Carpinone Family Scholarship: Life Changing Experiences and Their Impact 

The Carpinone family, owners of Dwyer and Michaels Funeral Home in Tarrytown, have created a scholarship for students from Ossining and Sleepy Hollow high schools. Each month, we will publish essays from a student from each school. This is the third pair of essays in the series. Each student will receive a $750 scholarship in memory of Carmine Carpinone’s father and brother.    

Nube graduated from Ossining High School in 2023 and is now attending Alfred University. During high school, Nube was a member of the Mud Club, Hispanic United American Club, the Business Club and National Arts Honor Society among other activities. Her favorite hobby is creating and teaching art.

by Nube Yanqui
Ossining High School   

A time when I was challenged by a perspective that differed from my own was when I was trying to find a definition of “A fulfilling and successful life.” When I was younger I thought a fulfilling and successful life meant to be married, have children, and have a successful career. Life has taught me that you don’t need all of that. The way I responded was to reflect on my own life. I didn’t have what I thought a fulfilling and successful life was; I had divorced parents, a single mother, and my mom couldn’t start her career until I was 5 because she had me in high school. To this day I can’t wrap my mind on how she did it, even as a teen mom in a troubled marriage. All these things changed my perspective of having a fulfilling and successful life, but I still have a good life.  

From the moment I was born I was surrounded by Spanish. Growing up in Ossining it has a majority Hispanic community and most people didn’t speak English, only Spanish because they were new to the country. Therefore, in school the majority of the students were Hispanic and some of the students didn’t speak English. Due to the lack of Spanish speaking staff, I helped staff and students communicate multiple times throughout my high school career. This skill made me realize how much help I can be to my community.  

A personal experience where I intentionally expanded my cultural awareness was in the summer of 2018. I went to the Dominican Republic with 30 classmates. We went to learn more about cleaning the earth and how to keep our environment clean. I remember being so excited about going to a new country! My mom and grandma would usually take me to Ecuador because we have family there. However, I knew this trip to the Dominican Republic would be a new learning experience! We would go out with people from the organization every day and help clean the ocean and beach. Their oceans are so clear and clean, you see much life in them. I’m glad that I was able to take part in that experience. During the trip I saw how different their country is compared to Ecuador or the US. Their dishes, way of transportation, the vendors, and their beaches.  

by Shakthi Manjanath
Sleepy Hollow High School 

Valentine’s Day of 2018 started as a regular day for most students. However, it turned devastating for the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. At 3:18 pm, Nikolas Cruz entered the high school and opened fire using an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring 17 others. I was distraught and horrified by the news of this tragedy.   

I deeply empathized with the mourning community members of Parkland. Hearing their first-hand stories saddened me, but also inspired me to take action. In late February 2018, I created a committee whose purpose was to organize a safe and empowering school-wide walkout. Our mission was to protest the NRA and demand gun reform. The committee members and I spent every night for a week on Facetime together, drafting and revising a proposal for the walkout.  

Once we had our parents read it over, we set up a meeting to present the proposal to our school’s principal. Our meeting with the principal was nerve-racking and intimidating, but a necessary step to achieve our goal. I argued that national change can only begin with local conversations about change and that the walkout was a wonderful opportunity for students’ voices to be heard. He ultimately allowed us to conduct the walkout and the plan came to fruition on March 14, 2018. 270 students left class at exactly 2:21 to meet in the courtyard. We gathered for a moment of silence for the 17 victims of the shooting. The atmosphere was serious and respectful. Then, each student had the opportunity to speak. Many voiced that our lives were worth more than NRA profits and that we didn’t deserve to live in fear. Others promoted that school should be a safe place where students strictly needed to worry about learning, not losing their lives.  

The walkout had an empowering impact on the community of students in Sleepy Hollow. It gave students a place where their concerns and ideas could be heard and encouraged. I am committed to creating spaces in my community where people’s voices feel listened to and valued: that is where real change truly begins.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you to the Carpinone family for supporting our students. Your recognition instills such a sense of purpose in the kids and in the community. And your scholarship has already made a difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended For You

About the Author: River Journal