Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust Award Winners 2020

Recipients of the 2020 Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust Award

Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust

Four residents of Columbia and Greene counties have been selected as recipients of the Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust Awards presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. They will share in the available $6,000 for awards. They were chosen on the merit of their applications which described the breadth of their involvement in work, community programs, volunteer activities and awards. They also provided a personal essay describing their plans for the future and the experiences that influenced their decision to pursue a career in the field of horticulture, agriculture, forestry or natural resources.

  • Madison Bentley, a graduating senior from Taconic Hills Central School District, will be attending Paul Smith’s College this fall to study forestry with a concentration in forest operations or forest biology. He is receiving a $2,500 scholarship. Madison’s essay tells it all…. “It is because of my Pop that I plan to attend Paul Smith’s College. My Pop once told me that I need to get up every day and be an honest, hardworking man and to do it with “gusto”. My Pop was a logger…(he) taught me how to make it look like the forest was untouched…(he) taught me how to have a passion and love for my career and the nature around me.”
  • Lydia Chittenden is a rising sophomore at SUNY Cobleskill, having graduated from Maple Hill High School in 2019. She is studying animal science. She is receiving a $1,250 scholarship. Lydia’s mentor, who helped to solidify her interest in the dairy cattle industry is her Dad. “Growing up on my family’s dairy farm, I had the privilege of being able to spend all my free time at the farm being my dad’s shadow, and learning first-hand the different jobs that go into successfully running a dairy farm”, noted Lydia. She continues “Now, I enjoy discussing different matings with my Dad and why they would be a good match. I could look through different pedigree and sale catalogs all day long….”.
  • Iain Alexander is a graduating senior at Catskill High School. He will be attending Middlebury College to study environmental sciences this fall. He is receiving a $1,250 scholarship award. Ian’s goal, in studying to become an environmental scientist is to deal with the climate change problem. Specifically, to help increase the usage and efficiency of our natural resources, forgoing the traditional path of progression to create a different future for the generations to come.
  • Osman Gofran is a graduating senior at Hudson High School. He will be majoring in the environment and sustainability at Cornell University this fall. He is receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Osman says he “aspires to find ways to meet our society’s needs without harming the planet and working towards solving the leading challenges in the world.” 

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The purpose of this scholarship trust is to honor the lives of Paul and Maria Morra (trust benefactors) and their commitment to preserving the natural resources of our region. Applicants must be pursuing further education in the field of horticulture, agriculture, forestry or natural resources.

Scholarship selection is not based solely on academic standing but greater emphasis is placed on the interest and motivation of the student to excel in their chosen field of study. Applicants should ensure their application packet responds very directly to the goals of the benefactors.

The number of scholarships awarded is based on available funds with the average scholarship amount of $1,000. We expect to be able to provide as many as five scholarships this year. The scholarship check will be sent directly to the academic institution upon receipt of a copy of the students’ tuition bill and the college/institution mailing address.

Eligible individuals are those pursuing immediate post-high school education as well as older individuals looking to increase their knowledge. To be eligible, an individual must be: • A current resident of Columbia County or Greene County • Enrolled in an accredited academic institution including public and private colleges or universities, community colleges and trade schools • Pursuing further academic work beyond high school in the field of horticulture, agriculture, forestry or natural resources • Excluded from applying are: current Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties Board members and staff, as well as their immediate family (significant other and children).


Contact

Linda Tripp
Issue Leader, 4-H Youth Development
lke2@cornell.edu
(518) 828-3346 ext. 210

Last updated June 22, 2020