SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Chaumont Post 243 Commander Joe Penyak has announced that 10 high school seniors, eight from South Plainfield High School, have been given scholarships to continue their education.
Winners of a $1,500 scholarship are: Brian Csobor, Katherine Dolinski, Max Rohrer and Joshua Stasenko.
Brian Csobor was a student leader in the brass section of the marching band at SPHS. Csobor volunteered with the South Plainfield Elks to deliver food to less fortunate during the holidays. He will pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Katherine Dolinski, one of the 2015 delegates to the American legion Auxiliary Jersey Girls State, also attended the Elks Leadership Conference. Dolinski has organized two blood drives and an honor roll picnic. She wants to earn a degree in Criminal Justice.
Max Rohrer is an Eagle Scout. Rohrer was the president of the journalism club at SPHS. He was active in Teen PEP and the Heroes and Cool Kids programs too. He wants to major in Broadcast Journalism.
Joshua Stasenko will pursue a degree in Occupational Therapy. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Joshua wrote, “Sadly, this birth defect has no cure; the only treatment is extensive therapy sessions. I have gone through long therapy sessions with many therapists and none of them could relate to me and how I was feeling because their bodies were perfect. After feeling this way for so many years, I decided that I would like to help children with Cerebral Palsy and help them learn to grow as a person, as well as being able to relate to their struggles and feelings.”
Winners of $2,000 scholarships were: Brian Cullen, Gina Cummings, Kyle Del Paoli and Alyssa Rapatski.
Brian Cullen wants to become a math teacher. Summer employment at Middlesex Management enabled him to design a spreadsheet for supervisors that would provide valuable tenant information and save time for supervisors. He was a member of both the football and baseball teams at SPHS.
Gina Cummings will attend the University of Alabama, majoring in Political Science. Her goal is to become successful in law and politics. Her passion for dancing began at age three. She said, “I have taken away so many lessons on hard work and endurance through dancing. One of the most important things I’ve realized is that I am a perfectionist. This trait can be restricting, but I’ve taken away the self-confidence to tackle my fears.”
Kyle Del Paoli will major in Accounting in college. Del Paoli has attended two Quantum Leadership Supercamps gaining skills in leadership and peer mentoring. He has an American Red Cross certificate for Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED First Aid.
Alyssa Rapatski is seeking a degree in the medical field. Her English teacher, Eman Hassan wrote, “I have always come to define a college student as intelligent, cerebral, imaginative, diligent and selfless. The ideal college student knows the going will get tough, but keeps moving forward. The ideal college student thinks with a creative mind and gets the job done well. Alyssa exemplifies the true paragon of a successful college student and leader.”
In addition, two students with ties to Post 243 were awarded $2,000 scholarships. Cornelius Kilgarriff, grandson of past Post 243 Commander Renato Biribin, will use his scholarship at Philadelphia University. A standout baseball player, Kilgarriff will major in business and possibly pursue a career in accounting.
Michael Viafora, grandson of Executive Board Chair Douglas Viafora, will continue his education at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. His goal is to become a physical therapist.