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Norwalk High School Recipient Spotlight

Jessica Bruno

Jessica graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May of 2009 with a double major in American Studies and Film, Television, & Theatre. Jessica is currently attending Quinnipiac University School of Law, class of 2012.

Jessica entered the College of the Holy Cross in the fall of 2005. Although her activities were limited by a torn ACL, she was a member of the Holy Cross College Choir and was a tutor and volunteer at Plumley Village, a subsidized housing complex run by the Boys and Girls Club in Worcester. Jessica transferred to the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2006.

At Notre Dame Jessica was part of the Silver Wings a multi faceted service organization supporting both the campus and the South Bend community. Jessica also served as lector and Eucharist Minister at dorm masses. Jessica was recipient of the Hannah Storm Journalism Internship affording her the opportunity to write articles for newsletters and edit articles and websites for the Notre Dame Alumni Association.

During her junior year Jessica participated in My Brother’s Keeper an Urban Plunge program associated with Notre Dame. She was a tutor at St. Adalbert’s Elementary School in South Bend and was accepted as Transfer Orientation Committee leader for the 2008-2009 school year. Jessica also served as rector for St. Jerome’s 2008 Emmaus retreat.

During Jessica’s senior year she helped organize the Senior Legacy program and taught religious education to 2nd graders at St. John the Baptist Church in South Bend.

In summarizing what the scholarship has meant to her Jessica wrote. “On Saturday, April 2, 2005, I experienced one of the most extraordinary feelings as the 2005 Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship recipient. With four years of academic achievement, athletic success, and dedication to my community and church behind me, I was honored to be associated with such a beloved member of the Norwalk community. I was grateful to have the opportunity to follow in Kevin’s footsteps, and felt privileged to be part of Kevin’s legacy.” Jessica further commented, “This scholarship is more than just $90,000. It is about a young man who was a gift to his community, and his scholarship was a gift that made my dreams come true. I will always represent this scholarship proudly, and I will always have a special place in my heart for Kevin Eidt.

Elana Ben-Porat

Elana, a four year Dean’s List student, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin in May of 2008 with a double major in History and Communication Arts.

During Elana’s freshman year she participated in the Education Fellows program learning about current problems in education and different types of school districts. She also joined Chi Omega and took part in the Chi-O Reads Out Loud for the Safe-Haven program, Dodge for Wishes for the Make A Wish Foundation and raising money for breast cancer research. She also became involved in the University’s Hillel, the Jewish organization promoting student involvement in religious, cultural, political, and traditional aspects of Judaism.

In her sophomore year, Elana continued her volunteer work under the Chi Omega sorority and spent her second semester abroad in Prague in the Czech Republic studying film and Jewish studies.

During junior year Elana sat on the sorority’s Executive Board as the Recruitment Chairman and was in charge of recruiting a new pledge class the fall semester of her junior year. Elana also traveled through Israel for two weeks on Taglit Birthright, a program to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Israel.

In her senior year Elana worked for Teach For America (TFA) as a Campus Campaign Coordinator. TFA is a non-profit organization that hires recent college graduates to work in low-income school districts in an effort to close the country’s achievement gap. As a Campus Campaign Coordinator, Elana promoted the organization and recruited students to apply for TFA. While working for TFA, she became invested in their mission to work towards ending the nation’s educational inequities. Elana was offered a position to work in New York City where she currently lives and teaches seventh and eighth grade social studies at the Bronx Early College Academy.

Each year our scholarship recipient submits a summary of their activities to the Board of Directors of Kevin’s Fund. We would like to share some of Elana’s comments from her summary written days after her graduation.

“How have I changed as a person and what impacted me the most throughout my four years in college? I am not sure I can put a concrete definition to the changes that I underwent, but I can assure you I have developed into a mature, nurturing and driven person. More specifically, I can confidently say the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship Fund has been one of the prominent influences in shaping the graduate who walked across the graduation stage five days ago.”

“I feel the scholarship motivated me to perform at exceptional levels and created a strong desire within me to achieve success. I was a driven individual before receiving the scholarship, but knowing that I represented Kevin throughout college gave me more inspiration to excel in academics and choose a career in the public sector.”

“Right after accepting the scholarship award, a member from the selection committee told me how struck he was by my maturity level during the interview as I discussed my mother’s struggle with cancer. A week before I was to leave for my senior year, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. During the first twenty-four hours of his diagnosis, I was unsure if I would be able to leave my family. However, I remembered what I was told four years ago, and had the maturity to go to back to school while simultaneously providing my family with the love and support they needed back home. I will never forget how the scholarship gave me the reassurance and hope to return to Madison, experience a monumental period of my life and not feel as though I was abandoning my family’s hardship.”

Thomas Wagner

Tom graduated Cum Laude from Bucknell University in May of 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a minor in Economics.

While at Bucknell Tom was involved as a Residential Assistant for first year students, Events and Outreach Director for Catholic Campus Ministry, Vice President and Interim President for Residence Hall Association, and President of Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Tom also served as a Bucknell Tour Guide, was a member of American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of the civil engineering concrete canoe team, and played trumpet in the University concert band.

During the summer between Tom’s junior and senior year he traveled to England, France, Germany, and Italy as part of a civil engineering program to learn how engineering techniques are applied in societies outside the United States. Senior year, Tom was initiated into Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering Honor Society) and one of five students selected to represent Bucknell in Washington, D.C. at the National Transportation Research Board Conference. He also worked with Lewisburg, PA citizens and elected officials to provide a plan for the “Redevelopment of the Bull Run Neighborhood” as his senior civil engineering project.

