The Exchange Club of Bristol held its annual Scholarship Banquet recently to present the 2015 Youth and A.C.E. of the Year awards to local high school students. The Exchange Club of Bristol believes that an investment in area students is an investment in our community and the impact of this investment will be realized long after their college degrees are obtained. It is our hope that the recipients will someday come back to Bristol to give back to the community that has given to them.
The 2015 scholarship recipients are as follows:
Filipe Garay-Ortega from Bristol Central High School received the Bill & Lois Wagenknecht A.C.E. of the Year award. Filipe is a senior at Bristol Central High School and plans to attend Tunxis Community College. The A.C.E. award stands for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence and is awarded to a high school student who has made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance during their high school years. In 2011, The Exchange Club of Bristol renamed their award the Bill & Lois Wagenknecht A.C.E. of the Year in honor and memory of two dedicated Bristol Exchange Club members who contributed countless hours and knowledge to the Club for many years. Filipe also volunteers at the Parent Child Center, helping out in their Caring Closet.
Nicholas Savino from Bristol Central High School received the Third Place Youth of the Year award. Nicholas is a senior at Bristol Central High School and will be pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and is a three-sport athlete, he currently serves as captain of the BCHS tennis team. He has also served as a Student Representative on the Bristol Board of Education.
Michaela Sassu from Bristol Eastern High School received the Second Place Youth of the Year award. The Second Place Youth of the Year award was recently renamed in honor of John Breen, a long-time Bristol Exchange member who was also very involved in the Scholarship Committee. Michaela is a senior at Bristol Eastern High School and will be pursuing a degree in Early Elementary Education at Eastern Connecticut State University. Michaela has served as class treasurer for three years and is captain of the BEHS softball team.
Joseph Strid of Saint Paul Catholic High School received the Youth of the Year award. The Youth of the Year award recognizes hard working high school students who attain high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement, and leadership. Joseph’s ability to convey wisdom well beyond his years coupled with his desire to help those in need enabled him to become The Exchange Club of Bristol’s Youth of the Year. Joseph will be following his passion to study Criminal Justice at Western New England University. He has served as captain of the SPCHS soccer team and was selected to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and Crime Scene Investigation. Joe is a life-long volunteer at Saint Anthony Church and School.