2015 Scholarship Winners!
Liz Andrus Avon
Woman of Courage Award
Lisa Noonan, Westchester Community College
Lisa Noonan is certain that as a survivor of domestic violence she can provide support and encouragement to those in similar situations. After custody struggles including child support and dealing with PTSD, depression and substance abuse, Lisa truly believes that every experience can be used as a learning tool and a teaching moment. She remains connected to Hope’s Door for support and at other times to volunteer or serve as a member of the Victim Impact Panel which raises awareness and advocates on behalf of survivors of domestic violence. Last year she enrolled as the first participant in Hope’s Door’s Next Step economic empowerment program. Building on the scholarship awarded last year, Lisa is set to continue her studies to earn a certificate in Paralegal Studies at WCC and wants to work at an agency that provides legal services to survivors in their time of need. As an Avon Woman of Courage, Lisa will continue to pursue her goals. Congratulations, Lisa!
The Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly OSU Scholarship Award
School of Nursing, CNR
Ariana Rita M.Silvestre, Saunders Trades and Technical High School
As a student in the Bio-Environmental Magnet program majoring in Biology-Chemistry, Ariana Silvestre’s major goal is to be on the Principal’s List. She is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, which are extremely challenging and eventually will allow her to pursue a career in nursing. By volunteering in St. Joseph’s Medical Geriatric Day Care and at Osborn Nursing Home, Ariana has come to realize what the impact of a simple smile can have on the sick and the elderly! It not only gives them the opportunity to feel more comfortable expressing themselves, but she found it to be the opening of a social door that leads to communication with all ages, whether they speak the same language, or not. Ariana is diligent and totally committed to serving those who are in need of assistance in the health field. She is a dedicated and resourceful young lady. She is currently the Treasurer of the Asian Club, accepted by the Pace University Summer Environmental Program and received her certificate, is a member of the Key Club, S.A.D.D. Club and participated in the walk for Autism. She volunteers in her library at school and has gleaned valuable information that helped her with her own research. She now tutors others to become familiar with the library Ariana has been selected to receive the College of New Rochelle School of Nursing Scholarship for 2015. Congratulations, Ariana!
The Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly OSU Scholarship Award
School Arts and Sciences, CNR
White Plains High School
“Academically sound,” “pride in her service,” “unwavering faith and intelligence coupled with creative artistry,” “compassionate and of modest character”...these are some of the glowing qualities that others see in Rachel Guglielmo! Rachel has earned a 4.023 GPA, attained outstanding grades and has taken numerous Advanced Placement courses. However, if one would have the opportunity to understand Rachel’s philosophy of life, one would find a goal-oriented young woman who is looking forward to becoming a teacher. Her realization that “other people’s lives matter more than my own” and serving others has become a distinct privilege to her, once she recognized she had to step out of her own comfort zone. Rachel has been a Sunday school teaching assistant since 2012 and traveling to the Ukraine on a mission trip with other church members, an active sport enthusiast in Volleyball on the JV and Varsity teams at White Plains High School, a member of Westchester Pride Volleyball Team, The National Honor Society and a member of The National Art Society Club. Her medium is in photography and she is most proud of a black and white photograph she captured that was submitted to The Connecticut Fine Arts Festival of 2014 and it placed 7th on the National level! Congratulations, Rachel!
