by Frank MacEachern
STAMFORD, Conn. -- For a new college student, every little bit of money helps. For Samuel Michelson of Stamford, a newly awarded $1,500 scholarship will go a long way.
He was at his job as a caddy at the Woodway Country Club a few weeks ago when he received the news of the scholarship award. "I was at work when I got the email. I was very excited," said Michelson, a senior at the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering.
He was one of 21 students honored Monday in a ceremony by the Stamford-based Dollars for Scholars organization. "I looked online and with some help from my guidance counselor and a lot of research, I found it," he said before the ceremony. His grandparents Ben and Debbie, sister Michelle, aunt Nurit Wexler and cousin Karen also attended. He intends to study mechanical and electrical engineering with a minor in Spanish at the University of Connecticut.
The organization was started by Tony D'Amelio, 64, who said he was frustrated that he couldn't smoothly set up a scholarship at a local high school a few years ago. He discovered there were others in a similar situation.D'Amelio is co-president of the organization along with Jim McClafferty.
"I got a scholarship to go to college as a kid and without it I wouldn't have gone," said the Wethersfield native who attended the University of Hartford.
Also at the event held at the UConn-Stamford Gen Re Auditorium were some of the scholarship donors, including Regina Kirshbaum and her husband, Michael, and his brother Donald.
They sponsored the Agabhumi Scholarship for Community Service in Honor of Doris Kirshbaum, a $3,000 one-year award for a student who is heavily involved in community service.
Hannah Dougherty, a Westhill High School student received the award. She intends to study international studies at the University of Michigan.
Donald Kirshbaum said the award was named for his late mother Doris, who was a dedicated community volunteer.
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