Caroline Murray/Recorder staff Amsterdam High School Senior Rebekah Izzo accepts a $1,000 scholarship from Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce president Mark Kilmer, left, and Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dusty Swanger, right, Wednesday at F-MCC.
Caroline Murray/Recorder staff Six area high school seniors received $1,000 scholarships from the Fulton Montgomery Chamber of Commerce scholarship committee Wednesday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. From the left: Chamber president Mark Kilmer, Nathan Littauer Hospital CEO Larry Kelly, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St.Johnsville senior Skyler Viveros, Fonda-Fultonville High School senior Kimberly Epting, Fonda-Fultonville senior Shelby Wadsworth, OESJ senior Jeremy Wegener, Gloversville High School senior Cassandra Ryan, Amsterdam High School senior Rebekah Izzo, and Owner of WENT Radio Jack Scott.
BY CAROLINE MURRAY
JOHNSTOWN -- Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger stood in front of six high school seniors who were each selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce scholarship committee Wednesday.
He said: "We hear a lot about troubles with youths, and all that kind of nonsense you hear in the media. But let me tell you something: When you go through these applications and you look at what these students are doing, it is incredibly rewarding."
Swanger is the chairman of the chamber's scholarship committee. He, along with committee members Larry Kelly, CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital, Jack Scott, owner of WENT radio, and Fulton County Judge Richard C. Giardino, chose six local high school seniors to receive awards based on their outstanding academic and extra-curricular high school careers.
The committee started with 70 applications and narrowed them to14 finalists. From there, the board interviewed each student individually and picked six recipients.
Among the award winners was Kimberly Epting -- a Fonda-Fultonville High School senior who will enroll at LeMoyne College in Syracuse this fall.
Swanger said in her scholarship essay, Epting wrote of how circumstances of her life have helped make her a stronger and well-rounded person. He said she lost both of her parents at a young age, but writes how she has used these challenges as an opportunity to accomplish all of her goals.
Epting said a lot of smart and talented seniors applied for the scholarship, but she was hoping to win.
"It is a good opportunity for me; college is expensive," she said. "I am proud that I won."
Amsterdam High School senior Rebekah Izzo was also a recipient. Swanger said Izzo is her senior class president and has participated in student government for all four years of high school. She is salutatorian of her class and has been accepted at the Belanger School of Nursing at Ellis Medicine, where she will study to be a registered nurse. Swanger said she plans to continue her education to obtain a bachelor's degree in nursing.
"It is a great opportunity; I feel so blessed," Izzo said.
Other scholarship winners included Oppenheim-Ephratah-St.Johnsville senior Jeremy Wegener, who will attend RIT; Fonda-Fultonville senior Shelby Wadsworth, who will attend Siena College; Gloversville senior Cassandra Ryan and OESJ senior Skyler Viveros, who will study childhood education at F-MCC in the fall.
At the end of the presentation, chamber president Mark Kilmer said Swanger and the committee members spent hours reviewing the applications and thanked them for their commitment.
"The number of the applications are another testament to how good the schools are here and how talented our students are," Kilmer said. "It is wonderful to see these numbers of people come forth with the applications and read them and look at them -- it is just incredible."