Stamford Dollars for Scholars Awards
30 Scholarships for 2017 Valued at $97,500

Stamford Dollars for Scholars® held its sixth annual scholarship awards ceremony at the University of Connecticut Stamford Campus. This year 29 local high school graduates received 30 scholarships - the most awarded in any year valued at $97,500.

The 2017 scholarship recipients include high school graduates from Stamford High, Trinity Catholic, Westhill, Academy of Information Technology & Engineering and Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, CT.

The following students (listed alphabetically) received scholarships:


Scholarship Awarded

Erica Abela

Stamford Federal Credit Union Scholarship

Daniel Altamura

Stamford Dollars for Scholars 4-Year Institution Scholarship

Nina Bellusci

Felix F. Callari Scholarship

Maura Byrne

Nancy J. Heron Memorial Scholarship

Alexander Chuckas

Omnicom Capital Inc Scholarship

Jennifer Collantes Milla

(2 scholarships awarded)

  1. Exchange Club of Stamford Scholarship
  2. Stamford Dollars for Scholars 2-Year College/Vocational Scholarship Funded by #CUsGIVEBACK

Cassidy Colosi

Nina Seward Memorial Scholarship for Science and Math

Juliana D'Elia

Connecticut Information Technology Institute Digital Marketing & Analytics Scholarship

Praneetha Desu

Global Organization for People of Indian Origin-CT Scholarship

Ayah Elmansy

Stamford Dollars for Scholars 4-Year Institution Scholarship

Liat Feller

Stamford Dollars for Scholars 4-Year Institution Scholarship

Frantz Gabriel

Tarzia Group Scholarship

Shannon Guerra

Stamford Dollars for Scholars Aspire Scholarship

Brandon Hoak

John & Betty Burkhardt Memorial Scholarship

Vivek James

Global Organization for People of Indian Origin-CT Scholarship

Yuika Kominami

Goldman Orthodontic Scholarship for Science

Emily Magyari

Cook Group Solutions Scholarship

Cynthia Maignan

Karina Tinajero Memorial Scholarship

Nicole Matura

Daniela Romano Scholarship

Francesca McDonald

Connecticut Business Systems Scholarship

Minasdine Rene

Nestle Waters North America STEM Scholarship

Emily  Romero

Stamford Dollars for Scholars Scholarship in honor of Judith Martin

Connor Scanlan

Mezzapelle & Associates Scholarship

Hayley Smith

Stamford Dollars for Scholars 4-Year Institution Scholarship

Erica Stietzel

UBS Volunteers STEM Scholarship

Ryan Sweeney

Stamford Business Network Scholarship

Breena Toussaint

D'Amelio Network Scholarship for Performing Arts

Winnie Wei

Remus M. Brice Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Zachary Welborn

Whittingham Family Award


Twenty-three of the scholarships, valued at $44,000 were sponsored by generous individuals and organizations in the community. Sponsors (listed alphabetically) included:

Connecticut Business Systems, Cook Group Solutions, D'Amelio Network,  Exchange Club of Stamford, Callari  Auto Group, Global Organization for People of Indian Origin, Dr. Robert Goldman, The John & Betty Burkhardt Memorial Fund, Eastern Land Management, The Karina Tinajero Memorial Fund,  MAS Construction, Mezzapelle & Associates, The Nancy J. Heron Memorial Fund, Nestle Waters North America, Joanne and Tony D'Amelio, Omnicom Capital Inc, The Remus M. Brice Jr. Memorial Fund,  Stamford Business Network, Stamford Federal Credit Union, Stamford Public Education Foundation, The Tarzia Group, UBS, UCONN Connecticut Information Technology Institute and The Whittingham Family Foundation.

Seven Stamford Dollars for Scholars scholarships, valued at $53,500 were awarded.  These are made possible by the many generous donations from those in the Stamford community, and the organization's fundraising activities throughout the year.  One of these scholarships, the Aspire Award, is co-sponsored by Scholarship America.  Another  award is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation's #CUSGIVEBACK social media fundraising campaign.

More than 180 family, friends and guests attended the ceremony, which featured the keynote address from Gary Freeman, president of Stamford Dollars for Scholars.  Mr. Freeman celebrated the progress Stamford Dollars for Scholars has made in the past year as it has increased donations from its activities resulting in the record number and value of its scholarships. In fact the value of our scholarships increased 20% from 2016.  Addressing the recipients and their families, Mr. Freeman said, "We do it because we believe that education is essential to a bright future.  Our role is to provide the opportunity for you, the student, to make your way by easing the financial burden that formal education carries today."

Mayor David Martin was in attendance and offered his congratulations to the students on their achievements and encouraged them to make a difference not only in their local community but also in the larger environment. Mayor Martin also thanked Stamford Dollars for Scholars for awarding a scholarship this year in the memory of his late wife, Judy Martin.


Earl Kim, Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools spoke of the importance of community support, represented by the efforts of Stamford Dollars for Scholars as it provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships. He specifically noted the Karina Tinajero Memorial Scholarship funded by friends and educators from Stamford High School, awarded to a Stamford High School student who has had to overcome personal challenges to achieve academic success.

Sagine Joassin, a recipient of a four year scholarship in 2013, addressed the recipients, fresh from completing her BS degree in Health Services and Sciences at Sacred Heart University. Ms. Joassin congratulated the 2017 class of scholarship recipients and implored them to enjoy every moment of their upcoming academic experience.  She also thanked Stamford Dollars for Scholars for the scholarship she received, reiterating how much it helped her and her family.

Stamford Dollars for Scholars is a local organization providing scholarships for students who reside or attend high school in Stamford. Since its inception, Stamford Dollars for Scholars has awarded scholarships to 136 local high school graduates with a total value of $451,500.