2016 Scholarship Recipients

Eve Critelli

Stamford High School

Totally immersed in all aspects of life at Stamford High and our community, Eve Critelli contributes to everything she does in a special way, reflecting what Bruce Barton wrote: “If you have anything valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality.” Eve, who gives from the heart with her charismatic personality, compassion and determination, she is able to galvanize and lead her peers, helping all around her to make a difference.

As a member and treasurer of Stamford High’s Interact Club, Eve has volunteered with Big Brother/Big Sister in the ROSCCO (Rogers School Community Center Organization) After School Program at Springdale Elementary School, assisting students with homework, reading and participating in sports and art projects. She also served at ROSCCO’s summer program tutoring, and creating and facilitating games and other projects. With Interact Eve has also coordinated coin drives for the American Red Cross, volunteered at many Stamford Museum & Nature Center events and fundraised for Camp Promise, a camp for children with muscular dystrophy.

As president of Stamford High’s National Honor Society, Eve orchestrated its freshmen orientation, organized tutoring events as well as blood drives. She also is a mentor with the Stamford Public Education Foundation, meeting regularly with two 5th grade girls on activities to promote community involvement and encourage their academic success. Also active in the Beyond Limits Academic Program, Eve tutors members of the Stamford Peace basketball team as well as middle and high school aged students in math and science. And as a junior volunteer at Stamford Hospital, Eve was a member of the Sunshine Team, making crafts and delivering them to patients to brighten their day and hopefully make their stay an easier one.

Shayla Farrow

Stamford High School

When Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote “I find the great thing in the world is not so much where you stand, but in what direction you are moving,” he easily could have been describing how Shayla Farrow approaches life. From her involvement with buildOn to AVID to Inspirica to the Stamford Public Education Fund, Shayla brings to all her community service activities a strong conviction and a drive to make a difference.

As an active participant and leader in buildOn, Shayla serves as its social media officer team and helps to run and promote various service projects at Stamford High. Through buildOn she became involved with Inspirica, one of Fairfield County’s largest service providers for the homeless, in a range of activities. Working as an employment researcher, Shayla identified available jobs in the Stamford-to-Bridgeport area and often conferenced and coached one-on-one with residents identified as capable of filling these positions. As a researcher, she also gathered valuable information on homelessness and hunger. But wait, there’s more: Shayla also cooked meals in the women’s shelter and read to the small children living there.

As a member of the Stamford Public Education Fund, Shayla mentored two 5th grade girls at Stark Elementary, meeting with them weekly, sharing school experiences and the importance of gratitude and community service. And as Club Leader for AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, Shayla led countless volunteer activities, organizing fundraising events, taking a lead in group assignments and assisting other members with tutorials or homework. A member of the National Honors Society, Shayla also has served for several years as a board member of Stamford’s Student Advisory Council as well as the treasurer of One World, One Family, managing all financials aspects of the organization.

Doron Feller

Stamford High School

“Good friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.” That’s how Stamford High School senior Doron Feller has described the friendships he has made over the past six years as a committed volunteer with The Friendship Circle. It’s not surprising that the many special needs children that Doron has worked with throughout many semesters, holidays and summers all have left as much a lifelong impact on him as he has made on them.

With the Children’s Circle, Doron mentored and developed friendships with a school-age child and a teenager, each of whom had special, but different, needs. Mentoring them regularly in a group setting for more than five years, they focused on life skills ranging from physical fitness and cooking to art and music. With the Friends At Home program, Doron mentored and developed a very special friendship with Zach, an autistic school-aged boy. For more than four years Doron has worked, played, explored and shared Zach’s world. He has become Zach’s confidant and partner. Doron has also served with The Friendship Circle’s Holiday and Special Programming efforts as well as being a member of its Teen Board.

Additionally Doron, who is a member of the National Honor Society, serves as president of three organizations: Future Business Leaders of America, Stamford chapter and manager of its school store and the 15+ fellow students that volunteer there; NCSY, formerly known as the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, which focuses on providing outreach, support for teenage members of the Stamford Jewish community as well as weekly events with Jewish teens from other communities; Jewish Students Union, Stamford high school chapter, which is dedicated to providing members with experiences, activities and current event discussions.

Hannah Katz

Westhill High School

When Hannah Katz wrote that “being a Friendship Circle volunteer has broadened my perspective on what it takes to be happy and how little we need to make that happen,” she showed wisdom and insight beyond her age. As a volunteer in the Friendship Circle, Hannah has dedicated many hours to enable her buddy Maya to experience happiness and friendship.

Additionally her service with the Stamford Chapter of the B’nai Brith Youth Organization has made a mark on the group and our community. In her first position, as chapter historian, she created the chapter’s mascot, Flat Penguin, a takeoff of the well-known children’s book series Flat Stanley. Every week a girl would be nominated to take Flat Penguin home to do a good deed – a mitzvah – with him. During that time, she takes a picture of Flat Penguin showing the activity, which is placed in a scrapbook chronicling the year’s mitzvahs. Three years later, Flat Penguin is now a tradition, receiving him is an honor that promotes service and kindness.

As the chapter’s Vice President of Jewish Heritage, Community Service and Social Action, Hannah was the driving force of its Stand Up cause, Children with Special Needs, as well as organizer of fundraising and other efforts, including Relay For Life. Hannah’s leadership has not gone unnoticed by her peers as they elected her chapter president this year. She also has been president of Westhill High’s Interact Club for the past two years. And for the past 12 years with her family, Hannah has helped serve Christmas Eve dinner to men at the Shelter for the Homeless for the past 12 years, where she “always leaves knowing that these men were treated with the respect they deserve.”

Nii Pobee

Stamford High School

Oscar Wilde must have known when he wrote “to have become a deeper man is the privilege for those who have suffered” that Nii Pobee would grace our community with his amazing open, kind heart and ability to rise above adversity to not only better himself, but also those around him.

Growing up on the east side of Stamford, Nii has been an active leader in the East Side Partnership, volunteering his time to support revitalizing his neighborhood taking on all sorts of things — from removing graffiti from walls to picking up garbage and abandoned items and working in a community garden to mentoring two troubled teenagers also living there. As a role model for many, particularly these two boys, Nii has been a “gentle giant”, sheltering them with his caring, solid presence, all of which is providing him with real experience for what he plans to do in the future – to become an adolescent psychologist or a high school teacher.

A devoted, generous and diligent volunteer for several other organizations, Nii, who many know as a key starter on the Stamford High varsity basketball team, has been an active member of FUTURE 5. He was one of the first to get in on the ground floor of FUTURE 5’s service efforts, again demonstrating his commitment to community service. He has worked on projects at the Food Bank of Fairfield County, Mill River Park, New Covenant House Soup Kitchen, Person-to-Person and St. Mark’s Mayfair, to name a few! Nii has also tutored elementary school children at the Yerwood Center and worked as a bicycle mechanic at Domus Kid’s Trafigura Work & Learn Business Center, where he fixed and cleaned broken bikes that were redistributed free to youth in the community.