Graduating High School Seniors Honored by Oswego Rotary Club

OSWEGO – The Oswego Rotary Club honored this year’s recipients of its scholarships and award and their parents at a recent luncheon meeting.

From left: Jillian Dowdle, Willow Knapp, Alec Caroccio, Lauren Devinny, Jenna Bradshaw and Sophia Throop shown with Rotary Club president Robert Pompo, were recently honored by the Oswego Rotary Club with special awards. Five received scholarships and Alec Caroccio received the Ruth Mulford Career and Technical Education Award.

The occasion marked the 92nd anniversary of the club’s founding and continued its collaboration with the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Pathfinder Bank, and the Tarandi Foundation, whose financial contributions help support the awards.

According to club president Robert Pompo, “The Oswego Rotary Club Scholarship and Awards Program is a great way to support the education of our youth and address community need at the same time. I am proud to be part of this program.”

The Richard S. Shineman Oswego Rotary Scholarship honors the memory of Richard Shineman, long-time member of Oswego Rotary Club and advocate for the philanthropic work of Rotary around the world.

Regionally, his namesake foundation now serves to improve the quality of life in Oswego County and Central New York by working with not-for-profit organizations.

The Shineman Scholarship was given to Lauren DeVinny, daughter of Aimee and Scott DeVinny.

DeVinny was active in sports, played junior varsity and varsity lacrosse, basketball, and volleyball; having captained each of them for at least one year.

She was a member of the Math Club, National Honor Society, Key Club, and Interact Club.

She was Buc Boosters student representative and member of Oswego County Academic Youth League.

She was an officer of many groups and did Spanish tutoring and volunteered at Leighton Elementary School.

In the community, DeVinny participated in Relay for Life, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership, Youth Bureau volunteer service, Youth Court, Leadership Oswego County Youth, and was employed at PJ’s Ice Cream store.

DeVinny has been honored with the Clarkson University Leadership Award, President’s Volunteer Service Award, highest honor roll, and designated a scholar athlete.

DeVinny will attend SUNY Geneseo to study business administration.

The Charles E. Riley Oswego Rotary Scholarship remembers the founding president (1927–1930) of the Oswego Rotary Club and former superintendent of the Oswego City School District, and was presented to Willow Knapp, daughter of the late Laurie Knapp and niece of Joy and Mark Knopp.

Her school activities included National Honor Society, Math Club president, Interact Club, Student Council vice president, SADD Club, and vice president of her senior class.

She played volleyball for five years, performed in the Symphonic Orchestra since 2015, and was named Scholar Athlete.

Knapp has been active in the community in both volunteer and employed roles at Ontario Orchards, Salvation Army, modified volleyball, Leighton Elementary School, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Relay for Life, and Compass Federal Credit Union.

Knapp will major in natural science and health science at Daemen College to prepare for a career as a physician assistant.

Sophia Throop, daughter of Rose and Ronald Throop, received the Ralph and Dorothy Faust Oswego Rotary Scholarship.

Faust served as president of the Oswego Rotary Club (1934–1935) and was formerly principal of Oswego High School.

Throop’s high school activities included National Honor Society, nine Oswego County Academic Youth League competitions, member of the Art Club and Spanish Club, and president of the Debate Club.

She was recognized with the adult karate black belt, being the first 17-year-old in the 25-year history of her dojo to do so.

She fulfilled eight years of study and rigorous kata, weapons, and physical training.

Throop’s community activities have been many and diverse.

She introduced Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at an Excelsior Scholarship local press conference and volunteered in college and community gardens, Harborfest, Richardson-Bates House, Oswego Art Association gallery, and Relay for Life.

She contributed more than 100 hours of community service.

Her efforts have been recognized with awards in earth science, U.S. history, world history, Spanish, English, pre-calculus, art, writing, drawing, and illustration.

Throop will study biology or psychology at Williams College in Massachusetts.

