The Huntington Rotary Club has presented $16,000 worth of scholarships to five sensational members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2021.
Rotary Club Scholarship Winners
This year’s scholarship recipients include Niurca Chabla-Leon (Adelphi University), Julie Rogel (University of Scranton), Valerie Rogel (Columbia University), Richard Rongo (University of Scranton) and Andrew Spina II (SUNY College at Potsdam).
Rotary Club officials Ford Spilsbury and Jamie Wylie announced the awards and spoke about each of the honorees during this year’s senior scholarship night ceremony in the high school auditorium.
The Huntington Rotary Club was founded in 1925. It is a chapter of Rotary International, a 1.2 million member worldwide service organization.
The Huntington Rotary Club has awarded scholarships to spectacular Huntington High School seniors since the 1930s. This year’s recipients are held in the highest possible regard by the members of the school’s administration and faculty as well as by their classmates.
The five Rotary Club scholarship recipients have each devoted an impressive number of hours to performing community service and they have all taken leadership positions in various student organizations.
Ms. Chabla-Leon garnered a $5,000 Rotary Service Above Self scholarship award. A volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, she said her success is attributable to the support of her family and teachers. Focusing on her education and having believing that she can accomplish anything has helped her compile a list of many impressive achievements. She is completely bilingual and served as president of the high school’s Art Honor Society chapter. Her drawings enhanced this year’s Huntington yearbook. She plans to study at Adelphi for a career as an art teacher.
Julie Rogel captured a $3,000 Rotary award. She said that participating in activities that she “truly enjoys and is passionate about” has played an integral role in her success. The Blue Devil varsity field hockey team’s goalie, she volunteered throughout the community with the Key Club, performed with the chamber orchestra, co-chaired the Science Honor Society’s educational initiatives and still had time to shadowed physical therapists at two local practices. She plans to study kinesiology and physical therapy at Scranton, where she has been recruited to play on the college’s NCAA Division I field hockey team.
Valerie Rogel was presented with a $3,000 scholarship. She has been a runner on the cross country, winter and spring track teams. She has won numerous academic awards, completed science research internships at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. She plans to study statistics and public health at Columbia.
The Rotary awarded Mr. Rongo a $3,000 scholarship. She has volunteered with the Halesite Fire Department throughout high school, played on the Blue Devil varsity tennis team, been recognized by Suffolk County with its Distinguished Youth Award and participated in the Lead by Example summer internship program. The teenager said his success starts with his ability and willingness to work independently. He credits the continued assistance and support of his family for helping him achieve his goals.
Mr. Spina won a $2,000 award. He said his success is due to his motivation and independence. The teenager has enjoyed participating in the high school’s club program and “will never forget” the relationships he has developed with his teachers and classmates. One of the leaders of the Huntington Blue Devil marching band, he was a member of the stage crew, served in the student government and performed with the jazz ensemble. He plans to study at SUNY Potsdam for a career as a music teacher.