2020 Scholarship Recipients

Hannah Bushell

Stamford High School

To this straight A, AP Honors senior, the world has been a welcoming place, and so she decided it should be that way for everyone.
That’s why Hannah has volunteered at Building One Community, teaching English to recent immigrants and tutoring citizenship applicants, as well as serving as a Youth Leader, providing leadership and training to 80 other B1C high school volunteers. Hannah has developed a unique ability to engage with people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Hannah’s welcoming nature is also why she became the president of Stamford High’s Friendly Faces, an organization dedicated to ensuring that the student community’s inclusiveness extends to students with special needs, to help them get the most out of their high school years. Under her leadership, club membership, monthly activities, and fundraising opportunities have all skyrocketed. Her energy and inspirational efforts to encourage fellow students to participate has been infectious.

Hannah plans for a career as a physician, and of course to continue to lift up others along the way. And we at COTY are sure that for each and every one of them that stops to thank her, she’ll really mean it when she replies, “you’re welcome”.

Sabine Charles

Stamford High School

This once bashful SHS freshman blossomed into a leader, an influencer, and a vital member of our community.

Sabine Charles’ hard work and dedication for Future 5 community projects like the Pollinator Garden, Fairgate Farms, the Mill River Collaborative, the Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular, the Diaper Drive, Light the Night, Person to Person, the Bartlett Arboretum, Veteran’s Park, the Food Bank, ARI, and many others. Her “all-in positive spirit” led her to be one of the very first Future 5 Ambassadors, which expanded her responsibilities to include welcoming and orienting new members, fundraising, and advising staff about enrichment opportunities.

Sabine’s list of contributions also includes, Stamford Public Education Foundation, Martin Luther King Jr. March, the Afro Roots Food Drive and Stamford High’s Unified Sports Rally. She has a way with young children spending many hours volunteering to baby sit at the First Haitian Free Methodist Church and reading and relating to the kids at the Kingdom Kids Daycare.
Sabine credits her family, her friends, and Future 5 for their inspiration and guidance. The future certainly looks bright for Sabine and we at COTY are very happy to help her along the way with a 2020 Scholarship.

Thomas Connolly

Stamford High School

No creature can make you feel as important as a puppy can. As just a ten-year-old, Thomas Connolly saw how to put that love to use. By taking in and providing a puppy pre-K for future seeing-eye and service-dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, these future hero pooches could make a lasting impact for those most in need. So that’s what Thomas did, nearly thirty times for multiple puppies in eight years, right through his senior year at Stamford High.

This A student in the AP and Honors programs and 4 year varsity lacrosse player and team captain, has also been a volunteer coach at Stamford Youth Lacrosse, a St. John’s Vacation Bible School counselor, a member of the SHS Leadership Academy, the National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, the SHS Debate Team, SHS Friendly Faces (helping special needs students), a Person to Person and Lower Fairfield County Food Bank volunteer, and in Ath-Life Program as a tutor for struggling student athletes.

A gifted writer, Thomas also won the Stamford Literacy Contest for his article about the disparity in Stamford sports coverage compared to neighboring towns. And yet, we at COTY are still pretty amped about the puppies.

Alex Edwards

Westhill High School

The buzz surrounding Alex Edwards isn’t just talk. Alex cofounded “Bee Brothers”, a series of educational workshops for elementary school students, teaching the crucial role of honeybees in our environment. Alex’s bee sessions are perfectly organized, highly engaging, and jam packed with meaningful content.

An all “A” honors student and 2 sport, 4 year varsity athlete, Alex credits his wrestling and lacrosse skills to his years with the Stamford Junior Wrestling Club (SJWC) and the Stamford Youth Lacrosse Association (SYLA). Alex has volunteered as a coach and referee for SJWC for five years, and at SYLA for two, and helps make Stamford’s annual CT Elementary School State Wrestling Championships a success.

As National Honor Society Vice President, Alex convinced his fellow NHS members to help clean up the Westhill Gardens, and he’s also pitched in at the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, tutored math and science at Tutor Me SOS, and worked with Habitat for Humanity.
Alex credits his teachers and coaches, and especially his parents, who set him in the right direction and created Edward’s Apiary, which along with everything else, helps keep him as busy as a…well, you know.

Zachary Kitay

Westhill High School

Some obstacles are physical, like a rocky slope set for climbing. Others are metaphorical, like a political chasm or a mountain of indifference. Zac Kitay believes he can cross them all, and he is off to a greatstart.

A varsity athlete (a pole vaulter and diver), Zac foundedthe Westhill High School Rock ClimbingClub, creating a bridge between his school and the climbing studio where he is an instructor. As Regional Presidentof the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, he ledover 850 teens committed to spreading a broader understanding across religious, racial and societal divides.

As a top student in the WHS Agriscience and Technology Program, and member of the Future Farmers of America, Zac’s leadership lifted him to the position of Chapter Sentinel, where his thoughtful consideration of others helped his fellow students feel more like afamily, no matter their background.

A National Honor Society member, Zac has volunteered with Jewish Family Services, Bennett Cancer Center’s Hope in Motion Walk, Friendship Circle, andhas created many graphic designs and illustrations for The Westword, Westhill’s nationally acclaimed student newspaper.

We at COTY doubt that there is a mountainout there, rocky or not, that Zac Kitay cannot climb.

Wendy Lopez

Stamford High School

Wendy Lopez strives to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable,” It’s the best wayto grow, she says, and it’s worked for her,and through her, benefitted many others. At Future 5 Wendy became a Student Ambassador, welcoming new members and helping them integrate into the community with her unique ability to make all those present feelcomfortable and her unique ability to make everyone feel involved and important.

On Wendy’s desire to one day teach, her Stamford High AVID Coordinator, Gina Figluizzi says she is excitedbecause “she is organized, energetic, disciplined, kind and patient. She is exactly the kind of young teacher we need”.

Other beneficiaries of Wendy’s determination include Inspirica, Bartlett Arboretum, Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, Fairgate Farm, Person-to-Person, St. Mark’s Church, the Pacific House and many others. She’s also been a mainstay in the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, logging countless hours promoting social causes like March for Our Lives, the voiceless victims of sexual assault, diversity is our strength, and many more.

Wendy says she’s been blessed with the love and guidance of big sister Cindy and her parents Jorge and Rosy. Wherever lifeleads her, we at COTY are feeling very comfortable about awarding Wendy a 2020 Scholarship.

Martine Prevot

Stamford High School

Martine has spent her entire high school career striving for excellence because like Maya Angelou, “she’s counting on you counting on” her. And lots of people have, at Future 5, the Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF), Inspirica, Stamford High’s Leadership Academy, and others.

With Future 5, Martine has helped connect low income high school students to services, people, and opportunities to help make the world around her a better place. She’s worked with the Mill River Collaborative, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, the Veterans Park Dog Tag Project, and more. As one of just twenty “highly engaged” mentors in the SPEF’s Stamford Mentoring Program, Martine spent her junior and senior years meeting each week with a group of Stark School students, listening to them and guiding them to participate in activities that encourage community involvement and build strong character.

Martine has also been the SHS Basketball Team manager, the Afro Roots Club president, and volunteered at the Pollinator Garden, Hope in Motion, the MLK Jr. March, and the Stamford DSSD Parade Spectacular, among other endeavors. As an ECMC scholar, she’s also excelled in the classroom.

We at COTY feel pretty good about having someone like Martine to count on.