$1,000 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship
Goes To New City, NY, Graduate
Hackensack Riverkeeper has selected Daniel J. DeSantis of New City, New York, to receive the 2004 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. A senior at Clarkstown North Regional High School and resident of the town where the headwaters of the Hackensack River lie, DeSantis was chosen from among a very competitive group of applicants to receive the $1000 award. Each year the scholarship is awarded to a graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence as well as an ongoing commitment to environmental protection.
“It gets more difficult each year to choose just one recipient,” said Program Director Hugh Carola who also serves as the scholarship's administrator. What clinched it for DeSantis was the puppet show he created about nonpoint-source pollution for elementary school students that he wrote, produced and conducted with two friends under the auspices of the group Keep Rockland Beautiful.
“Under his leadership, high school students from around the county have participated in numerous environmental education events over the past year,” added Carola. “His is exactly the kind of commitment we look for in a scholarship winner.”
DeSantis is headed to Clark University in Massachusetts in the fall. The scholarship can be used to cover purchase of books or other educational materials during his first year in college. DeSantis is the second student from Rockland County to receive the award and the fourth one overall. Endowed by two friends of Hackensack Riverkeeper, The Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship is named in honor of Ron Vellekamp of Tenafly, NJ, who was an educator, Scout leader, and Riverkeeper Trustee.
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