In March 2022, Dwyer & Michael’s Funeral Home in Tarrytown announced an annual scholarship program to award $4,500 in scholarships to Hispanic students at Sleepy Hollow High School. Each of the six scholarships, in the amount of $750, were to be awarded to students chosen by the high school based on the following criteria:
A graduating senior in good standing who . . .
- Is an ENL (English as a New Language) or Heritage Student (raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken, speaks or at least understands the language, and is to some degree bilingual in that language and in English);
- Is a good school citizen;
- And, will be attending an accredited college, university, or trade school program in the fall.
To be considered for the scholarship, students submitted a an up-to 400-word essay addressing what it is like to grow up Hispanic in the River Towns. Essays were submitted in English and in Spanish and each pair of essays will be published, in River Journal. The initial essays from the first two recipients have appeared in the April and May issues.
On May 9, the six students were each presented with their check by Carmine Carpinone, president of Dwyer & Michael’s, at a ceremony at the high school.
The six students are:
- Paula Ticona Pera
- Leslie Casana
- Reyshel Guzman
- Ashlee Molina
- Cisnia Albarracin
- Jaceline De Jesus
“As a family-owned business serving all people in the area, we are very aware of the unique challenges that local, first-generation Hispanic families encounter when they move from their home country to the River Towns,” said Carmine Carpinone, president of Dwyer & Michael’s. “We have three generations of our own family working here at the funeral home and both my mother and father emigrated to New York not speaking the language and faced similar challenges. We wanted to provide a little help as this new generation of students embark on their next level of education.”
The Carpinone Family Scholarship was created “to honor the memory of my father and brother who both passed away recently,” said Carmine Carpinone. “They were both firm believers in the importance of education and bringing all community members together.”
Principal Debbie Brand expressed gratitude for the new scholarship.
“The students at Sleepy Hollow High School are so fortunate to have access to this incredibly generous scholarship from Dwyer & Michael’s Funeral Home,” she said. “Both Dwyer & Michael’s and River Journal clearly understand that the unique experiences and perspectives of our Latinx Sleepy Hollow students are something to be celebrated and supported, and we are so appreciative of the opportunity they are affording our students.”