Merrill Lynch Westchester Leadership Award
Ann McMahon, Ursuline School of New Rochelle
This courageous young woman, stricken with Cystic Fibrosis, is
a volunteer with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a fundraiser with her family. She is literally the poster child and they offer the “Take a Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis” each year in February at Breezy Point, New York. They have raised over one million dollars toward research for this chronic lung disease. In addition, on her high school level, she sponsors “The Polar Bear Plunge” in the Atlantic Ocean in February, also, and a spring walks at nearby Lyndhurst. Annie, as she is known, never allows Cystic Fibrosis to get in the way of her life...she fights it like a business! In the meantime, while looking forward to and participating in finding a cure, her teenage life takes on the same activities as all others her age - “hanging out” with her friends, shopping at the mall and enjoying days at the beach. Annie has a 3.00 GPA and is enrolled in Math and Science all four years and takes electives such as Design and Studio and Visual Art. She is currently taking Creative Writing in addition to her English Class. When offered trips to Amsterdam, France and Italy, Annie successfully managed the trip and handled her health issues. She always takes full responsibility for herself. She is looking forward to going to college and living on campus. She is on the Cheerleading Team and the only one who qualified for the All-American Award and eligible for a trip to England! Annie has taken her health issues in her stride, even when her life expectancy was 18, but now is projected to the mid 40s. Congratulations, good luck and God Bless your wonderful attitude, Annie! Merrill Lynch is so proud to present you with their “Person With Disabilities Scholarship” for 2015!
Stock Family Foundation STEM Award
Diana Barreto, Peekskill High School
The Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame is founded on recognition of “firsts”- women who excel and make a difference in our community. Diana Barreto embraces that philosophy with her goal to be first in her class, first to create new inroads in healthcare and cures for diseases as a medical scientist, pushes the envelope and breaks boundaries. Diana has overcome many personal and medical difficulties to achieve high academic goals and is scheduled to receive an Advanced Honors Regents diploma, the highest diploma that New York State offers. A student with immigrant parents, Diana has taken advantage of all that Peekskill High School offers. Her primary goal is to get into the college of her choice, maintain her high standards and grades, stay involved in school and community activities, become a role model in the Hispanic community, and run for President of the United States! With her determination and willingness, Diana Barreto may one day return to the Women’s Hall of Fame with the distinction of being another “first.”
Ashly Guzman, Peekskill High School
Ashly Guzman entered Peekskill High School as an “English Language Learner” (ELL) and by her sophomore year she was fluent enough to test out of the ELL program! She is very determined to succeed in her academic life. Evidence of that is her GPA of 90.45! Ashly eventually will become a dentist. Ashly realized that with a strong work ethic she is capable of accomplishing anything. In her sophomore year she was nominated to be on the Honor Roll in the third quarter. She approached the Youth Bureau of Peekskill and after two years of community service was president of the “Somos Latinos” program and tutored math to students who did not have a command of the English language. In her junior year, she ranked tenth in a class of 163 students. During that same year Ashly was inducted into the Mathematics Honor Society and the National Honor Society. Hard work, determination, perseverance and dedication, has been Ashly’s mantra along the difficult road she has traveled. In her words, “Who would’ve thought? Anything is possible!” It is with great pleasure that
we can present this scholarship award to Ashly!
After almost completing her first year at Binghamton University, Anveeta is successfully proceeding with her goal of entering the field of medicine. Last summer she volunteered as a Vistarah for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a not for profit cultural organization. There she worked with children, teaching them about their religious and cultural values. This experience carved out a new possibility for Anveeta and she is now determined to become a pediatrician. In addition to her academic goals, Anveeta is exploring the Performing Arts and has joined a dance team called Binghamton Bhangra. Bhangra is a traditional Indian folk dance that originated in Punjab, India. The Bhangra Team hosts its own competition for college teams across the country and invites them to perform. She is striving to become the President of the Binghamton Bhangra in the future. Some of Anveeta’s academic goals include engaging in research in the Biology Department and becoming a Teacher’s Assistant for Evolutionary Biology. She hopes to be able to shadow a physician and to become an active volunteer in The American Red Cross Club. Another important goal for her is to join the Harpur’s Ferry Volunteer Ambulance Service, on campus, which requires enormous devotion and time, but strengthens the feelings of community, aiding students with medical emergencies, performed by students. She also plans on training as an EMS. There is no doubt that Anveeta’s determination, perseverance and extreme work ethic, will ultimately allow her to attain all of her goals. It is with great pleasure we give this dynamic young woman a well deserved scholarship again for 2015!
