Huntington High School Class of 2020 member Mia D’Alessandro has garnered this year’s Joseph Toles Foundation scholarship in recognition of her outstanding all-around performance and potential for future success.
The $500 scholarship award was announced during Huntington’s senior academic awards ceremony, which was held in a virtual format due to the COVID1-9 pandemic.
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.
In announcing this year’s award recipient, Mr. Toles said that Ms. D’Alessandro “has been able to soar in the face of adversity.” The teenager has been an exceptional student and one of the most creative members of the Class of 2020.
Named a Distinguished Senior in recognition of her fine academic performance throughout high school, Ms. D’Alessandro was inducted in Huntington High School’s National Honor Society and Art Honor Society chapters.
Ms. D’Alessandro plans to study graphic design at Syracuse University. She said that while setting academic goals is important, she finds it most beneficial to spend her free time “doing creative things.” It allows her to clear her mind and find meaning in life and is ultimately what keeps her “refreshed and focused on the next step to academic success.”
The teenager said the best thing about high school was her personal growth and the “greatest” thing was her loyal friends. President and editor of the high school’s Et Cetera literary magazine, Ms. D’Alessandro has won numerous art awards.
“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.”