**If you would like additional information or have any questions please contact Dr. Angelo Ortenzi, Scholarship Chairperson, at (570) 421-4186

Italian Mutual Benefit Association Scholars

Three area high school seniors have been named recipients of $1500 scholarships for the 2014 – 2015 academic year by the Italian Mutual Benefit Association of Stroudsburg according to Dr. Natale Falanga, Association President. The Scholarships are the result of a highly competitive evaluation and are applicable to the students’ freshman year at a four year college or university program. The three recipients are members of the National Honor Society. Falanga commented the recipients are highly skilled academically and are involved in many co-curricular activities and service projects. Such positive attributes will serve them well as they begin their collegiate careers. It is very important, particularly in our present economic situation, to provide financial assistance to students in their post secondary education programs. Unfortunately limited funds and keen competition for the scholarships do not permit additional assistance for other deserving students. The Association continues to serve its constituents and was granted a Charter by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County in 1914.

The recipients are: Veronica Joyce of Stroudsburg High School daughter of Robert and Tamre Joyce of Stroudsburg; Austin Ruggiero of Bangor High School son of Anthony and Becka Ruggiero of Bangor; and Nathan Michael Simineri also of Bangor High School son of Michael and Karen Simineri of Bangor.

Veronica ranked in the top two percent of her class. She was heavily involved in the Concert Band, Marching Band and Concert Choir. Veronica was a member of the Track and Cross Country teams as well as being and assistant Cross Country coach of the junior high team and manager of the boys swimming team for two years. She was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and was very active in the Rotary Interact Club where she served as an officer and became involved in a number of charitable events receiving the Rotary Leadership award in 2012. Veronica was a Girl Scout and participated in dance competitions as a member of the Briganti Family of Dance where she was also a teaching assistant. Veronica plans to attend Penn State University and majoring in Anthropology/Sociology.

Austin Ruggiero ranked in the top 1.2 % of his class. He was a member of the Varsity Track and Cross Country (Captain) teams. He played trombone in the Marching Band and Pep Band and was a member of the Pit Band for the Musical Annie. He was a member of the Varsity Basketball team (Captain) and was an assistant coach of the elementary Basketball team. He was a tutor for high school students and provided music lessons for elementary school students. He also served as an intern for Coordinated Health. Austin plans to attend Villanova University and major in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering.

Nathan Simineri was in the top 6.5 % of his class. He was a member of the Varsity Soccer team (Captain) and was named Bangor Soccer Scholar athlete of the year and received other numerous awards. He was a member of the Varsity Tennis team and was also a member of the High School Student Government Association. Nathan volunteers as an outfit coordinator for the Gallagher School of Dancing and plays a part in volunteer fund raising for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. He is an Altar Server at his church and is involved in many of the church activities. He also works in his family’s business of Rita’s Italian Ice. Nathan plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology and major in Electrical Engineering.

Candidate applicants were required to demonstrate superior academic achievement, active involvement in significant co-curricular activities, school and community service and write a 1000 word minimum essay on the topic, “How My Italian Heritage Has Affected Me.” The Scholarship Program is a project of the Association having been established in 1989 as part of its Diamond Anniversary celebration. The students and their parents were honored recently at a scholarship dinner.


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