New City Rotary Awards 2012 Vocational Scholarships

Clarkstown North seniors receive $1,000 each


The New City Rotary Club presented its 2012 Vocational Scholarships to Clarkstown North High School students who attended Rockland BOCES. Seniors Alberta Kukaj of Congers and Shannon Reilly of New City both plan to study nursing in college and expressed appreciation for the $1,000 scholarships. Reilly attended BOCES’ Medical Assistant Program and Kukaj enrolled in the Cosmetology Program.

Reilly, 17 years old, will attend the College at Mount Saint Vincent and Kukaj, 18 years old, is enrolled at Dominican College.  Dr. Lisa Lieberman, who chaired the New City Rotary 2012 Vocational Scholarship Committee, read parts of letters of recommendation about the two recipients during Monday’s presentation. Kukaj was described as mature, responsible, determined and hardworking. Reilly was characterized as supportive, hardworking, passionate and upbeat.

“We look for students who have not necessarily had the same kinds of opportunities in their regular schools but who have then attended BOCES and have achieved great success at BOCES,” explained Lieberman.

Lieberman also shared some of the student’s extra curricular activities.  Reilly was a member of the school’s track team, cheerleading squad, Varsity Students Against Substance Abuse, Peer Tutoring and Youth for Hospice. Kukaj is an artist who makes beaded artwork.

She spoke about volunteering as part of the Cosmetology Program and getting involved in community projects doing hair and makeup for students going to the prom at the Jesse Kaplan School and with Girl Scout troops. Kukaj said she was glad she pushed to enroll at BOCES for her senior year. She said with her training she will be able to work to earn money to pay for her college courses. 

Lieberman described the students as “wonderfully deserving scholarship winners. 

Both winners spoke about the same plan for the scholarship money.

“I’m very thankful for it,” said Reilly. “I’ll use it for books.”

“I am so appreciative for this award because it has given me the opportunity to help me pay for school next year so I won’t have to stress out over how I’m going to be able to pay for textbooks,” said Kukaj.

The Rotary’s Scholarship Committee included Greg Sousa, Susan Kopec, Tammy Schwartz, Susan Trugman, Sheryl Santi-Luks and Marcia Waitzman.

Next week the Rotary will announce its Academic and Harris Berger Scholarship winners. The Harris Berger Scholarship is presented in memory of Dr. Harris Berger. Rotary President Steve Botto said he thought these two weeks were the best of the year because of the group’s ability to assist students financially.

Mike Hirsch June 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I am very happy to see some of our young people come out of high school focused on vocational opportunities rather than simply going to a liberal arts college because they don't know what else to do.
Rick June 12, 2012 at 09:20 PM
More and more students graduate with useless degrees. Then they are shocked when they can not find a job in the field they wanted.


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