A band of Park Slope civic gurus awarded four high schoolers with $2,500 toward their college tuition for outstanding community service.
The Park Slope Civic Council handed plaques to four high school honorees — Dilica Arzu Martinez, Sarahi Flores Castillo, HongDa Ou, and Ashley Vergara — during an award ceremony at the historic Old Stone House in Washington Park on June 6, and it didn’t take long before the water works set in, according to one Civic Council member
“Not a dry eye in the house,” said Joe Rydell, chair of the civic group’s Scholarship Committee.
In addition to the awards presentation, the ceremony featured glowing speeches by the students’ college counselors, who nominated each of the students for the award.
The four awardees attended high schools in the John Jay Education Complex in Park Slope, where they volunteered extensively through extra curricular activities.
The students also gave back to the Park Slope community by volunteering with church groups and providing after-school child care, according to their college counselors.
The honorees, who hail from different public schools, will take their talents to universities across the east coast this coming fall.
Martinez will head to La Salle University in Philadelphia, Castillo will attend the College of Staten Island, Ou will start at the New York City College of Technology, and Vergara will attend New York University.
The Park Slope Civic Council has awarded community service scholarships to high schoolers since the early 1960s, when it began giving $100 scholarships — worth about $865 today — to one high schooler every year.
Since the beginning of the group’s annual food and drink-tasting event, “Food for Thought,” the civic group has been able to increase its prize and extend it to four recipients.
This year’s “Food for Thought” event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Prospect Park’s Picnic House.
— Rose Adams