Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club Awards $10,000 in Scholarships to Five Graduating Sussex Central High School Seniors

Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club is pleased to announce it has awarded five Sussex Central high school seniors a $2,000 Service Above Self Scholarship. The honored students are Ruth Gomez-Bartolon, Vanessa Hernandez-Barrios, MacKenzie Rementer, Mary Julienne Villareal and Ashley Durasky who were presented honorary certificates at the Sussex Central Awards Ceremony in May. Recipients can choose if their monetary award will be sent to the college they will be attending for tuition costs or used to defray expenses the student might incur for computers and books.

Students interested in winning the scholarship submitted their applications by April 9, 2023 and a committee from Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club reviewed them for merit. Factors contributing to selection include academic performance, financial need and an exhibition of community service to fit with Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self. Students who are members of the Sussex Central Interact Club were given special consideration.

“We are thrilled to have such wonderful applicants,” remarks Christine Tomalin, Long Neck Sunrise Rotarian managing the application and award process. “We originally had budgeted for four scholarships, but the applicants were all so remarkable that we decided to award all five.”

Award winner Ruth Gomez-Bartolon is planning to pursue a career in accounting and finance, beginning at the University of Delaware. She also will pursue some medical training through her church as Master Guide, where she will serve as a cadet to provide training to those in need. In addition to maintaining an outstanding academic record, Ruth has participated in numerous clubs and associations throughout her four years, including: Sussex Central Business Professionals of America, Brother/Sister Knights, Future Health Professionals, Interact Club, Yoga Club, Higher Education Opportunities, K-popp, National Honor Society and the Philosophy Club, In addition she also was in charge of the Music Youth Department.

Vanessa Hernandez-Barrios plans to follow a path into cybersecurity with a minor in pre-law at the University of Scranton. Vanessa also has an outstanding academic record and has been very active with JROTC in part of her high school career which piqued her interest in cybersecurity. She served in Color Guard JROTC, Drill JROTC, US Naval Stern, Fund Raising JROTC, Community Service Committee JROTC, as well as participating as a premium student in Great Dame, Interact Club, Marching Band, UD Dual Enrollment, UD DRSI, Del Tech Upward Bound Math and Science, Teens Drive Change, School Coding: Qubit x Qubit, Knitting Committee, Making for Better Future Classes by DGSA, Marksmanship, and Global Health: Racial, ethnic and socioeconomic classes by DGCA.

MacKenzie Rementer will be attending Delaware Technical Community College studying Nursing and then will transfer to DeSales University to partake in their Physician’s Assistant program. MacKenzie has combined the traditional academic extracurricular activities Interact Club, Wrestling Manager, Dance Team/ Marching Band, Social Justice Club, ASL Club, Best Buddies Club and Chick-fil-a Leadership Academy with attending Rotary’s RYLA institute and volunteer projects with Long Neck Methodist Church serving veterans, nursing home residents and the homeless. She also had an excellent academic record.

Mary Julienne Villareal will be attending Delaware Technical Community College to obtain an RN and later a BSN, after which she hopes to make enough money to attend dental school or perhaps become a Nurse Anesthetist. Mary excelled academically as well as participated in Rotary’s RYLA and a Rise Against Hunger Initiative. Her extracurricular activities included the Interact Club; National Honor Society; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field and Cross Country where she achieved numerous certificates of recognition in Indian River All Conference; and Student Council Class Officer,

Ashley Durasky plans to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware with the goal of becoming a lawyer. In addition to her strong academic achievements, Ashley is a member of Boy Scouts of America where she has served as senior patrol leader. She has volunteered for Rise Against Hunger and is now working on a food drive for a Crisis House as an Eagle scout project. In addition to Boy Scouts, Ashley has been a member of Sea Scouts, the National Honor Society, Interact, the National Honor Society and Student Council.

Pictured Above: Service Above Self $2000 Scholarship winners at the Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club June 13 meeting. (left to right) Christine Tomalin, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club Youth Scholarship coordinator; Scholarship recipients Ashley Durasky, Mary Julienne Villareal, Vanessa Hernandez-Barrios, Ruth Gomez-Bartolon, (not pictured) MacKenzie Rementer; Lucille Cavan, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club Youth Committee Chair.