Huntington High School Class of 2022 member Cianna Batts has captured the Tri-Community & Youth Agency’s Joseph Martone Memorial Scholarship award, which carries a $500 stipend.
Ms. Batts will be attending SUNY College at Geneseo where she plans to study English education in preparation for a career as a teacher. She said she owes her success to her mother, who has been her inspiration and guide.
The teenager said her mom taught her to “embrace hardships” and not let them define her. Watching her teachers in action helped Ms. Batts reach the decision that she wanted to be a teacher herself.
Ms. Batts served as science teacher Anna Fabela’s lab assistant the past four years and she interned with the veteran faculty member as a senior. The new alum said she has “learned so much” from Ms. Fabela, who inspired the teenager to pursue a teaching career.
Mr. Martone had a long association with Tri-CYA, serving on its board of directors as president, vice president, treasurer and fundraising committee chairman at one time or another for more than two decades until his death in 2004.
The Martone scholarship is annually awarded to a graduating senior who combines “the values and ideals that Joe stood for; hard work, commitment to school work, athletics, teamwork and an unselfish dedication to a community cause,” according to Tri-CYA.
Tri-CYA Regional Director Debbie Rimler was on hand at Huntington High School’s senior academic awards ceremony to present the $500 Martone scholarship to Ms. Batts.
“As a [Tri-CYA] board member and volunteer, Joseph Martone stood for hard work and commitment to education,” Ms. Rimler said. “He was a team player and had an unselfish dedication to community service.”
Mr. Martone helped develop Tri-CYA’s Hall of Honor, which honors distinguished community members who have volunteered to help local youth. He was willing to do everything from helping around Tri-CYA’s facility to delivering food, supplies and even diapers to families in need. The scholarship award is funded by David S. Pottruck, one of Mr. Martone’s former students.