NEW BRITAIN â€“ City native Natalie Criniti is close to earning her Masterâ€™s degree in counseling from the University of St. Joseph and thankful to a local program for bolstering that education.
Criniti is now helping to spread the word about the American Savings Foundationâ€™s Robert T. Kenney Scholarship, to young people who could benefit from the financial help just like she did.
Her community involvement began when she was a teenager, volunteering for the Human Resources Agency of New Britain and Autism Speaks. The ASF scholarship helped her through her undergraduate studies in social work at Eastern Connecticut State University and is now helping her complete her graduate studies.
Criniti recently accepted a temporary position with the foundation, to conduct outreach to residents of New Britain and surrounding towns. This spring sheâ€™ll be at New Britain High School one morning a week to help students apply for scholarships.
â€śI am especially excited to help current high school seniors navigate the application process, because I know how important this scholarship was for me,â€ť Criniti said.
There was a reduction in application submissions last year and now with more monies available the foundation is pushing to get applicants.
â€śWe have been especially fortunate to have past scholars return in various capacities to help us continue our mission, including serving on our Scholarship Committee and on our Board,â€ť ASF President and CEO of American Savings Foundation Maria Falvo said. â€śAs a past Scholar, Natalie understands the new application process and will be a terrific resource for students.â€ť
High school seniors, college students and even adults going back to school can apply as long as they live in one of the 64 Connecticut towns the ASF serves, which include Bristol, New Britain, Plainville, Newington, Berlin and Southington.
High school students who apply must be ranked in the top-third of their graduating class or have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Current college students must be maintaining a 2.5 GPA or higher.
The application deadline is March 31 and the ASF plans to award almost 400 scholarships by June.
The foundationâ€™s Norman E.W. Erickson Scholarship is available to New Britain High School seniors who fall short of the GPA requirement but have demonstrated they have the potential for college success through their participation in a local youth development program. Qualifying agencies must provide a nomination letter.
Visit asfdn.org to download an application or call 860-827-2556.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.