Huntington High School Class of 2019 member Oscar Bonilla captured the 2019 Joseph Toles Foundation scholarship in recognition of his outstanding all-around performance and potential for future success.
The teenager was presented with a $250 award during Huntington’s senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium last month. School counselor Steven Pereira spoke about Mr. Bonilla, his achievements and what makes him so special.
Oscar Bonilla is this year's recipient of the Joseph Toles Scholarship.
Founded in June 2005 by Joseph Toles, the foundation’s mission “is to provide, locate, refer and subsidize social skills development seminars, workshops, retreats and camping experiences to children, parents, guardians and professionals who work towards the development of individuals and families,” according to its website. The organization’s focus is on community service, leadership and organizational excellence.
A member of Huntington High School’s Spanish Honor Society chapter, Mr. Bonilla posed with Mr. Pereira for a commemorative photo following the award presentation on the auditorium stage. The Farmingdale State College bound teenager received a well-deserved round of applause from a crowd of about 325 at the ceremony. He plans to study electrical/industrial engineering in college.
“The Joseph Toles Foundation envisions a day when children from all walks of life, all creeds and colors and all economic backgrounds are encouraged and nurtured to discover their own potential and individuality,” states the organization’s website. “The foundation sees children, parents, guardians and professionals working collaboratively toward family and personal growth that fosters cooperation, understanding, respect and trust in one another.”
Mr. Bonilla attended kindergarten at Jefferson Primary School. He was always a standout while trekking through Huntington UFSD.
A personable teenager, Mr. Bonilla was popular with his classmates and for good reason; his good natured personality and sunny disposition is magnetic. He was on the Blue Devil football team and volunteered with the Key Club and with Habitat for Humanity. He’s worked at the Huntington Public Library and has been active in programs at St. Hugh of Lincoln Church in Huntington Station.
Mr. Bonilla counts Jason Chapas, Ian Ardell, Jack Fuerst and Cándido Martinez as among his closest friends and said Michael Schwendemann, Edward Florea, Kenneth Donovan and David Moriarty were his favorite teachers.
The teenager said he had a “phenomenal” experience in Huntington.