1st Annual Zachary Bernstein Scholarship Award
Friends of Zachary,
Tonight we close the chapter on Matthew’s Junior High School career as he took his place among all the graduating students at Lynbrook South Middle School 2014 Graduation. It was a proud moment for our family as we witnessed Matthew taking yet another step on his journey through life. There was definitely a deepened sense of disappointment and sadness that this is the first and last time we would witness one of my own, graduate from Junior High School but we take 3 steps forward a 1 step back.
After receiving his “diploma”, Matthew sat among is classmates waiting in anticipation to take yet another step. Matthew was called up to the podium to present the 1st Annual Zachary Bernstein Scholarship Award. With poise, control and articulation, Matthew delivered a beautiful description (see video above) what this award represents and the rational as to why this student was named the recipient. Matthew returned to his seat and Ms. Margaret Ronai, Principal of Lynbrook South Middle School invited Deena and myself to stand by her side as she read the recipient… Addison Molinaro.
Prior to Addison receiving the award, Deena and I were asked to read the backgrounds of several candidates provided by guidance counselors, staff and teachers as to why Addison (Student A) and other students were the appropriate candidates for this award. After a few conversations and emails, we made our decision. Here is what was shared…
Student A is an 8th grader at South Middle School. He has been faced with many personal challenges within his immediate family. Student A has also taken on adult responsibilities at home due to his personal circumstances. Despite these matters, Student A continues to maintain an overall above average grade in all his classes. He also is a member of the wresting, lacrosse, and football teams. Student A is respected by his teachers and peers and perceived as a kind and friendly child who makes positive choices. Although Addison is faced with several personal challenges, he always finds a way to rise above them and look for the good. He is positive, committed to community and takes great pride in his academic achievements.
For these reasons…my family thought Addison was the notable candidate for this award. When we met Addison tonight to present the award, he was overcome with emotion. As I looked into his eyes for the first time in a while, I saw a young man who is determined and extremely passionate. Whatever road Addison will travel, It’s nice to know he will have a guardian angel watching over him. I knew we made the appropriate decision. It just felt right.
On behalf of my entire family we congratulate Addison Molinaro for winning the 1st Annual Zachary Bernstein Scholarship Award and most of all to Matthew for always exceeding our expectations and being the most wonderful son imaginable. Although Zachary is with us in spirit tonight, we are honored to give something back to the ideal recipient and have Matthew take great pride in helping us along the way.
Yesterday is gone, live for today, let tomorrow be your inspiration and future.
Our sincerest appreciation,
Deena, David, Matthew, (Zachary)
“It Takes A Village”