Johanna Valente, Columbia University
Currently enrolled in Columbia University’s dual-degree Accelerated Nursing program, Johanna is studying to be a registered nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner. A 2005 graduate of Ardsley High,
she attended Oberlin College and after graduation joined “Teach for America” in Phoenix, Arizona where she taught second grade for two years. Emotionally, it was most difficult to sever those relationships at the termination of her assignment. A new level of success had been established for the students as a result of her efforts. Johanna moved on to Louisiana to work as a volunteer for Americorps in the St. Bernard Project helping to rebuild damaged homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy. A ten month commitment developed into a two year stay. Again, her original dream of nursing returned her to New York to continue to pursue her career. Johanna also volunteers at a clinic teaching workshops to high school students and performing STD tests at a youth homeless shelter. Volunteering has been so important that for the last three years she has continued in her local community, while still maintaining a 4.0 GPA and constantly keeping her goals in mind. Her very positive attitude and extremely diligent work ethic is always apparent. Johanna is well deserving of this Stock Family Scholarship.
Katie Vele, Peekskill High School
As a young child originally from Ecuador, Katie came to Peekskill, N.Y. when she was seven years of age, not knowing a word of English. Since her dad had been in the United States with some knowledge of English, Katie would have to stay awake until 11:00 p.m. when he arrived after working to help her with homework. She got very little sleep as a youngster and struggled constantly learning English. Katie recalls eating only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a child because that was the only kind she could pronounce! Katie’s goal is to become a nurse. She is very self-motivated and has been accepted into the very competitive career and tech programs at New Visions Health Career Academy. Each year Katie has earned a place on the High Honor Roll. With a GPA of 92.18, she has selected a curriculum including High Honors and Advanced Placement Courses in addition to her Regents level classes. She will be graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma in June. Katie has been very active in her community as a CCD Assistant, a Drum Hill Senior Citizen Community volunteer, a Reading Game volunteer at the Field Library and being a member of the Latino Club, National Honor Society, Math National Honor Society, Academic Competition Club and Skills USA. Katie lives by the words of Henry Ford: “When you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” Obviously she thinks she can!
Kelly Villagomez Pace University
There is no doubt in Kelly Villagomez’s mind that after attending Pace University for the past two years, she has made the right decision for her future! Her positive attitude and willingness to continually forge ahead, regardless of the obstacles, have made Kelly the strong, ambitious, compassionate human being she has become. Enrolled in six courses in a semester, Kelly takes on her most difficult ones, Chemistry II, Biology and Calculus as a challenge and sets continuous goals for herself in order to maintain a high GPA of 3.34, which she feels is her greatest accomplishment so far. Kelly uses many avenues as “opportunities” to assist her while going through the process she has set for herself. She seeks support from the Tutoring Center, study groups and is in constant communication with her professors. This contributes to improving her GPA as she continues her academic flight to meet her ultimate goal to attend NY Medical College, apply for the STAR program and eventually become a pediatrician. Regardless of her tremendously heavy schedule, Kelly volunteers at the Peekskill Health Center helping Spanish-speaking immigrants become well informed about health issues and answering their many questions. She also has volunteered in the Peekskill Animal Shelter working with felines in all aspects of care and health while they are awaiting adoption. It is with great pleasure that Kelly is once again a recipient of the Stock Family LLC Award.
Stop ‘n Shop
The Stop ‘n Shop Scholarship Award
Viviana DeCohen, Mercy College
Mother, Wife, Marine, Minister, Volunteer, Student, Motivator! After years of overcoming one hardship after another, United States Marine Vivian DeCohen is a senior at Mercy College! She majors in Behavioral Science with a concentration in Gerontology. She was prompted to the field by way of personal family experience. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee of River Spring Health Safe Center, Livable Communities and Department for Senior Programs and Services of Westchester County. Viviana has been a Volunteers Caregiver Coach for the county and delivered the keynote presentation, ‘Is it Dementia or Forgetfulness?’ at the Caregivers Conference. Her many and varied volunteer experiences give her a distinct advantage to share job hiring and veteran benefits information with her school’s military recruiter. Viviana’s drive, along with the support of her husband and children, will see her to her goal of earning a doctorate to strengthen her new business of bringing hope and support to caregivers and their families. Thank you for your service.
