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2014Giddings Foundation
Scholarship Recipients

The Alice and Murray Giddings Foundation awarded nine June 2014 graduates of public high schools in Columbia County as recipients of the 2014 Giddings Foundation Scholarships. Each recipient was awarded a $5000 scholarship directly applicable to his or her post-secondary certificate or college degree program. The 2014 Giddings Scholarship recipients and their families were honored at a luncheon reception at the Winding Brook Country Club on Sunday, June 8, 2014. The 2014 Giddings Scholars, all accomplished young adults, are:


Jamie Albrecht, the daughter of Michael and Wendy Albrecht of Ghent, is Valedictorian of the Class of 2014 at Taconic Hills High School. During her years at Taconic Hills, Jamie was on high honor roll and ranked in the top 5% of her class. She received the prestigious Bausch and Lomb Science Award, and excelled in the Liberal Arts and Social Studies. She is a National Honor Society Member. Jaime participated in Varsity Soccer and Swimming Teams throughout her high school years, and was a member of the Varsity Track Teams for the last two years. Jamie has served as Class President for four years, and was the Student Member of the Board of Education during her Senior year. She participated in the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Seminar, and was a State semi-finalist in the American Legion Oratorical Contest. Jaime immersed herself in many extracurricular activities in the field of Music, playing the flute, guitar and bass. She participated in the Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble; she was a member of the All County Band and a NYSSMA soloist in flute. Outside of school, Jamie was a leader on the Chatham U17 Girls Travel Team, and volunteered at the Claverack Free Library. She has been employed part-time at Our Daily Bread Café. Jamie plans to pursue a major in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine at Ithaca College, with the option to enter Ithaca's dual degree program for a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.


Humaira Khan, daughter of Abul Khan and Kulerun Miah, is a 2014 graduate of Hudson High School. She excelled academically throughout her high school years, and was in the top 5% of her class. Humaira was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including Varsity Club, Art Club, SADD, and the HHS newspaper. She served as a Peer Tutor for the last five years. Humaira held leadership positions at HHS, serving as Treasurer for Environmental Club, Envirothon, and the Senior Class; Vice President of National Honor Society; and President of Save a Life, Save the World Club. She has been a member of the Varsity tennis team for two years, and has been a Scholar Athlete for the team. Humaira is the recipient of the University of Albany's Multicultural Award and the George Eastman Young Leaders Award. Humaira volunteered time and effort to support the Salvation Army, Dollars for Scholars, the Columbia Memorial Hospital's Second Show retail / fundraising store. In addition to her extracurricular activities and community service, Humaira worked at Operation Unite and tutored local children. Humaira plans to attend the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.


Louisa Dodds, the daughter of John Dodds III and Marian Dodds, is a 2014 graduate of Taconic Hills High School. She ranked in the top 5% of her class. A member of the National Honor Society, Louisa was involved in Select Choir, Concert Band, Student Council, the American Legion Oratorical Contest, and classroom mentoring in the TH Elementary School. Her athletic pursuits included Varsity Swim Team, Track and Field, and Cross Country. She is winner of the 2014 Sean French "The Love of Running" Scholarship. She was active in Girl Scouts throughout her high school career, and involved in her church community at Greenwoods Community Church. She participated in Church Youth Group and Mission trips to Mexico, and volunteered in various capacities at Vacation Bible School, the Worship Team, and a Messiah Sings benefit concert. Some of her other community activities included service on the Roeliff Jansen Library Youth team, and work with younger children at a Family Running Clinic and the Southern Berkshire Child Care Program. Louisa was employed as a lifeguard for at Lake Taghkanic State Park and Taconic State Park. She has received recognition from the American Legion Auxiliary, Philmont Rotary Club, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Louisa will attend Gordon College in Whenham, MA; she intends to major in Education and Spanish, and to complete certifications in Teaching and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).


Benjamin Love, son of Jack and Patricia Love, is a 2014 graduate of Hudson High School and Questar III Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. He completed the Questar III program in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC/R); and EPA and OSHA certifications in that program. He anticipated completing an HVAC Excellence Certification in June 2014. Benjamin volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Hudson, where he used his HVAC expertise to put in duct work on a house build in 2013. He also volunteered at Animalkind, a cat rescue organization in Hudson, NY, where he spent time caring for the cats and maintaining their environment. Benjamin was on the high honor roll at both Hudson High School and Questar III, maintained academic standing in the top quarter of his class, and served on the Yearbook Committee. He plans to attend Hudson Valley Community College to secure an Associate's Degree in the field of Heating / Air Conditioning / Refrigeration Technical Services.


