Albert Lewis III, a recently graduated Niagara-Wheatfield High School student, was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Lewiston Community Lions Club. Lions John and Theresa Tourbin were present at the awards luncheon to present Lewis with his check.
The Lewiston Community Lions Club offers a $500 yearly scholarship to a Native American high school senior living on the Tuscarora Reservation. It is awarded solely on one's volunteer actions and community service.
Lewis has helped the Tuscarora Nation by volunteering at its health fair, annual picnic, Tuscarora Nation Health Center and Sanborn Ladies Auxiliary.
In addition to his volunteer work, he serves as a Lewiston Police Explorer, in which he works directly with Lewiston Police Department officers to assist with patrol functions, special events and traffic control.
Lewis will be attending Fredonia State University in the fall. He plans to further his law enforcement knowledge and obtain the experience and qualifications to continue serving his community as a police officer.
As a Native American living on the Tuscarora Reservation, he said he would like to succeed in dispelling the stereotype and negative ideology around what it means to be a police officer.
"Who I am today is completely shaped by where I come from and everything I endured. Therefore, I am using all of my experiences to drive myself to pursue a college degree, despite the financial obstacle," Lewis said.
He noted his intent to be a model for future graduates and generations of the Tuscarora Nation by successfully obtaining a higher education degree. Lewis said he wants to teach community members to trust the educational system despite downfalls in life. He encouraged students to use school as an anchor to fall back on when doubting future success.
"The Lewiston Community Lions are proud to offer their support, and wish Albert much success in obtaining his dream," President Regina Cecconi said.
For more information on the Lewiston Community Lions Club, visit www.lewistoncommunitylionsclub-ny.org.
Lewis is shown with Theresa Tourbin.