Two Masuk seniors are finalists for Weller Foundation scholarship

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Leslie Baker

Masuk seniors Sofia Nwosu, left, and Aidan Silvestro, at right, are awarded $200 checks from Michael J. Smith, chairman of The Weller Foundation, Inc. Both students are finalists for the 2022-2023 Barton L. Weller Scholarship.

Two Masuk High School seniors were selected as finalists to compete for the $18,000 Scholarship in honor of the late Barton L. Weller, founder of Vitramon, Inc., in Monroe, whose generosity has made this award possible.

The seniors selected are Sofia Nwosu, daughter of Matthew Nwosu and Kathy Quezada, of Monroe, and Aidan Silvestro, son of Lawrence Silvestro and Ekaterina Ilina, of Monroe.

Established in 1977, the scholarship’s purpose is to encourage academic excellence in a substantial independent research or study project. The scholarship is open to full-time senior-year students at Joel Barlow, Masuk, Newtown, Shelton and Trumbull high schools.

Entrants were required to submit proposals for projects in any field of study they were interested in. A total of 13 proposals were received. Five finalists were selected on the basis of originality, the format of the proposal, project potential and the care with which the proposal and its planned implementation have been thought through.

On Nov. 3, each finalist received $200 to help defray expenses during the five-month project period. Prior to the Awards Dinner on April 26, 2022 at Fairfield University, the scholarship recipient will be announced.

At the dinner, the $18,000 scholarship will be presented to the student whose project is judged to be the best. This scholarship will be paid directly to the college or university for deposit into the student’s account. The scholarship will be awarded without regard to the student’s existing financial status.

Sofia Nwosu’s project is entitled,  “Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear Prevention in Young Athletes. The objective is to create a strength implementation program for young adults that targets the ACL in order to prevent the likelihood of tears.  

Aidan Silvestro’s project is entitled “Spreading Abundance Using Community Spaces to Tackle Local Food Insecurity”. The objective is to research and create a PDF “How to Guide” on incorporating low-maintenance crops into our landscape, yards, gardens, and unused community spaces to cultivate fresh produce to battle food insecurity.

The other finalists competing for the scholarship are:

Jennifer Dushi – Newtown High School 

Project:  “Fresh Food for All: Using Sustainable Greenhouses to Connect Communities in Food Deserts”

Reshma Kode – Trumbull High School

Project: “Analyzing the Progress of Redistricting Methods Towards   Preserving Our Democracy”

Maxton Mendes –  Joel Barlow High School

Project: “Senior to Senior Project”

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