The Woodbridge Rotary Club recently awarded three $1,000 scholarships to recent local high school graduates. Natasha von Beeden, Madison Grieger and Rose Parady were the 2021 recipients. The winning graduates were chosen from a pool of candidates who had submitted an essay on the Rotary motto, “One profits who serves best.”
In her essay, Madison Grieger wrote that it took her a while to get behind the meaning of that saying, but eventually she found the truth in it. “I kept reading it over and over,” she said, until she understood how service to others enriches one’s own life.
She remembered riding a tractor in the Bethany Memorial Day Parade, when the children would smile up to her. Madison, a graduate of Nonnewaug High School, also has been peer tutoring, and she wrote how the younger students appreciated the time she spent with them. “The best thing was seeing them less stressed,” she wrote.
Volunteering may be seen as an effort to make the world a better place, but at the same time it helped her improve her own communications skills. “Trust me, it’s worth it,” she wrote.
Madison’s goal is to become a veterinarian. She will be attending Colby Sawyer College in New Hampshire.
Rose Parady is a recent graduate of Amity High School. She was a volunteer with the Friends of the Woodbridge Library. She also found that the time she gave freely helped her build deeper connections, both with those close to her and with the people she met along the way. She will be heading to Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts this fall semester.
Rotary members presented the scholarships at a brief ceremony in The Center cafeteria August 5. In attendance were Woodbridge First Selectwoman Beth Heller and Bethany First Selectwoman Paula Cofrancesco. The third scholarship recipient, Natasha von Beeden, was traveling with her family and could not attend.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent
Pictured: At left, Rotarians Dorothy Martino, Chris Lovejoy and Woodbridge Rotary President Neelima Kaushal flank scholarship recipients Madison Grieger and Rose Parady; to the right are Rotary Past President Anna Dickerson, Bethany First Selectwoman Paula Cofrancesco and Woodbridge First Selectwoman Beth Heller.