OSWEGO — The Oswego Rotary Club continues its long tradition of presenting scholarships to five 2020 graduates of the Oswego City School District. The action marked the 93rd anniversary of the club’s founding and continued its collaboration with the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Pathfinder Bank, and the Tarandi Foundation, whose financial contributions help support the awards. According to club President Mark DuFore, “The members of the Oswego Rotary Club and our partners are proud to present these valuable scholarships to these deserving seniors. Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying: ‘An investment in education pays the best interest.’ We wish them all much success as they begin the next chapter of their education.”
The Richard S. Shineman Oswego Rotary Scholarship honors the memory of Richard Shineman, long-time member of Oswego Rotary Club and advocate for the philanthropic work of Rotary around the world. Regionally, his namesake foundation now serves to improve the quality of life in Oswego County and Central New York by providing financial assistance to not-for-profit organizations.
The Shineman Scholarship was given to Jake Chetney, son of Brian and Julie Chetney. He played junior varsity basketball and soccer at both levels for four years. He was a member of the Travel Club and Relay for Life Oswego High School team for two years. He volunteered for Go Bucs 5K and Buc Fest for three years. Chetney participated in the Oswego City/County Youth Bureau for five years and attended Youth Leadership Forum. He worked with Basketball Clinic for Children with Special Needs for two years and as a volunteer with Oswego Youth Soccer and gardening at St. Francis Commons. Chetney wrote in his application, “We live in a diverse world of people, opinions, ethics, and morals. . . . Having to work alongside so many different people, I realized that there will always be times I must put my personal beliefs and methods aside to work most efficiently as possible to reach a common goal and achieve a successful outcome.” Chetney earned highest academic honors throughout high school, received the Global Studies Merit Award, and was a New Visions accepted student. Chetney will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study physics and engineering.
The Charles E. Riley Oswego Rotary Scholarship remembers the founding president (1927–1930) of the Oswego Rotary Club and former superintendent of the Oswego City School District, and was presented to Isabella Herrera, daughter of Felix and Angela Herrera. Herrera was a member and officer of several organizations including National Honor Society, Key Club, Drama Club, Travel Club, Interact Club, Youth Creating Change Coalition, Young Life, and Student Council. She participated in track and field as well as school musicals and plays. She earned placements in the New York State School Music Association All County, Solo Festival, and All State. She completed over 130 service hours. Herrera’s scholastic achievements have been marked by highest honors, merit awards in geometry and Spanish II, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Academic All-Star Award, and the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. Reflecting on her many organizational experiences, Herrera wrote, “. . . I appreciate knowing others have benefitted from my actions.” Herrera will attend the University of Rochester to pursue a science-related major.
Aaron Hibbert, son of Scott and Heather Hibbert, received the Ralph and Dorothy Faust Oswego Rotary Scholarship. Faust served as president of the Oswego Rotary Club (1934–1935) and was formerly principal of Oswego High School. Hibbert’s high school activities focused on music including Concert band (one year), symphonic band (one year), wind ensemble (two years), marching band (four years), pep band (two years), and Tuba Christmas (three years). He earned highest honor throughout high school and was recognized as among Rotary’s Top 100 students. Active in St. Joseph’s Church, Hibbert worked on a winter carnival where the price of admission was the donation of winter clothing that was given to people needing it. He wrapped Christmas gifts for the needy for four years at his church. Reflecting on his voluntary experiences, Hibbert wrote on his application, “All of this makes me feel like we did a very good thing to benefit a lot of people and all concerned.” He is promised a Presidential Scholar Award at Rochester Institute of Technology where he will study engineering.
The Manjula R. Shah Oswego Rotary Scholarship was presented to Hannah Holland, daughter of Thomas and Tammy Holland. The scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Manjula R. Shah; physician, philanthropist, and dedicated Rotarian and is provided with generous support from the Tarandi Foundation. Holland played junior varsity and varsity basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball throughout her high school years. She also participated in Leadership Program Sports, yearbook production, and volunteered at the concession stand. She gained work experience at St. Francis Assisted Living, Bishops Commons Assisted Living, city of Oswego waterfront, Collocca’s Winery, and Canale’s Restaurant. She wrote in her application, “By my volunteering, I have realized it not only makes a difference to myself, but to all concerned. This has given me a sense of purpose, knowledge, and experience.” Holland was a member of the National Honor Society, New Vision Allied Health Program, and is promised a President’s Scholarship at The College of St. Rose. She earned highest academic honors and scholar athlete awards for four years of high school. Holland intends to study biochemistry and health sciences at The College of St. Rose.
The Anthony J. Murabito Oswego Rotary Scholarship is given in memory of the former principal of Oswego High School, an active member of the Oswego Rotary Club for more than 51 years, club president (1967 – 1968), and a leader and advocate for the Rotary scholarship program. The award is given to Elizabeth Bush, daughter of Richard and Diane Bush. She played junior varsity volleyball and lacrosse and varsity lacrosse and in the Oswego Community Youth Orchestra. She was also active in Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions Club, Oswego County Youth Creating Change Coalition, and Oswego High School Acceptance Coalition. Bush earned placement in the National Honor Society and received achievement awards in music and art and honorable mention at the Scholastics Art Show. She earned highest academic honors throughout high school and gave more than 150 hours of service at Oswego Hospital. Bush wrote in her application, “Through volunteering . . . I have learned that we rise by lifting others.” Bush will study nursing at St. John Fisher College.
The Shah scholarship will be in the amount of $1,000 payable in two checks of $500 each and the others will be $2,000 each payable in two checks of $1,000. Checks will be presented after successful completion of full-time enrollment in the first and third semesters of college.
The Oswego Rotary Club, founded 93 years ago, raises money for scholarships through members’ dues and contributions, occasional memorial gifts, and fundraising projects. The club, with financial support from Pathfinder Bank, hosts the annual Top 100 Dinner — excepting 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic — to honor the accomplishments of the 25 top academic students in each of the four classes at Oswego High School. The club has established an endowment fund to help underwrite the scholarship program in the future. Gifts and bequests will be held in perpetuity, with only the earnings used for awards.
Members of the Scholarship Committee this year are Selma Sheridan, Carrie Penoyer, Randy Zeigler, Terrence Gorman, and Vernon Tryon. Anyone having questions about membership in the Oswego Rotary Club or its scholarship program is invited to call Vernon Tryon, Scholarship Committee chairman, at 315-343-9692, or email Vernon@Tryon.us