The Manjula R. Shah Oswego Rotary Scholarship was presented to Jenna Bradshaw, daughter of Michael and Christine Bradshaw.

The scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Manjula R. Shah; physician, philanthropist, and dedicated Rotarian and is provided with generous support from the Tarandi Foundation.

In high school, Bradshaw played varsity softball, served as station manager of WBUC TV, was class president for four years, and played various roles in Interact Club, Student Council, Prom Committee, Math Club, TV Club, Spanish Club, and National Honor Society.

She participated in Oswego City Youth Court, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, biochemistry research at SUNY Oswego, youth soccer, and worked at PJ’s Ice Cream Store.

Her efforts were rewarded with the President’s Volunteer Service Award at the Gold Level.

Bradshaw intends to study biology at the University of Buffalo.

The Anthony J. Murabito Oswego Rotary Scholarship, is given in memory of the former principal of Oswego High School, an active member of the Oswego Rotary Club for more than 51 years, club president (1967 – 1968), and a leader and advocate for the Rotary scholarship program.

The award is given to Jillian Dowdle, daughter of Jennifer Dowdle.

Dowdle participated in the marching band and color guard for six years, winter guard for three years, as well as a musical production at Oswego High School.

She was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Spanish Club, and Oswego High School wind ensemble.

She volunteered at Oswego High School and was employed at Colloca’s Estate Winery as an event server and at Six Scoops Ice Cream Shop and Bishop’s Commons as a food server.

Among the awards Dowdle received are Concert Band Merit Award, Global Studies Merit Award, highest honors for four years, New York State Field Band Conference Award, Academic Achievement Award, NU Trustees scholarship, and several other awards and grants.

She will study marketing at Niagara University.

The Ruth Mulford Career and Technical Education Award honors the memory of Ruth Mulford, who joined the club in 1991.

She was the first woman to join the club and the member who first proposed the creation of the award.

The award was first given in 1993.

Mulford was on the professional staff of the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, then Oswego County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

The award is given to affirm Rotary’s appreciation of the dignity of all useful work and respect for all productive occupations.

This year’s Mulford Award was presented to Alec Caroccio, son of Shawn and Tricia Caroccio.

He excelled in the Career and Technical Education program of Welding Technology at the Mexico Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation.

He received the Top 3 Career and Technical Education Welding Award and worked in the summer repairing and welding landscaping equipment.

Throughout high school, Caroccio participated in sports, playing junior varsity baseball and soccer and varsity soccer and hockey, where he was co-captain for three years.

He was a Special Olympics volunteer and a coach-player of unified basketball.

His community contributions have included Oswego minor hockey volunteer, Peaceful Remedies volunteer, Outrun Autism 5K Run, Journey of Faith live nativity, and ARC Skate for Disabled Children volunteer.

Caroccio will attend Cayuga Community College.

Club president Pompo presented framed certificates to the scholarship recipients and a $1,000 check to the Mulford award recipient.

The Shah scholarship will be in the amount of $1,000 payable in two checks of $500 each and the others will be $2,000 each payable in two checks of $1,000.

Checks will be presented after successful completion of full-time enrollment in the first and third semesters of college.

The Oswego Rotary Club, founded 92 years ago, raises money for scholarships through members’ dues and contributions, occasional memorial gifts, and fundraising projects.

The club, with financial support from Pathfinder Bank, hosts the annual Top 100 Dinner to honor the accomplishments of the 25 top academic students in each of the four classes at Oswego High School.

The club has established an endowment fund to help underwrite the scholarship program in the future.

Gifts and bequests will be held in perpetuity, with only the earnings used for awards.

Members of the Scholarship Committee this year are Selma Sheridan, Carrie Penoyer, Randy Zeigler, and Vernon Tryon.

Anyone having questions about membership in the Oswego Rotary Club or its scholarship program is invited to call Tryon, Scholarship Committee chairman, at 315-343-9692.