Brett Saltzman brought an awful lot of joy into the lives of many, helping them to laugh and see the bright side of any situation. His untimely passing struck a painful blow to his friends and family.
Mr. Saltzman’s loved ones decided to create a scholarship to perpetuate his memory. The initial awards were presented to three members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2017.
Ingrid Oliva captured a $1,000 prize with $500 awards being presented to both Hannah Baptiste and Camryn Libes. The scholarships were announced at Huntington’s senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium.
Ms. Oliva is headed to City University of New York – Brooklyn College to study either communications or political science. Being motivated has been the key to the teenager’s success.
Named a Distinguished Senior last spring after compiling at least a 90 academic grade average during every semester of high school, Ms. Oliva won an award in the town’s Poetry for HART contest, volunteered at the Hilaire rehab and nursing facility and was a homework helper at the Huntington Public Library.
Respected by Huntington’s faculty and her classmates, Ms. Oliva was known to pursue her goals with integrity, ambition and independence. Her mastery of organizational skills along with her determination, consistency and a knack for keeping her priorities in order has served the teenager well through the years.
Ms. Baptise is considering studying either biology or history at SUNY Geneseo. She’s volunteered as a homework helper at Tri-CYA, worked during the summer at the YMCA camp and held down several part-time jobs in the community.
A member of the high school’s vaunted mock trial team, Ms. Baptiste served as the yearbook’s copy editor, wrote for The Dispatch student newspaper, won varsity letters with the cross country, winter and spring track and field teams and participated in the Grandfriends club and with the debate team
Ms. Baptiste also spent time volunteering at Southside Hospital, participated in Huntington’s String Fiesta and Relay For Life and captured five Pride Award for her outstanding classroom performance.
Ms. Libes plans to study psychology at American University. Her strong work ethic and steely determination helped propel her to a successful academic and co-curricular high school experience.
A four year musician with Huntington’s pit orchestra, Ms. Libes was a “planner” with social studies teacher Jason Gould. Recognized as Planner and Student of the Year in Global Vision, she was also named Student of the Semester in African American Politics and she won five Pride Awards.
Participating in the World Court Games and the Civil War Games were both memorable experiences for the teenager. Named a Distinguished Senior, Ms. Libes evolved into a superb role model for students of all ages.
The three teenagers are among Huntington’s best and now they’ve been written into the history books as the first three recipients of the Brett Saltzman Memorial Scholarship.