|Nancy DiGrezio Memorial Scholarship
The Nancy DiGrezio Memorial Scholarship was established in 2007 in memory of former YWCA Board Member Nancy DiGrezio, a long-time local advocate for social justice. The scholarship is awarded annually to a high school senior who lives or attends school within the YWCA Greater Newburyport's service area* who is a leader and peacemaker among her or his peers; whose actions exemplify tolerance and understanding of differences; and who, by example, empowers other students to respond to acts of intolerance and discrimination.
The YWCA will accept scholarship applications beginning on the national celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. An application screening committee of YWCA Board and community members will select the scholarship recipient. The scholarship will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the YWCA Greater Newburyport and will be awarded to the recipient at the year-end senior awards assembly at the recipient’s high school, so that he or she may be recognized in front of his or her peers, teachers and family.
*The YWCA Greater Newburyport serves the thirteen communities of Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Salisbury, Amesbury, Merrimac, Georgetown, Rowley, Ipswich, Seabrook, Hampton, Hampton Falls, and Kensington.
Nancy DiGrezio actively lived and loved the mission work of the YWCA. Her tireless efforts on behalf of affordable housing, peace, diversity and tolerance were constant yet gentle reminders of the ongoing need for the YWCA’s mission work and how one person can have tremendous impact on the lives of others in our community. During her tenure with the YWCA Board of Directors, Nancy chaired the organization’s Advocacy Committee and Co-Chaired the 2005 and 2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfasts. In 2005, she advocated on behalf of the creation of the Mayor’s Commission on Tolerance and Diversity, and was a charter appointee to the Commission by Mayor Mary Anne Clancy.
2015 Scholarship Winners
Hannah Miles| Pentucket Regional High School
Hannah helped found Pentucket’s first Gender Studies Club. The club serves as “a safe haven where people of all genders and sexualities can come and share their experiences and their problems without fear of being judged.” Hannah says, “Hearing stories of my fellow classmates struggling against abuse because of their race, sexuality or gender has made me even more sensitive to discrimination…The only way to illuminate intolerance is by creating empathy for others.” Hannah’s “lifetime of experiences with inequality and (her) work in Gender Studies has made (her) a fierce promoter of tolerance, social justice and understanding.”
Michaela Morris | Phillips Exeter Academy
Michaela is a “firm believer that everyone deserves to be treated justly and with respect.” Michaela walks her talk through her reinvigorating of and leadership in the Heartbreakers Club, her advocacy efforts for Best Buddies and Special Olympics Youth Action Committee as well as her proposal for a partnership between Phillips Exeter Multicultural Affairs Office and English Department to educate students on the continued existence of racism. As she looks forward, Michaela states: “Right now, to me, the world feels vast and mysterious, teeming with possibilities. I look forward to learning more about the hundreds of ways that I can continue to affect change, continue to connect and continue to learn from my peers to make the world a better place.”
Previous Scholarship Winners
Mary Williamson (YWCA Board Member), Hannah Miles (Pentucket Regional H.S.), and John Feehan (YWCA Executive Director).
Mary Williamson (YWCA Board Member), Michaela Morris (Phillips Exeter Academy), and John Feehan (YWCA Executive Director).
The Nancy DiGrezio Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by a generous gift from James Miller of Newburyport in memory of his late wife and her legacy of compassionate community service.
The YWCA Greater Newburyport administers the Fund and welcomes additional donations to it. For more information about donations to the Scholarship Fund, call 978-465-9922.
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