RC 10 ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

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It is the custom of RC 10 to acknowledge the winners of the annual scholarships we award at our June dinner meeting.  Unfortunately, for the last two years we have been unable to meet in person and therefore were not able to honor these recipients in the usual manner.  Please read below a short introduction to each of our winners from 2021 which would have been shared at the dinner.

The winner from Albany County this year is Julia Harvey.  She attends Bethlehem High School where she maintains a 97 GPA.  Julia participates in a variety of activities in school including Varsity Basketball, Varsity Field Hockey and Varsity Lacrosse. She is also a member of Key Club, Symphony Orchestra and is serving as a Student Council representative.

Julia wrote in one of her essays about a daily practice she and her family began called “Chicken Oriental”.  This came about after her brother shared the last “chicken oriental” frozen meal with her one night and she then reciprocated by giving him the last fried dumpling at another meal. After Julia and her brother explained what was going on, Julia’s family joined in and thus began “Chicken Oriental”.  The family used this model for reaching out to others by delivering meals during the pandemic, tutoring struggling students, visiting pediatric inpatients at Albany Medical Cancer Center, or mowing a neighbor’s lawn. Julia believes that the “act of picking someone up when they are down” is an important part of her life.  She credits her math teacher/basketball coach with being that person for her.  Julia wants to be that person for others by becoming a teacher and basketball coach.  Julia will be attending Vassar College in the fall where she will also play basketball.

This year’s Scholarship winner from Rensselaer County is Katharine Asenbauer from Columbia High School. Katie maintains a weighted GPA of 99.8 and ranks 13th in her graduating class. In school she is involved in a variety of activities including Executive President of the Student Body, editor and staff writer of the school newspaper, and a member of the National Honor Society while also playing on the varsity Field Hockey team.  She has won numerous awards, among them The Frederick Douglass/Susan B. Anthony Award from the University of Rochester in 2020.

Art is an integral part of Katie’s life.  She wrote that to her art is an escape from the “non-stop activity” that being a teenager is in today’s world.  She uses Art, in many different formats, to capture everyday moments that she thinks are often overlooked.  For Katie, school art rooms have always been a safe place where she felt comfortable to explore her creativity.  She hopes to be able to extend that safe place feeling to her future students by becoming an art teacher.  Katie will be attending SUNY New Paltz in the fall.

Mackenzie Fletcher is this year’s winner from Saratoga County.  She attends Waterford/Halfmoon High School where she maintains a 99 GPA and is ranked first in her graduating class.  Mackenzie has been involved in a variety of clubs and activities in high school including National Honor Society, Band, Chorus, Outdoor Adventure Club, and Student Government, while also serving as Class President.

During the summer of 2015, Mackenzie decided to volunteer in her district.  The very first day of summer school she made a connection with a young boy who was having a difficult day. He had threatened to throw a desk at the teacher because he didn’t want to do his math work.  Mackenzie sat down, talked with him and eased the tension of the situation.  From that day forward, this boy would only do his math if, as he said, “she” could help him.  This experience, along with the help and guidance of her teacher and mentor Julie Jorgensen, led Mackenzie to her decision to become a teacher.  Ms. Jorgensen made Mackenzie see that she was capable of accomplishing anything as long as she put her mind to it. Mackenzie plans on earning a degree in Childhood and Special Education at SUNY Plattsburgh.

This year’s winner from Washington County is Dillon Niles.  Dillion attends Greenwich High School where he maintains a 93 average and is ranked 13th in his class.  During High School, Dillon has been active in a variety of music centered activities such as Concert Band, Jazz Band, Pit Orchestra, All County Band, All County Jazz Band and Varsity Choir.  He has also participated in sports and Future Farmers of America (FFA) throughout high school.  He is currently Vice President of both FFA and the National Honor Society.

Dillon sees all his teachers as role models but highlights in particular Will from Bristol Hills Music Camp.  Will has been a positive influence in Dillon’s life and has taught him to never take anything for granted and to always be grateful for what he has. Dillon credits Will with teaching him that even small acts can bring comfort to those who need it and that thanking people before it is too late to do so can make a difference.  It is from the influence of Will and all his other teachers that Dillion is inspired to become a music teacher.  He plans on attending the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in the fall.           

Once again, we congratulate these winners and wish them the best of luck as they continue their education.  Based on their excellent transcripts and well written essays we have confidence in their success.