Scholarships awarded to Bridgewater students
The Persbacker Family Scholarship Fund at Connecticut Community Foundation has awarded college scholarships of $3,500 to six Bridgewater residents for the 2019-20 academic year.
The Persbacker fund is among the largest college scholarship funds available to students residing in Bridgewater.
To receive a scholarship from the fund, a student must demonstrate an outstanding commitment to community service in the town of Bridgewater, and the student’s primary residence must have been in Bridgewater for at least six years.
The awards are renewable for up to four years.
Kathleen Sinatra, a 2017 graduate of Shepaug Valley School in Washington, received the Persbacker Family Fund Scholarship for three consecutive years, totaling nearly $9,000.
A junior at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where she is majoring in political science and Spanish and Hispanic studies, Sinatra devoted most of her community service in Bridgewater to the Burnham Library.
“My parents always taught me the importance of giving back, which was what initially pushed me toward community service, but what kept me involved was the connections I made,” she said. “Now in college, I still try to be involved in town community events, such as large library fundraisers and the town fair.”
At Union, Sinatra is a campus tour guide and a student representative on the school’s Diversity Liaison Committee.
She and 16 other students have published a book, “Generation Now: Millennials Call for Social Change,” and she has begun research on the impact and value of a humanities degree.
This past winter, she served as an intern with (New York) Congressman Paul Tonko's office.
In the fall, she plans to study abroad in Seville, Spain.
“I am incredibly grateful to the Persbacker Family Fund for providing me with scholarships that have allowed me to attend Union,” Sinatra said. “Without having attended Union, I know that I would not have had the opportunity to study in Washington, D.C., for a term, start research as a first-year student, or study abroad in Spain,” she said.
Former Bridgewater resident Victor L. Persbacker established the scholarship fund at the Foundation with the intention of making college more affordable for students dedicated to community service.
The Persbacker Fund has awarded scholarships totaling over $220,000 since its inception in 2004.
In addition to Sinatra, this year’s recipients of the scholarships are Mason Gsell (Louisiana State University), Katherine Klein (Boston College), $3,500, Lars Vikstrom (Ithaca College), Dakota Wilson (Northeastern Junior College) and Hunter Wilson (University of Northwestern Ohio), who each received $3,500.