Nicolas Albarano receives national scholarship


Nicolas Albarano, 17, a senior at South Side High School in Rockville Centre, has been awarded a national scholarship by the volunteer nonprofit organization, the Washington Crossing Foundation.

This one-time scholarship of $2,000 will help with the cost of his freshman year at the Catholic University of America this fall, where he plans on pursuing studies in politics and civil service and participating as a member of its honors program.

“I am very grateful to have been selected as a (scholarship) recipient,” Albarano said, “and for the opportunity to meet other seniors from across the country.”

Since 1970, the foundation has awarded nearly $2 million in scholarships to graduating high school seniors across the United States seeking a career in government service. This year, it presented a total of $84,000 in scholarships to 30 winners across 20 different states — including Albarano.

The winners were invited to attend a ceremony in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania in April, which celebrated their accomplishments and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

Albarano serves as the senior class president at South Side High School. He is also a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and a volunteer at the Sandel Senior Center on Park Avenue.

Kate Tweedy, the foundation’s scholarship chair, said that Albarano particularly stood out to her during the scholarship selection process for his character and enthusiasm. She said these traits are a great example of the type of leader the WCF wants to partner with.

“I thought he was a positive individual who was going to do what he said he was going to do because he had been a leader,” Tweedy said. “He’s already been a person who has challenged himself to do the very best and who I’ve liked very much.”

Albarano said that he plans to continue his excellent academic track record when he goes to college in the fall, while forming a more specific idea of what he wants his future career in government service to look like. Since he will be attending school in Washington D.C., he said that he plans on taking full advantage of the resources available to him.

“My goal is to gain knowledge and experience in both government and the private sector,” he said. “I have developed an interest in policy and its impact on domestic and foreign affairs.”

He said that he started to develop an interest in government service and politics during the coronavirus pandemic, while he was in eighth grade.

“A generation of youth should be able to look up to their elders and leaders for inspiration and guidance,” he said. “Unfortunately, this was not possible for us.”

Albarano said that he would like to be a leader that can unify and inspire others. When asked about the current state of American politics, he confidently said that his recent experience with the foundation has only encouraged him to get involved in government service and make change.

“When we hear the word politics there is instantly a negative stigma attached,” he said. “This needs to change, and I believe our generation has the power and capability to change it.”