Students & Scholarships

Honoring High School Students with a Commitment to Community Service

Applications are now being accepted for its 2024 JWV Community Service Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who have made a significant contribution to the Stamford community and are given in honor of Stamford veterans who have selflessly served our country and community.

The JWV Community Service Scholarships were established in 2005 when Fred Robbins Post 142 expanded the Citizen of the Year (COTY) program – one of Stamford’s most coveted community service/volunteer recognition efforts – to include young adults.

“These scholarships go beyond academic performance, to acknowledge excellence and leadership in community service across Stamford’s broad and diverse needs. Like the Citizen of the Year, these students must demonstrate the high standards of responsibility in civic life, help in the promotion of projects for the public welfare and personally have worked with distinction to improve Stamford on a community-wide basis.”  – Gary Stone, co-chair of the Stamford Citizen of the Year Committee and co-chair of the Scholarship Selection Committee

Are you a senior with commitment to community service? Apply for a $7,500 community service scholarship.

History of the JWV Community Scholarship Program

In 2004, Rick Redniss, who had attended a number of Citizen of the Year Commemorations, gave the keynote address for Marc Lyons, the 2003 recipient. After reading several articles in the Stamford Advocate about high school students devoting significant time and energy to meaningful community service, Rick saw a different perspective. Rick believed that it seemed only fitting to try to expand the overall program to acknowledge those high school students who made significant contributions to the community, and who very well could, someday be selected as a Citizen of the Year themselves, either in Stamford or another community.

To that end, under the guidance of Rick Redniss and Gary Stone, The Fred Robbins Post agreed to establish the JWV Community Scholarship Program to help foster and promote community service and to recognize, in a tangible fashion, through meaningful scholarships, these exceptional and motivated young men and women.

2024 Scholarship Recipients

Anna Annie Edwards

Westhill High School

Annie is a dedicated student and remarkable leader who thrives on serving her community. She is known for her creativity, humor, and caring nature.

For over six years Annie has raised bees with her family and continues to share her experience with her school and community. As a member of the Westhill Apiaries for four years and its President for the past two years, she leads and helps the club maintain three operating hives. Annie’s passion for bees inspired her to do more. Since 2020, as the Co-Founder of Bees for the Future, she has provided educational workshops to elementary school students, teaching them about the importance of honeybees and the science of beekeeping. She ran eight workshops in her third year, reaching over 1300 students.

Annie is also the founder of Annie’s Willows where she harvests and donates pussy willows to local senior living facilities to brighten their day. She is the Vice President of Westhill Best Buddies, Co-President of Westhill’s School Government, Westhill Lacrosse team member, Westhill’s Academy of Finance scholar, CT Swimming – House of Delegates representative, and a competitive athlete at Chelsea Piers Aquatics Club.

Tessa Fabiano

Stamford High School

Tessa is a dedicated, passionate, and conscientious student with unwavering devotion to volunteer service and helping others. Known as an innovator and compassionate leader, she has an innate ability to make her peers feel comfortable and safe.

Highly motivated, Tessa started numerous initiatives for the school and championed the growth of existing programs and projects. As an active member of the Interact Club, the high school arm of Rotary International, she has made impactful contributions for the past four years. This includes leading the school-wide Comfort Cases project, resulting in the creation of 75 essential item bags for students in foster care. She is also the driving force for starting SHS’ food pantry. In her senior year as Interact’s President, Tessa has been instrumental in reviving SHS’ Big Brother Big Sister program and works with kindergarteners as a Big Sister.

Tessa is also an active member of SHS’s Yearbook Club, the Black Knight Student Council, and the founder and leader of Mindful Knights where she works with student peers weekly to increase mindfulness and stress management skills and activities.

Victoria Gibek

Academy of Information
Technology & Engineering

Victoria is a highly committed student and enthusiastic leader with an exceptional passion for her extracurricular activities and volunteer projects. She is known for her effective communication skills, professionalism, and her amazing ability to inspire her peers to join her in volunteer service.

As an intern with Stamford Health’s Department of Research and Emergency Department, she has amassed over 500 hours of volunteering and community service. Her impressive contributions as an intern since 2022 include research through the extraction and analysis of data for clinical studies, aiding researchers in their quest to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. Most notably she assisted the clinical trials team on a multi-site randomized clinical trial sponsored by Pfizer, which investigated the efficacy of a Lyme disease vaccine.

Victoria is President of both the Science National Honor Society and RSPACEE, an after-school club in which high school students develop and teach science lessons to middle and elementary school students. She is also President of AITE’s Red Cross Club where she has coordinated blood drives, prepared 450 meals for malnourished children, and constructed 50 first aid kits for immigrants and the under-resourced community of Stamford.

Ella Leferman

Academy of Information
Technology & Engineering

Ella is a stand-out leader, a diligent student, and has a remarkable dedication to community service. She is known as a dependable, adaptable, and empathic person willing to change gears quickly and complete every task she is given with a smile.

Ella is a consummate volunteer committed to helping others even with her packed dance and theater schedule which she has committed to for the last 15 years including holding leadership roles as dance captain and choreographer. As Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator of the Curtain Call Community Theater Youth Board, she plays a pivotal role in coordinating youth volunteers and fundraising. She is also a regular food packing operations volunteer at Filling in the Blanks, helping to fight childhood hunger.

At school, Ella further highlights her commitment to helping others through her work as a peer teaching assistant and tutor. She is a program creator and baker for Trade for a Treat, which donates to the local food bank. Ella is also an executive member of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council (MYLC) at AITE, where she coordinates community mental health initiatives and events.

Keira Lubliner

Stamford High School

Keira is a dedicated and conscientious student studying in the International Baccalaureate Program. She is known as a determined, collaborative, and consistent leader both in the classroom and in her extracurricular activities and as a role model and mentor whom students look up to with admiration and respect.

In addition to the remarkable leadership, she has an unwavering dedication to community service. Keira is the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Jewish Heritage Club at SHS providing a safe space for Jewish students and providing non-Jewish students an opportunity to learn about the Jewish faith and encouraging all to have a more open-minded global perspective. After two years the club now has 40 members. Keira also serves as the Stamford Jewish Community Center’s President of BBYO and prior was the VP of Finance.

Keira is also a long-time member of a community dance team, a member of the school’s gymnastics team for the past four years and its current team captain, and a volunteer for numerous events sponsored by Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Rohan Sahu

Westhill High School

Rohan is an enthusiastic student with incredible leadership abilities and dedication to helping others. He is known for outstanding contributions to our community and his patience, empathy, and amazing ability to engage and connect with his audiences.

In 2022 Rohan and two other students co-founded CyberAware, a nonprofit dedicated to educating young students and senior citizens about the importance of staying safe online and identifying scams when they occur. Through their custom-developed and interactive cybersecurity presentations, they have educated 2000+ people at schools & senior centers across various locations in CT and have started branches in New Jersey and Texas.

Rohan’s achievements go beyond CyberAware. He assisted with developing numerous projects including a new school construction website for the City’s Building Department; an algorithm to automate a cybersecurity implementation at Fairfield University; a translation app for the Boys & Girls Club, facilitating communication with bilingual families while interning at State Street Corporation; a STEM curriculum while coaching students at CT STEM Kids; and founding and leading Westhill High School’s Astronomy Club.

©2024 City of Stamford Citizen of the Year | 48 Putter Drive, Stamford, CT 06907