Four East Meadow School District seniors were able to add to the excitement of graduating when the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce presented them each with $1,000 scholarships on June 2.
“It’s good that this year we’re able to hand the kids their scholarships,” said Christine Mooney, a member of the scholarship committee and the executive secretary for the chamber. “Last year we had to do it remotely. The scholars are all excellent.”
Taleen Krug, another member of the scholarship committee, called the four graduates — Alexander Weinstein, Austin Tenzer, Alannah Matulock and Alison Carman — smart and great candidates. She was impressed at their level of involvement in school and extra-curricular activities. “Being involved in so many things and being, what, only 17-years-old, it’s pretty outstanding,” she said.
Handing out the awards was full circle for Mooney, because Matulock was her student when she was 4-years-old. “I handed Alannah her first diploma and now I’m handing her a scholarship,” she said.
Matulock is a graduating senior at W.T. Clarke High School is heading to Pace University in Manhattan for nursing. She said she was excited to receive the scholarship to support her dreams of becoming a labor delivery nurse.
“I also want to do music on the side and maybe get some gigs here and there,” Matulock said. “I play piano professionally and I’ve been playing for 10 years. I taught myself the guitar and the ukulele. I play violin and I sing sometimes.”
Carman, from Clarke, was also there to receive her scholarship. She said that attending her high school these past four years has felt like home. She will be going to the University of Pittsburg to study rehabilitation science to become a physical therapist.
“I really appreciate this [scholarship,]” she said. “College is expensive and it really means a lot that there’s only four people that get it and I was one of the four out of many.”
Weinstein, an East Meadow High School graduating senior, said that he, too, was excited to use the scholarship to further his education.
“I’m so happy,” he said. “[My past four years] have been awesome, getting involved in so many clubs and activities and meeting new people. It’s just been a good time.”
Weinstein plans on majoring in psychology at the University of Delaware and hopes to work at a high school.
Fellow graduating senior Tenzer said that he also enjoyed his four years at EMHS, though he was sad to miss out on some of his time there due to the pandemic.
“It went by fast, I feel like a freshman still,” he said. “It was very difficult [during the pandemic] at first, especially being a sports-driven guy.”
He plans on playing football at John Caroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
“This is one of the most challenging senior years anyone has had to go through,” said Nassau County Legislator Thomas McKevitt, who attended the event. “College will be a breeze compared to this, but you will be able to say generations from now that you survived this year, but hopefully you learned about endurance.”
Richie Krug, the president of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, congratulated the scholarship recipients, as well as the scholarship committee for picking four deserving candidates after reading through the many essays.