Service and scholarship. Those were the themes of the day on Thursday (Oct. 7) as the Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport and Vaughn College celebrated three students with a rich combination of academic achievement and community involvement.
Students Marco Camargo, Estefania Collazos and Gwenfil Gudge each were awarded four-year, partial-tuition scholarships, two years each from Kiwanis and the College, at the service organization's annual scholarship luncheon at Vaughn. The three bring to 15 the number of Vaughn students currently attending on such scholarships.
Kiwanis and Vaughn have combined to award 60 scholarships worth more than $250,000 since the program was established in 1990.
"There are people who I hardly know who are willing to help me out, and I have to really thank them for that," Gudge, an aviation maintenance student, said.
"This is a great opportunity for me and my family to go to college and not have to take on a student loan," Collazos, an electronic engineering technology student, added. "That's one of the best things that can happen in this economy."
Potential scholarship winners were evaluated based on academic need, citizenship and financial need. Candidates were required to submit an essay and sit for interviews with a five-person scholarship committee. All three are or soon will be members of Circle K, the College's chapter of Kiwanis International.
"This is one of the best days at Vaughn College every year," Senior Vice President Dr. Sharon DeVivo said. "These students are examples of some of the good things that are happening at Vaughn."
Vaughn College and Kiwanis Club scholarship winners Gwenfil Gudge and Estefania Collazo flank scholarship committee member Kalli Koutsoutis. Kiwanis Club president Verdia Noel is at right.