Nomination/application forms for the Andrew John Zuccari Memorial Scholarship award are now available for Niagara-Wheatfield High School seniors. 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," said Luanne Zuccari, Andy's mother and one of the selection committee members for the scholarship award. "It is neither 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."
Zuccari also said, "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."
For many years, 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 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," Zuccari said.
Students are nominated for the scholarship by teachers, parents or anyone else who believes are serious candidates. Students can even nominate themselves. Each set of nominees is narrowed down to a list of five or six students, and those finalists are interviewed by a committee of Zuccari family members, school staff and others.
Applications are available in the high school's guidance office. Nominations are due May 1 in the school's guidance office. Finalists will be notified by mail for interviews.