Pomp and Circumstance 2008, Sleepy Hollow High School

At Sleepy Hollow High School, 87 percent of the 180 students who will graduate on June 26 will be attending two- and four-year colleges in 19 states. Three percent are going into the military, 3 percent into the workforce and 7 percent are undecided. This talented group of students received a total of $213,875 in awards and scholarships.

This includes about $80,000 among four students who met in the conference room at the high school last week for an interview.

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L to R: Gordon Grajek, Danny Mosa, Norah Carney, and Jennifer Lopez

The students include Jennifer Lopez, Norah Carney, Danny Mosa and Gordon Grajek.

Sleepy Hollow resident Jennifer Lopez, winner of the $10,000 Hitachi Scholarship and $5,000 New York State Lottery Scholarship, will use the money for her tuition as a "biology and society" major at Cornell University, where her brother is a student.

The Hitachi Scholarship was awarded for academic excellence and community service. During high school, Lopez has done a number of things to help her community, including helping out the officials in the main office at the high school. She also worked as a counselor for the Tarrytown camp and volunteered for Kids in the Kitchen, a day to teach children how to eat healthfully.

"It’s really a great place," Lopez said, referring to the high school, and adding that the school administration allowed her to take advantage of every opportunity that interested her. This includes A.P. classes and leadership roles.

Meanwhile, Tarrytown resident Norah Carney is headed to Hofstra University, where she’ll major in music education.

"Music has been my passion," Carney said," adding that it has allowed her to "find myself." Her ultimate goal is to teach band to elementary-age students, something she’s already done with private lessons.

"I’m just going to miss everything," said Carney, who won several music scholarships. She said her teachers have really encouraged her and given her direction.

Her main instrument is the flute, but she also plays piccolo, clarinet, trumpet and guitar among other instruments.

"I play Guitar Hero," Mosa chimed in to laughter amongst his peers.

Mosa, the winner of a sports scholarship as well as a scholarship from the Korean Church, will be attending SUNY Maritime College in the fall, where the curriculum includes traveling on cargo vessels and visiting a dozen countries. Mosa’s goal is to work on ship engines, a passion he’s had since he turned 8 years old and restored his first antique car, a 1925 Model T. Today, he owns four antique cars, all of which he has worked to restore.

"This school gives me a lot of time to go home and do what I love," Mosa said, adding that he’s also learned to interact with a diverse group of people, which will help him when he travels overseas.

"Here, there’s every race, every creed, everything," he said. "Sleepy Hollow has made me see everyone as one person." Mosa said he’ll miss the friends he’s made playing football, lacrosse and track.

Finally, Grajek is the recipient of a $60,000 scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). While both his parents are artists, Grajek has a "strong interest in math and science."

He also plays trombone, guitar and piano, and he wants to work in the experimental music program at RPI, which houses the second most acoustically sound building in the world (the first is in Germany).

"I wasn’t limited by the school and what my passions were," Grajek said about Sleepy Hollow High School. He was thrilled that he could take any A.P. classes he wished, and he’ll also miss his friends he made through the musicals.

All the students agreed they’ll miss the construction the least.

Best wishes to the Class of 2008!

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About the Author: Brett Freeman