Miguel Martinez, son of Guadalupe and Leticia Martinez, is a 2014 graduate of Ichabod Crane Central High School. Miguel immigrated with his parents to the United States from Mexico as a young child. He was educated as an English Language Development (ELD) student at ICC, and is fluent and literate in English and Spanish. A member of the National Honor Society, Miguel tutored elementary aged English Language Learners in Reading and Math, and tutored at the high school level since 9th grade to assist ESL students with language, math, science and social studies. Miguel has been an employee at Love Apple Farm in Ghent, where his parents are long time employees, and has been in charge of fruit production at the Farm for several years. Miguel played soccer for ICC, helping his team win Regional and State Championships in 2012. Besides taking several honors and accelerated classes at ICCHS, Miguel developed his talents and skills in visual arts classes; one of his works was part of the Hudson Winter Walk Show, and his writing was published in the Inheritances Anthology. Miguel plans to complete a degree in Engineering at Hudson Valley Community College, and then transfer to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to complete a Bachelor's Degree.


Devin Overington, son of Kathy and Martin Overington, is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014 at Germantown High School. During his high school years, Devin volunteered his expertise in technology to his school district, the Germantown Library, and Germantown History Department. Whether installing library computers, planning and advising a digital sign project at Town Hall and Germantown Central Schools, or upgrading and developing the Germantown History Department website, Devin identified the needs in his community and worked to resolve them. In addition to his volunteer work, Devin served as President of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Drama Club, and the Class of 2014; and served in other leadership positions for SADD and Student Government in the past. A BSA Eagle Scout, Devin represented his school at the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Program, and was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award, the VFW 2012 Voice of Democracy Scholarship, the PTSA Citizenship Award, and the New York State Senate Youth Leadership Award. He is the recipient of the RIT Computing Medal Award, Elmira College Key Award, St. Michael's College Book Award, and the SUNY Albany Presidential Scholar Award. Devin was accepted to the Honors Program at Marist College, where he plans to pursue a degree in Information Technology or Computer Science.


Kaitlin S. Pearson, daughter of Mark and Kristen Pearson, is a 2014 graduate of Chatham High School. Ranked in the top 5% of her class, Kaitlin was involved in a wide variety of school and community activities. She held leadership positions as the president of the National Honor Society, Captain of the Varsity Indoor Track and Field Team, Class President, and President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Kaitlin represented Chatham High School at the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Program, Model Congress, and Model United Nations. An aspiring journalist, she served as both Editor and Reporter for the school newspaper, and was published in Peloris Literary Magazine. Kaitlin is a two-instrument musician; she played both oboe and clarinet in the School Concert and Marching Band. Also an actor, she participated in shows at Chatham High School, Theater Barn, Ghent Playhouse, and The Mac-Haydn Theatre. Her athletic endeavors included Varsity Softball, Varsity Indoor Track and Field, and Varsity Cheerleading during her senior year. She is the recipient of many academic awards, including the NYS Senate Youth Leadership Award, Outstanding Speaker Award at the HOBY Leadership Conference, the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award, and the Innovation and Creativity Award from RIT. Kaitlin plans to pursue a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.


Gazi Sakib, son of Kamiz Fatema, is a 2014 graduate of Hudson High School. Gazi spent his senior year involved in the Questar III New Visions Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Program at RPI. In that same time frame, he volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Hudson; previously, he provided leadership and volunteer time and effort to initiate and participate in anti-poverty and child welfare efforts in his native country of Bangladesh. These efforts included his work as a co-founder and chemistry laboratory assistant at an Experimental Learning Center; volunteer work at the Jaago Foundation to help build Jaago schools and raise funds for education; and volunteer fundraiser / Director responsibilities for Reach Out Bangladesh, which named him "most dedicated volunteer". At Hudson High School, he was a member of the National Honor Society. He was co-founder and President of the Hudson High Bluehawk's Math Club, and participated in Varsity Soccer. Previously, while living in Bangladesh, Gazi served as co-founder and co-captain of a competitive soccer club, "Eximus 11". Gazi plans to pursue a degree in Chemical and Molecular Engineering at Stony Brook University.


Demery Weeks, daughter of Alan and Sara Weeks, is a 2014 graduate of New Lebanon Jr. /Sr. High School. She was a member of several sports teams at her school, including Varsity Soccer, Track, Basketball, and Swimming. She was designated a scholar athlete, and participated in All County Chorus throughout her high school years. She was Vice President of her Student Council, and a member of SADD, the Yearbook Club, and the Community Service Club at the High School. Her community service activities included volunteer work with local youth sports teams; volunteering to build the playground at the Walter B Howard elementary school; Student Theatre Outreach Program; and fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She received the George Eastman Young Leadership Award in 2013 from the University of Rochester. Demery has been a lifeguard and summer day camp counselor at JMU for Kids Camp; and has worked part-time at two local cafés, in addition to her school and community activities. She intends to major in International Business and Economics at the SUNY College at Brockport.

Awards Reception
2014 Giddings Scholars
President Bina Evans, Board member Muriel Faxon & Returning scholars

Photos by Lance Wheeler

RECIPIENTS of  20182017201620152014201320122011201020092000-08