Currently, Tom holds his E.I.T. certification and is employed at DMJM Harris, a consulting engineering company in New York City, as a civil engineer. He has plans to return to school in the next year to pursue a master’s degree.

Tom wrote, “The Eidt Memorial Scholarship has truly impacted me in a way words will never convey. The concepts I have learned, friendships I’ve made, and experiences I’ve shared are all a direct result of the scholarship. They have helped me to improve my character, identify my morals, and in turn, discover myself. I truly hope that the faith and self-confidence the scholarship committee has instilled in me has helped me to instill those same traits into the people I have met at Bucknell and beyond. For me, Kevin’s legacy has not come to an end; instead, it is just the beginning. I hope to pass his spirit on to all those I meet through the morals and values I exemplify.”

Laura Sharp

In May 2006 Laura graduated from the University of Rhode Island Honors Program magna cum laude with a B.A. in French and a minor in Leadership Studies. While studying at URI Laura was a member of the Newman Club Advisory Board, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity, Student Organization Leadership Consultant and secretary of the organization. In addition, she was a member of the Outdoors, French and Spanish clubs. Her junior year, Laura had the opportunity to study in Orléans, France for both semesters. Speaking only French and immersing herself in the culture Laura achieved one of her dreams: to obtain fluency in a foreign language. Laura was recipient of the French Excellence Award.

In a few months Laura will be starting her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at Quinnipiac University. This 27-month program will be the next step for Laura in becoming a Physician Assistant. After graduating Laura would like to specialize in cardiothoracic surgery. She hopes to combine her interests in medicine, French, and humanitarianism in doing medical work in a less privileged French speaking country.

Laura wrote that, “Receiving the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship has been a great honor. It allowed me to study both at the University of Rhode Island and abroad. These two experiences have greatly shaped who I am. The faith that the scholarship committee and the Fund’s benefactors have placed with me is something that I will keep with me throughout all my endeavors. I have felt blessed to be able to honor Kevin’s memory with this scholarship and will continue to do so.”

Lauriann Kress

Lauriann graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University in 2005 with a B.S. in Mathematics with minors in French and Education and was inducted into four honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa. While at Bucknell she participated in Catholic Campus Ministry’s steering committee, played in the band and orchestra as a percussionist, and worked as a writing and math tutor in Bucknell’s Writing Center. She submitted proposals for workshops at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing and presented at these conferences in Lawrence, KS in 2002 and Hershey, PA in 2003.

During summers Lauriann worked at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth as a Teaching Assistant and as the Academic Dean’s Assistant. In 2004 she spent part of the summer studying the sociological and psychological aspects of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

Upon graduating, Lauriann was chosen to be a Newton Fellow through the non-profit organization Math for America. She is currently studying at Teachers College, Columbia University where she will graduate in May with a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education. For the next four years, she will be teaching at a public high school in New York City.

In providing the above information to us, Lauriann wrote: “My accomplishments were achieved because I was able to attend Bucknell University, a decision clearly influenced by the receipt of Kevin’s Scholarship. Believing in myself was important to my success, but more so was having the support of an entire group of donors who believed in my ability to achieve. For the opportunity you have given me, I am most thankful and I will honor your gift by always remembering what Kevin’s legacy has given to me.”

Please click HERE to see profiles for recent scholarship fund recipients.

Latest News

2018 Dinner Dance

The 19th Annual Kevin M Eidt Memorial Dinner Dance and Scholarship Presentation will be held Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Shore and Country Club in Norwalk, CT. Tickets for the event and sponsorship opportunities are now available on our Event Page.

Alyxie Harrick Joins Selection Committee

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce Alyxie Harrick, 2008 recipient of Kevin's Norwalk High scholarship, has joined the Scholarship Selection Committee beginning with the 2018 award. Alyxie is a 2012 graduate of Georgetown University, and currently a Senior Consultant, Corporate Strategy with Deloitte in New York City.

2017 Scholarships Awards

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Kevin's Fund will be offering $129,000 in scholarships for 2018, bringing the total value of scholarships awarded to $2M since the Fund's inception in 1997. Please read our Thanksgiving update letter for more details.

2017 Annual Report Letter

Read The Fund's annual update letter reviewing a remarkable year of success and support.

Boston College CSOM Honors Program

Congratulations to Hannah Say, BC '18, the 2017 recipient of the $18,000 CSOM Honors Program Scholarship. She was recognized at the year end Honors Program Banquet at Boston College on April 27, 2017.

Kevin Eidt Emerging Leaders Award

Congratulations to Joan Kennedy BC '20, who was named the recipient of Kevin Eidt Memorial Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Scholarship at Boston College on April 11, 2017. ELP is one of the great programs for BC freshman and the Fund is honored to be associated with it's highest participant award.

2017 Scholarship Recipient Announced

Congratulations to Grace Bradley, the 2017 recipient of $100,000 Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship for the most outstanding senior at Norwalk High School. She was recognized at the annual Dinner Dance benefit held in Norwalk on Saturday April 8, 2017. Ava will be attending Furman University in the fall.

Grace Bradley

Scholarship Fund Accomplishments as of June 30, 2017
Funding as % of Contributions99.4%