On Wednesday morning, July 11, two of Londonderry High School’s recent graduates were awarded over $15,000 in scholarships by the Londonderry Rotary Club during their meeting at the Coach Stop Restaurant.
Sara Vilela and Kiara Breault were this year’s recipients of the two scholarships given out annually by the Rotary Club: the Owen Walton Community Service Scholarship and the Fred Ball Memorial Scholarship respectively.
The Owen Walton Community Service Scholarship was named after the club’s honorary member, Owen Walton, who was a member of the club for over 30 years, because a major part of what he did for the organization was community service.
“Community service was his thing,” explained Rotary Club President Terry McCormick. “So, when he retired, we created the scholarship in honor of him. Even though he’s retired from the club now, he still does more community service than any person I’ve known.”
Vilela was then welcomed to the podium to accept her scholarship.
McCormick explained that there were over 60 applicants for this award, which is granted to a student each year based on his or her involvement in community service.
As president of Londonderry High School’s National Honor Society, Vilela explained that she “was able to lead an extraordinary group of individuals in community service.”
“That really taught me how to be a leader and how to continue on,” she said, “so I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to come back and be a member of the Rotary Club in order to continue all of the great work that [the organization] does.”
Vilela will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall as a nursing student, which she explained will be the perfect career for her
The Fred Ball Memorial Scholarship, which is the larger of the two, is paid out over the eight semesters that the recipient attends college.
Fred Ball was the Chief of Police in Londonderry as well as a member of the Rotary Club until his death, so the club felt that it was only right that the award was named after him. Owen Walton was critical in creating this scholarship as well.
“As far as I know,” McCormick said, “it’s the largest scholarship that is awarded at Londonderry High School each year.” This year, there were close to 80 applicants for this award.
Breault was extremely thankful upon accepting the scholarship, saying, “This will help me get rid of a lot of my loans, and I really appreciate that.”
She will be heading to George Washington University in the fall to study Political Science and hopes to take up a minor in international affairs.
Both Vilela and Breault were joined by their parents as breakfast was served at the meeting, and each was met with a round of applause and congratulations from members of the Rotary Club.
Outside of the scholarship fund, the Rotary Club has recently been working on community service projects surrounding hunger and homelessness. Members work closely with local food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters, while also organizing various fundraisers for the cause.
To learn more about the Rotary club, visit portal.clubrunner.ca/2938