The Bay Ridge St. Patrick Parade Committee awarded 10 scholarships to students at five Catholic grammar schools in the community last week, double its original expectations.
“It’s a very tight-knit community, and there’s a number of people out there who have gone to these Catholic schools,” committee Treasurer Barbara Slattery said about Bay Ridge. “By word of mouth, people just came to us and said, ‘Hey, if you need a matching donation, we can help.’”
The committee bestowed $1,000 grants on two students from St. Patrick Catholic Academy, St. Anselm Catholic Academy, St. Ephrem School, Holy Angels Catholic Academy and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, to be applied towards their tuition for their first year at a Catholic high school.
According to the committee, it originally only had the budget for five $1,000 scholarships, one for each school, but donors matched their grants for an extra $5,000.
“We didn’t want to do it unless we could get $1,000 additional for each school,” committee President Frankie Marra said.
Marra said the committee provided guidelines as to who was eligible for the scholarships, but each school had the purview to choose its students based on those guidelines, which included academic achievement, community and school service, and a commitment to continue their Catholic education through high school.
According to Marra, the committee funded the initial five grants primarily through raffles held at events throughout the past year. The scholarship checks were issued to the individual schools the students would attend.