The Visiting Nurse Services of Westchester
Nurse of the Future Award
Whitney Stapleton, Cochran School of Nursing
Whitney is a senior at the Cochran School of Nursing, working toward an Associate Degree. Upon completion she will begin a bridge program to complete her Bachelor’s Degree. She expresses having developed an excitement for research as a result of a positive experience she had as an undergraduate at Winston-Salem University with a mentor. That love for research helped formulate a goal to accomplish a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) with the specific intent to become an operating room nurse, work with a traveling nurse agency and travel to St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Described as enthusiastic and self-directed, Whitney is open to learning and being prepared for all possibilities in nursing. She truly believes that nurses are the heart of a hospital - the vital organ that keeps things running efficiently. The Visiting Nurse Service scholarship will enable her to continue to achieve her goals.
Farah Zaheer, Westchester Community College
The Westchester County Women’s Hall of Fame welcomes Farah Zaheer back! Still striving to overcome many obstacles, Farah has been accepted to the WCC Nursing Program. A single mother with major health issues, facing cultural ostracism, she pushes forward as an immigrant in a new land, embracing the norms to make certain she and her daughter are safe. She has worked two jobs at a time to make ends meet and maintain her independence. She gets medical care for diagnosed epilepsy complicated by fatigue and sleep deprivation. Farah looks ahead to the day when she will become an experienced nurse and caregiver. Just as important to her is the dream of educating her country women in Pakistan to become more independent and change the way divorced women are viewed in that culture. Persistence and dedication to her goals will see her through.
Where There’s a Woman There is a Way
Alana Lyons, White Plains High School
Most graduating seniors do not have a ten year plan in their future. Alana Lyons is not like most seniors! She has carefully designed her life for the next decade! She will be attending SUNY Cortland for four years and then attend a local law school, possibly Fordham or Pace University. Her ultimate goal is to represent those who need an advocate. Being very goal-oriented, Alana will have her student loans and her academic expenses paid in full at the end of her ten year plan. When she becomes an attorney, she said she would “never, never turn down a client in dire need of help simply due to his or her financial circumstances!” Alana has a tremendous work ethic and she feels her perseverance and strength of character will support her in achieving these long term goals. Alana credits the clubs and organizations, such as the Midnight Run, Go Pink, (a cancer awareness club), and her French Club for having the enormous impact that helped to mould her into the caring individual she is, always looking forward to equality for all people. “The voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves.” That is who Alana professes to be in the future. Her biggest goal, however, is “to make certain my time on earth is meaningful and adds to the betterment of society.” This scholarship is proudly awarded to this outstanding young woman, Alana Lyons!
Women Helping Women Award
Lauren Coleman, Tuckahoe High School
Many life experiences have a strong influence upon the path one finally selects in the future. This is the case with Lauren Coleman. A summer job as a camp counselor for several years gave her the opportunity to uncover her passion...working with children. Lauren will move forward to becoming a teacher at the elementary level. She has maintained a 3.17 GPA and is a member of The National Honor Society and will be receiving an Advanced Regents Diploma in June. She is a diligent worker and is constantly pushing herself to earn her academic standing. With talent in the field of art and photography, Lauren volunteers as an assistant youth drama director. Her experience of working with children thoroughly excites her and propels her to attain her goal in the next four years. She also volunteers in the community by assisting in the Meals On Wheels Program, serving the elderly by providing nourishing meals. Lauren’s enthusiasm and positive attitude toward her future career is commendable and outstanding! It is our pleasure to present Lauren with this 2015 scholarship!