The Huntington Rotary Club presented $16,000 worth of scholarships to five exceptional members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2022.
This year’s scholarship recipients include Emily Plachta (Case Western Reserve University), Robert Smith (Stony Brook University), Tallulah Pitti (University of Virginia), Cristian Avelar-Romero (Cornell University) and Charlotte Cheshire (University of Michigan).
Rotary Club officials Ford Spilsbury, Robert Bishop 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 remarkable Huntington High School seniors since the 1930s. This year’s recipients are held in high regard by the members of the school’s administration and faculty as well as by their classmates.
The Huntington Rotary Club has awarded Huntington High School seniors with $148,000 in scholarships over the past decade. This year’s 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. Plachta garnered a $5,000 Rotary Service Above Self scholarship award. She plans to study engineering at Case Western and play on the university’s women’s basketball team. The teenager credits her success to “quite a few things,” she said, including “going the extra mile, character, late nights, amazing friends and wonderful family.” She owns a long list of academic achievements and was a star on three Blue Devil varsity athletic teams.
The Rotary presented Mr. Smith with a $3,000 scholarship. He plans to study finance at Stony Brook University where he has been recruited to play on the NCAA Division I lacrosse team. “Finding a balance between academics and sports has been the key” to the teenager’s success, he said.
Mr. Smith used his time management skills along with exquisite preparation, dedication and just plain hard work to notch near perfect grades while excelling on the Blue Devil football, wrestling and lacrosse teams. He won the county wrestling championship and placed fourth in the state tournament.
Ms. Pitti also captured a $3,000 Rotary Club scholarship. She intends to study data science at the University of Virginia. The teenager cited “organization and time management” as the key to her success. She likes to stay on top of her work and put everything into it.
Vice president of the high school’s Interact Club, Ms. Pitti starred on the Blue Devil varsity tennis and lacrosse teams. She devoted many hours to community service projects.
Mr. Avelar-Romero plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. His success is credited to “hard work, perseverance and determination.” The encouragement the teenager received from his parents has been integral to his achievements.
The scholar said that he has “most enjoyed” meeting new people and forming bonds with his teachers, who make learning fun while pushing him to do his best.” Mr. Avelar played on the Blue Devil varsity soccer team that reached the Suffolk finals for the first time in 57 years. He also ran on Huntington’s indoor and outdoor track teams.
The Rotary Club bestowed a $2,000 scholarship on Ms. Cheshire, who intends to study fine arts at the University of Michigan. She said the key to her success has been the “unwavering support” from her friends, family and teachers as well as finding an appropriate balance between school, art, service and hobbies.
President of Huntington High School’s Key Club, Ms. Cheshire is a youth ambassador for the Tourette Association of America and has worked as a counselor at Camp Alvernia. The teenager said she is happy to have had the freedom to try new things and pursue her passions.
The Huntington seniors were feted at a celebratory luncheon with Rotary Club members at St. John’s Church.