Ten scholarships will be awarded to local high school students and a Yorktown native will be honored during the 30th Annual Awards Dinner for Circolo da Vinci, the Italian-American organization of Yorktown.
The event will be held on Thursday, May 17 at in Jefferson Valley.
Charles Gasparino, currently the senior correspondent for the Fox Business Network, has been selected as the organization's Person of the Year. Gasparino was responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories affecting the financial markets. He also served as a writer for the Wall Street Journal where he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in beat reporting in 2002. A recipient of numerous business journalism awards, the journalist is also the author of bestselling financial books.
Gasparino grew up in Yorktown, graduated from and attended Pace University. From time to time, he would return to Yorktown to rekindle the memories he has of growing up and working here. In the past, Gasparino has visited the high school to spend time with the students and answer their questions about achieving their goals.
"We welcome him to help us recognize the achievements of our scholarship winners and hope his success will inspire them," Dorothea Lascala said.
Lascala said Gasparino was chosen as the honoree because he is "an inspiration" to the high school students.
"[He] probably sat in the very same seats in class, had some of the same teachers, played sports around town and worked after school at many odd jobs including washing dishes at the Silver Moon in town," she said. "Gasparino has always remembered where he came from."
The organization and attendees will be celebrating his accomplishments and Gasparino is joining them to recognize the achievements of the Yorktown scholarship winners.
"Through hard work and a drive to succeed, he made it," Lascala said. "Young people need positive role models."
The scholarships are a memorial for Dr. Joseph Petroni, who was one of the founders of Circolo da Vinci, and very active in the scholarship program. He practiced here in Yorktown for more than 40 years and recently passed away.
The following are the scholarship winners:
- Amanda Buonagurio, , Robin Risi Memorial Scholarship
- Courtney Cook, , Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Jena Lynne Di Frisco, John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Victoria Esser, , Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Timothy M. George, , Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Thomas Menton, , Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Cara Natale, , Circolo da Vinci Scholarship
- Vincenzo Recine, Somers High School, Dr. Joseph P. Petroni Memorial Scholarship
- Meaghan Skelly, , Caryn and Richard Klein Scholarship
- Angelica Staib, John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Olga Capaccio Vario Scholarship