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The Future Looks Bright: 16 Southie Students Awarded Sports Hall of Fame Scholarships

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By Ginger DeShaney

 Sixteen outstanding South Boston students were awarded $2,000 grants from the South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship Trust Fund on Nov. 26.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult last 20 months for everybody,” ceremony emcee and Trustee John Beatty said at the Walsh Gym. People have been affected in different ways, he said: “Some with physical hardship or illness, in some cases losing family members; businesses have been impacted, jobs have been impacted, family lives have been impacted. Our students’ have been impacted …

“We hope that this scholarship is a shining light in these students’ lives.” 

In addition to the scholarship winners, John mentioned that the applicants who didn’t get scholarships were also exceptional students. “I found new inspiration for what’s going on right here in South Boston,” he said.

“It gives you reason to be hopeful for our future because this is a generation of great leaders, great students, and great citizens.”

John introduced the scholarship winners: 

ADAM ALTO
Award: Patricia Sheehy Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: Michael Sheehy
High school: Belmont Hill School
College: Dartmouth College

Adam Alto has been making a difference in people’s lives for years. Fittingly, given all the emphasis on the access to food this Thanksgiving, Adam has been a perennial volunteer with his church, distributing over 100 meals annually to those in need. This selfless service continued into the “Christmas in the City” program where he served as head volunteer and ambassador ensuring that our underprivileged youth in Greater Boston were taken care of … all while participating in South Boston Youth Hockey and maintaining over a 4.0 GPA at the esteemed Belmont Hill School.

NOLAN CALLO
Award: South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: BC High School
College: UMass-Lowell

Nolan Callo’s success is built on strong principles and personal character formed under the watchful eyes of strong South Boston role models and his embodiment of BC High’s call for its students to be “men for others.” Whether serving on the South Boston Action Center Youth Council, serving elderly through St. Monica’s, or just being a good neighbor, Nolan demonstrates the best our neighborhood has to offer. An all-around athlete, Nolan has participated in many sports, but in high school he excelled at football, outdoor track, and wrestling, where he also served as captain.

JACLYN FIASCONARO
Award:
 South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: Boston Collegiate Charter School
College: Regis College

After years of learning the art of Irish dance, Jackie Fiasconaro committed herself to giving back to her dance community. She served as a volunteer teacher/coach for the younger students, passing on her knowledge and talent to the next generation. Jackie also exemplified “giving back” during her time with the “Fun in the Sun” program, mentoring our South Boston youth.  And while maintaining an exceptional 4.11 GPA at the Boston Collegiate Charter School, she was also a comforting presence to the elderly residents at Compass by the Bay.

JAKE HARRISON
Award:
 L Street Brownies Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: L Street Brownies Association
High school: Boston Latin School
College: Western New England University

An exceptional athlete at Boston Latin School – as a two-time team captain and Globe and Herald All-Scholastic basketball player – Jake Harrison remains grounded in what success means. Jake has been ever present at the Gatey CYO program since he was 11 years old. He has taken his love for the game to another level by continuing to coach as he has moved up the ranks. Beyond sports, during COVID, Jake organized a school supply drive for the South Boston Boys & Girls Club, ensuring that students studying from home would have what they would need to be successful. 

DAPHNEY LAINE
Award: South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science
College: UMass-Boston

Like many in South Boston, Daphney Laine found a path to lead and serve others through her church. Not satisfied with just attending weekly services, Daphney wanted to broaden her participation as an event organizer, distributing Christmas gifts and supporting those in need, helping her to grow as a person and as a leader. She brought that leadership and great joy to others, while singing in the choir and recruiting others to do the same. 

JACK MATTHEWS
Award: South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: The Winchendon School
College: Saint Anselm College

Jack Matthews’ resume of service is one that most adults would be hard-pressed to match. Humbly, Jack has taken the lesson of service to others, imparted to him by his family, and charted a course to make a difference in the world. Whether serving as a coach/tutor to young hockey and lacrosse players, organizing cancer fundraisers, participating in beach/park clean-ups, or continuing the work of Msg. McDonnell and Mr. Kelly at St. Monica’s … Jack has immersed himself in service to others. Jack was an outstanding student at BC High and then The Winchendon School.

TIMOTHY MEDICO
Award: 
Bob Nichols Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: The Nichols Family
High school: Dexter Southfield
College: Wentworth Institute of Technology

With deep South Boston roots, Timothy Medico embraced the lineage of service that has been passed down to him. Like most South Boston youth, Timothy immersed himself in sports, playing baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. He has thrived as a counselor at the Curley Center, where he has been able to not only learn from the senior counselors and mentors, but also share his love for South Boston with a younger generation. As president of the Community Service Club, he was able to lead various projects such as Cradles to Crayons, Birthday Wishes, and sending letters to deployed soldiers via Rose’s Bounty. Timothy maintained an absolutely remarkable 4.81 GPA at Dexter Southfield.

BRIAN MILLER
Award: 
John Cunniff Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: The Cunniff Family
High school: BC High School
College: DePaul University

A lifelong hockey, baseball, and lacrosse player, Brian takes great pride in his South Boston roots. Like many of the town’s exceptional athletes, Brian has sought to give back and spent time coaching the young skaters at the Murphy Rink and volunteering with the South Boston Catholic Academy’s summer programs. Most notably, Brian organized a “wifflethon” fundraiser while just a young fifth- and sixth-grader to raise money for ovarian cancer. 

