The 14th annual Andrew John Zuccari Memorial Scholarship award nomination and application forms are now available for Niagara-Wheatfield seniors in the school guidance office.
The scholarship, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded each year in memory of Andrew John Zuccari, a 14-year-old student at the school who was killed in 1995 by a drunk driver. Scholarship candidates are students who display the qualities of compassion for others, kindness, willingness to help and a sense of humor used to enrich the lives of others.
"These are qualities we cherished in Andy, and we want to recognize and reward students who also possess these character traits. It is not an academic nor a financial need scholarship, but students who fit into those categories can certainly be selected and are encouraged to apply. We are basically looking for an all-around good kid with good character and a caring nature who is planning to attend college or higher education after high school," said Luanne Zuccari, Andy's mother and one of the selection committee members for the scholarship award. "We've been able to award funding to over 30 students over the years, since 1999, when we presented the first scholarship, to a member of what would have been Andy's graduating class."
Each year, a $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a selected candidate, and for many of the years since then, more than one scholarship has been awarded, in varying amounts.
"We have met so many extraordinary young people as part of this process, that we often, almost every year, end up presenting the one $1,000 scholarship, and then two lesser ones, and sometimes even more. It is the most difficult job in the world to select only one deserving recipient from these groups of absolutely excellent kids," said Zuccari.
Students can be nominated for the scholarship by teachers, parents, or anyone else who believes they know of a serious candidate. In addition, students can nominate themselves. Each set of nominees is narrowed down to a finalist list of five or six, and those finalists are interviewed by a committee of Zuccari family members, school staff and others.
Nominations are due May 1 in the high school guidance office, and finalists will be notified by mail for interviews.