The scholarships were strictly based on academics. Students submitted grades, transcripts and each wrote an essay. From 30 applicants only 12 were chosen to receive $1,500 each.
Kenneth Rudzewick, the president of Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, presented the awards and also gave out four Yankees tickets to one scholarship recipient.
Over the years, the Maspeth Kiwanis Club has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships to youth who serve their community and excel academically.
The scholarship program has expanded over the last 50 years. In 1954, charter members put aside lump sum of money that made it possible to give thousands of dollars in yearly scholarships.
Lou Bekios, president of the Maspeth Kiwanis Club, remembers that 40 years ago a senior from Christ the King High School received that same scholarship. Years later that student, Michael Falco, became an attorney and is now the treasurer of the Maspeth Kiwanis Club.
“I hope they put it to good use,” he said. “This can help offset the further cost of college.”
Christine Pavia,18, a Bronx High School of Science senior, was honored to be a part of an outstanding group of students.
“You always feel you have to do more among your peers because it's just so competitive,” she said.
Pavia has had a busy four years, during which she volunteered in soup kitchens and at a local children’s hospital, as well as served as captain in her varsity basketball and golf team.
This fall she plans on attending Washington University to study engineering and will allocate the money towards her college tuition to help her parents.
“It's definitely useful, I’m going to put it toward my books,” said Chistine Patti, 18, a graduate of The Mary Louis Academy, where she was the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper. “To know that people have faith in your abilities makes you work harder.”
Eileen Fitzmaurice, 17, from Martin Luther High School, was “grateful” and “surprised.”
“It makes me feel I should work harder,” she said.