AARON MULLIGAN
Award: 
Frank & Margaret Seluk Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: Dr. Margaret (Seluk) Race
High school: The Governor’s Academy
College: Boston University

While Aaron Mulligan took full advantage of all the opportunities to learn and grow in Southie, enjoying the Tynan, PAL, and Curley Center, and enjoying the plethora of Little League fields, he thrived at two of Southie’s cornerstones: the Murphy Rink and the Harry McDonough Sailing Program. Throughout his time at The Governor’s Academy (maintaining over a 4.0 GPA), Aaron found himself teaching and mentoring youth to skate and play hockey at the rink and spending the summer doing the hard work of putting boats in and out of the water, rigging sails, and keeping kids safe while navigating Pleasure Bay. Aaron was a team captain and class vice president, and is now a freshman dorm proctor. 

DERMOT MURRAY
Award:
 Edward Sheehy Sr. Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: Edward Sheehy Jr.
High school: Catholic Memorial
College: Saint Anselm College

“It’s more than just showing up; it’s being there for each other and getting involved.” This quote from Dermot Murray’s scholarship essay demonstrates just how much he truly understands service. A well-rounded and solid young man who has sought to be a good example for others, Dermot volunteered his time at Compass by the Bay to help comfort those suffering from dementia. A well-rounded and solid young athlete, Dermot excelled at cross-country and track and field while at Catholic Memorial. 

EDDIE MURRAY
Award:
 South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: Catholic Memorial
College: Western New England University

Whether helping set up or break down for events at the South Boston Laboure Center, unloading trucks of donations for Christmas, delivering Christmas trees, or doing other work that just needed to get to done, Eddie Murray cited, in his essay, his appreciation for those who set the example for him – his parents, coaches, and teachers. Eddie played the full gamut of sports in Southie but excelled in baseball at Catholic Memorial and will continue playing at Western New England University. We are fortunate that athletes like Eddie have shared his talent with our next generation by coaching Gatey CYO basketball and supporting the Mayor’s Cup baseball tournament.

MACKENZIE NEE
Award: 
South Boston Sports HOF Trust Fund Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: SBSHOF Trust Fund
High school: Boston Latin Academy
College: Simmons University

While there is some debate, it’s clear to many that leaders are grown, not born. Mackenzie Nee is showing us how it’s done. Her immersion in the Big Sister program and her work at the Condon Community Center should serve as an example to us all. She is not only forcing herself to grow as a person – by placing herself in a vulnerable position, where she is accountable for her actions – but teaching and mentoring others. Given this core commitment to leadership development, it is no surprise that Mackenzie has been selected as captain of her Boston Latin Academy softball team, a Student Ambassador, co-leader of the Christian Club, and an intern at Tufts Medical Center.

JACQUELINE NOVICKI
Award:
 Folan Family Memorial Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: The Folan Family
High school: Boston Green Academy
College: Northeastern University

A seven-year cheerleader for the South Boston Pop Warner Football program, Jackie Novicki worked to uplift and inspire others on the “field of friendly strife.” Off the field, she continued to bring hope to others by volunteering with our elderly community at Marion Manor. Caring for others is clearly a guiding principle for Jackie, as she described her time as a swimming coach: “Caring for swimmers is my favorite part of coaching. Some swimmers … have had medical conditions that we learned to work through together.” Beyond the sport, Jackie is a caring and compassionate leader and example. Jackie had a tremendous performance at Boston Green Academy, where she earned a 4.01 GPA. 

RILEY SULLIVAN
Award:
 South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: South Boston Sports Hall of Fame Association
High school: Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
College: Fairfield University

Riley Sullivan’s passion and commitment to Irish dance, both her own dancing and her “teaching the 3-year-olds to turn out their feet,” is impressive on its own given the detail and dedication it requires, as well as the deep connection to our neighborhood’s Irish heritage – there’s high pressure to keep the tradition alive. But for Riley, it is natural – she yearns to grow, be better, and care for others. She took her volunteer spirit, formed at St. Brigid/SBCA, St Monica’s, and the Fourth Presbyterian Food Pantry, to Newton Country Day School and participated in many service opportunities, such as “Christmas in the City” at the BCEC, via their service committee. 

THOMAS WHITE
Award: 
The Amazon Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: Amazon
High school: Boston Latin School
College: Bucknell University

The Boston Latin School Male Athlete of the Year, Thomas White is a humble and reflective young man who will serve as a great example of the type of person South Boston produces. He credits his Gatey CYO basketball coach, Mike Donovan, with turning him into the athlete he is and setting him on his athletic journey. As sports tend to do, Thomas grew as a person from his athletic experience, increasing his confidence both on and off the court. Thomas has sought to emulate his experiences and coached in the Gatey instructional basketball league and coached track at the Youth Enrichment Services at Moakley Park. It is ironic that Thomas cites being at Moakley “where my love of running began.” We can only wonder if he will be the next South Boston track and field all-star to make it to the highest level … like James Brendan Connolly in 1896. Thomas is running Division 1 track and cross-country at Bucknell.  

McRAE WIEDERER
Award: 
Massport Scholarship Grant
Sponsor: Massport Authority
High school: O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science
College: Penn State University

While maintaining an astounding 4.78 GPA at the O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science, McRae Wiederer also was selected as captain of her soccer team for junior and senior years. Not surprisingly, she was awarded Most Improved on her basketball team and a Scholar Athlete of the Month. Suffice to say, McRae is driven and dedicated. Beyond her work at the O’Bryant, McRae cites her orientation to the Paraclete Center as the spark behind her volunteerism and service. Over the years, she has sought to serve as a dance teacher at Miss Linda’s, raised money for breast cancer research, and worked with the Red Cross. McRae is majoring in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

______________________________________

Applications for the 2022 scholarships will be available in early spring of 2022. Like the SBSHOF Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SouthBostonHallofFame – to stay updated.

 

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