Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Honors Top Scholars

Recipients of the annual Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Foundation scholarships to high school seniors were feted in in June in front of family, friends, and school administrators at Hollow Brook Golf Club in Cortlandt Manor. Members of the Foundation (pictured here) presented the awards. Scholarship recipients are chosen on the basis of academics, leadership skills, extracurricular activities, community volunteering, awards or merits, and work experience. The scholarships are funded through the generosity of local businesses that participate in the Chamber Foundation’s annual Golf Outing, scheduled for Sept. 18, 2023, at Hollow Brook.  > 

Presented by Lucille Geraci-Miranda, Geranda Projects
Madelyn Boglioli
Croton-Harmon High School 

Madelyn enjoys sports, volunteering, and works three part time jobs.  She was Class of 2023 Valedictorian. Madelyn’s decision to become an orthopedic surgeon is based on two life experiences. When she was 10, her father fell out of a tree, breaking his right femur and wrist, which required titanium rod and screws.  Bone graft surgery to repair the break changed her father’s life forever. The other influence was Madelyn’s selection to the Perry Initiative, a program for young women interested in medicine and engineering. She participated in mock orthopedic procedures, including the same surgery her dad had. Madelyn plans to combine her academic and professional interests with her desire to give back to her community.    

Presented by Lucille Geraci-Miranda, Geranda Projects
Sarah Chiulli
Walter Panas High School 

Sarah is active in sports and in community service. She has a GPA (grade point average) of 99.96 (102.67 weighted). She has received more than 20 awards during her high school career and was Class of 2023 Valedectorian. For her career choice, Sarah at first couldn’t decide between doctor and engineer. But after her sister’s roommate introduced her to Biomedical Engineering, and pointed out a student who was using a 3D biopronter to create liver tissue, Sarah was hooked. She realized she wanted a career where she can enhance patients’ quality of care by creating improved medical technology. She will attend Tufts University and major in Biomedical Engineering.  

Presented by Jane Solnick, Con Edison
Leonah Esteves
Peekskill High School  

Leonah has her sights set on becoming an entrepreneur with a lens on socio-economics. Having completed two science research projects with a renowned scientist at Columbia University, Leonah has already proven herself a successful researcher.  In addition to numerous academic and research awards, she is active in both her school and local community as a volunteer, leader, and activist. Leonah is a first-generation college student who will attend Barnard College of Columbia University to pursue a multifaceted major of Economics and Social History. 


Presented by Tom D’Agostino, Hudson Valley Young Professionals
Alexis Fernandes
Emerging Leader (Hudson Valley Young Professionals)
A graduate of Peekskill High School, Alexis was Class President for 2020-21 school year, a member of the Peekskill Superintendent’s Youth Advisory Council, and Editor-in-Chief of the School Yearbook Club. Her AP courses included Spanish, Government & Politics, and African American Studies. She is a recipient of the New York State Seal of Biliteracy. Alexis has volunteered at Goan Association of the Hudson Valley. She is attending Boston College to major in Biology (Pre-Dental).

Presented by Jane Solnick, Con Edison
Chantal Fernandez
Hendrick Hudson High School 

Chantal aspires to be attorney and will be attending George Washington University.  As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about making a change for her community and all people. Chantal has already made major strides in reaching her goals, as a catalyst in the development of a Mock Trial Team, which became a club. She expanded her knowledge base by shadowing assistant district attorneys and analyzing evidence during a course in Washington, D.C. Chantal is a strong leader, critical thinker, and communicator.   

Presented by Sherry Mayo, SUNY Westchester Center for the Digital Arts
Maximus Fuca
Vocational (Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES)
Maximus has an unweighted GPA of 82.68. He played football throughout middle- and high school.  His athleticism is matched by his concern for his community.  He has worked hard locally and has a passion for welding, which he pursued at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. His goal is to build a mobile welding rig to make emergency repairs for the community. 

Presented by Ellen Bloom, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley
Simone Gabriel
Putnam Valley High School
After delving into a Science Research course, Simone realized the disparity in health care for minority women and  intends to further her education at University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on maternal fetal medicine. Simone has been active in Girl Scouts since first grade, earning bronze and silver awards, and is working towards her Gold.  She is certified for CPR and AED, and volunteers with the Putnam Valley Ambulance Corpsm and at Grace Gospel Chapel Food Pantry. She has been All-Conference and All-League in Volleyball. Simone is co-owner of The Balloon Kids, LLC.  She wants to practice medicine and to continue research to help others and have a positive impact in the community.  

Presented by Sherry Mayo, SUNY Westchester Center for the Digital Arts
Ilan Villard
Lakeland High School
Ilan has an unweighted GPA (grade point average) of 99.6. He is committed to Georgia Tech to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.  He is the recipient of several awards including the Harvard Book Award, Presidential Service Award, and Commended Scholar for National Merit Award. Ian has a passion for the space industry and a concern for climate change and sustainability.

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