Smouse, Rizzo win scholarships
GLOVERSVILLE — The Twin Cities Council of Churches awards two $500 scholarships each year to a graduating senior from both Gloversville and Johnstown High School. This year there were eight applicants from Gloversville High School and all deserved recognition for their work and dedication and concern to others through community service. Each applicant must record a minimum of 70 hours of community service throughout their high school years and submit an essay concerning their experience.
The recipient from Gloversville for this year has fulfilled a significant amount of community service and is deserving of the scholarship. One of his significant contributions to service was 223 hours of work on The Glove Theatre refurbishment in downtown Gloversville. The recipient, Benjamin Smouse, has been accepted at Hofstra University Honors College for four years majoring in history and mathematics and is on the wait list for Harvard College.
Smouse has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with the Twin Rivers Council and has been involved in many school activities during his high school year. He took it upon himself to refurbish the entirety of The Glove Theatre Museum’s exterior facade and its front display windows. The original façade was in disrepair. He solicited donations from local businesses, and spending countless hours sorting bottles and cans to raise money. The broken exterior was repainted a vibrant maroon with green and black highlights. He included in his essay “If everyone bands together, the community can be made a place that is worth of not just posterity, but also of today.”
He further wrote “To me community service is not work; it’s taking the time and putting in the effort to take the progress you wish to see in your community and make it a reality. People helping people can achieve amazing results.”
Abagail Rizzo of Johnstown High School is the recipient from Johnstown. Rizzo had an impressive academically application. It included all types of high school activities — swimming, track and field, International Club and the music programs, plus more. She was involved in a multitude of community organizations including-many hours for her church. She has been a long-term acolyte at her church as well as participating in a 30-hour famine to raise more than $4000 for the hungry children and the organization World Vision. Operation Christmas Child programs has given her the opportunity to distribute gifts for children. She noted being a volunteer at Camp Colby — a New York state Department of Environmental Conservation camp — has helped her grow physically, mentally, and spiritually being a camper and volunteer.
Rizzo was an essential part of her family when training guide dogs for the blind. She ended her essay with “Even as those dogs are with their blind person I know in the grand scheme of things I helped make that dog what he is, that’s why I train them to be service dogs, so they can help others who need them more”