Assumption Recognizes Students’ Commitment to Service with Prestigious Light the Way Scholarships

Oct 05, 2021

A cornerstone of the Assumption University mission is to form graduates who will use their gifts and talents to better the world in which they live. Each year, Assumption recognizes first-year students committed to making a meaningful difference in their communities with the prestigious Light the Way Scholarship. From organizing toy drives and running food pantries, mentoring children and raising awareness and funds for causes close to their hearts, this year’s class of Light the Way scholars is truly impressive and serve as an example for their classmates. 

“A unique aspect of an Assumption University education is our commitment to providing a high-caliber, Catholic liberal arts education that forms students who use their knowledge and talents to contribute to the common good,” said University President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “Integrated in many classes and co-curricular activities at Assumption are community service learning opportunities through which students are formed as thoughtful citizens. Students chosen as Light the Way Scholars have demonstrated a desire to serve those in the greatest of need and enact positive change in the world, a quality that inspires them to pursue a personal and professional life of meaning.”  

This year, Assumption awarded 23 Light the Way Scholarships worth up to $27,000 each, renewable for all four years. As part of the scholarship requirements, Light the Way scholars must continue to demonstrate a commitment to fulfilling the University’s mission to “Light the Way” for others.  Scholars must also take the Perspectives on Global Humanitarian Relief course, which challenges students to think deeply about global migration and the humanitarian efforts of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), one of the world’s largest global relief aid organizations. Assumption is one of just a few institutions of higher learning nationwide designated as a CRS Global Campus, a partnership that is used to generate awareness of global poverty among students on campus through fundraisers and campaigns throughout the academic year. 

The Class of 2025 Light the Way Scholars

Tyler Amato, of Cranston, RI, enjoys a long-standing commitment to addressing food insecurity by making dozens of sandwiches weekly. The sandwiches benefit Help the Homeless RI that are distributed to the homeless in his community.

Emily Arpino, of Chelmsford, coordinates an annual gift drive through her mother’s Keller Williams office, including donating stuffed animals to a local kindergarten class. Emily, who started the gift drive with her mother and her older sister, is training her younger sister to manage the program and ensure its continued operation.

Gabriella Bello, of Hyde Park, combats the stigma of mental health in minority communities through Real Talk, an intern-led program with Boston Project Ministries that seeks to facilitate meaningful conversations surrounding mental health in the minority community.

Adam Breton, of Litchfield, NH, supports those with Down Syndrome through fundraising efforts and supporting and attending events for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and Dads Against Down Syndrome. Adam also has spent the last few years as a volunteer coach for kids with disabilities.  

Caitlin Callahan, of Braintree, shares her voice through VocaliD, an organization that speaks for those suffering from speechlessness due to various medical illnesses.

Joseph Dumas, of Mattapoisett, accumulated 500 community service hours and service to Gifts to Give, a volunteer-run nonprofit where he packages individual gift packages for children in need. His continued work with this organization earned him an invitation from the CEO to participate in the Student Leadership and Internship Program.

Isabela Ferullo, of Boylston, who was a member of her high school’s Global Citizen Club, raised over $500 for the Be Like Brit Foundation; created the Soles for Souls shoe drive that provided over 200 pairs of shoes to those in need; and packing over 500 gifts for the Urban Missionaries in Worcester.

Mary Hamilton, of Chelmsford, established herself as a leader through several leadership efforts throughout high school, including her dedication as an Executive Board member of the Mentor Program, ensuring all mentors reached out to their mentees. She also planned, organized, and executed the Virtual Move Up Day and Freshmen First Day events at her school, coordinating with 600+ students and high school staff.

Kerry Hirsch, of Arlington, accumulated over 200 community service hours to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club, in which she assisted as a swim coach and led an introductory volleyball clinic. She also started the Arlington High School Future Nurses Club.

Evelyn Humphries, of Longmeadow, served for six years Rachel’s Table–a volunteer-based group that transports unserved and unsold prepared and perishable foods that otherwise would be wasted–and her continued efforts to alleviate hunger in her community through coordinating, organizing, and facilitating various food drives and donations.

Nathaniel Krozy, of Hopkinton, helped neurodiverse individuals find groups with a shared interest, particularly as a group leader with High Flight, a program at his local YMCA that promotes team building and outdoor activities, and as Student Liaison to the Youth Commission of Hopkinton.

Max Laplante, of Lawrence, was awarded a scholarship for his efforts to help heal the planet and help his community as a beekeeper, harvesting the honey and donating half the proceeds of his sales to various local charities in his community of Lawrence, including Heal Lawrence, Cor Unum Meal Center, Groundwork Lawrence, and the New England Center and Home for Veterans.

Max LeFrancois, of Worcester, raised $5,300 for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation by selling custom bracelets, as well as for his fundraising efforts with the Jimmy Fund through team cure AT/RT, which assisted a young girl born with a brain tumor and who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Ashley MacGilvray, of Wilmington, volunteered with The Wish Project, creating the “Wishing for Toys” drive to collect over 100 toys for families in need. She has also served as a CCD teacher, as a volunteer coach for children, and helped plan the 2020 Special Olympics in her town.

Kayla Menice, of Taunton, organized a food drive continuing her longtime commitment to the Coyle and Cassidy Food Pantry, an organization she volunteered for over seven years. When the pandemic forced the closure of the food pantry, she became one of two coordinators who worked diligently to restart the food pantry program in a new location.

Claire Nye, of Natick, partnered with Julie’s Family Learning Center, an educational institution for low-income mothers in Boston, to collect and donate 40 strollers to single mothers working to achieve their educational goals for her Girl Scout National Gold Project. She also created bilingual safety manuals to accompany each stroller donated to the mothers.

Kayla O’Loughlin, of Hopedale, led awareness efforts with the National Eating Disorders Association as the top individual fundraiser and hosting a National Eating Disorders Awareness week at her school.

Victoria Richardson, of Rehoboth, raised awareness of for Black History Month in her high school by creating the BLACK Association (Black Leaders in Cultural Kinship) and planning, organizing and executing a variety of events, speakers, and panels over four years.

Joseph Sawicki, of Marlborough, accumulated over 500 volunteer hours at St. Vincent’s Hospital, as an altar server, and caring for retired Assumptionist priests, and earned his Eagle Scout rank while serving as a Senior Patrol Leader in which he recruited and led his troop to become one of the largest in the area.

Riley Scott, of North Kingstown, RI, for created the Choose Love Club in the wake of the Sandy Hook Tragedy and using her robotics experience to provide a STEM after-school program at a local elementary school when they lost funding for their programming.

Kaylah Seavey, of North Attleboro, volunteered with HOPE Worldwide to assist in the Philadelphia community by becoming a mentor to a young girl and assisting in community cleanups. She also traveled to Talkeetna, Alaska, to help build a camp for individuals with disabilities.

Kendra Smith, of Bridgewater, participated in Catholic HEART Workcamp, in which she led three mission trips to Virginia, Michigan, and South Carolina, and for which she raised over $20,000 to help defray costs for the trips by planning various community service activities.

Gina Treska, of Worcester, taught adult English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and serving as a Language Ambassador, in which she taught elementary students American Sign Language.