. Student prepared an essay describing what field most intrigues them in the study of nursing or medicine. This award is in memory of Adrianna Truesell, a Colonie Central High School student who left us too soon.
West Albany Italian Benevolent Society & Women’s Auxiliary Italian Scholarship
Amelia Douglas, $500: Awarded to a senior who has excelled in Italian I and Italian II with an average of 92 or higher, demonstrates enthusiasm for the Italian language and culture, speaks the Italian language both inside and outside of class, demonstrates community involvement and will attend a two- or four-year college or university. It is also based on an essay describing how the Italian language has made a difference in life.
Eleanor B. Grounds Winne Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Cahill, $250: Eleanor was a graduate of Roessleville Elementary School and taught for more than 20 years. This scholarship is awarded to a student who attended Roessleville Elementary School, had good attendance in high school, and is going into the field