The Joanne Coccia Lodge #2553 Foundation is proud to announce the names of eight deserving students, the recipients of our 2020 scholarship awards in the amount of $16,000.
The Veta M. Finazzo Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Tyler Abbruzzese. Tyler, a graduate of Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, achieved a 3.3 grade point average. He also participated in water polo. Tyler is a sophomore at Northern Arizona State. His studies are in political science, (major) criminal justice, sociology, psychology (minor) business with an interest in communications. Tyler’s goal is to earn a degree in political science and become a private practice attorney. With his determination and resolve, he can achieve his goal. Tyler is the son of Robert and Eva Abbruzzese the grandchild of Bob and Mary Abruzzese who are members of our lodge.
The Joseph Finazzo Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Ethan Abbruzzese. Ethan, a graduate of Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, maintained a 4.0 grade point average. His activities included water polo, swim team and as a member of the Heroes Club. The Heroes Club supports the military, firefighters, police and frontline workers. Ethan plans to attend Chaffey Community College and Victor Valley College to achieve his goal of becoming the best he can be in fire science. Ethan’s parents are Robert and Eva Abbruzzese and the grandchild of Bob and Mary Abbruzzese who are members of our lodge. He is the great nephew of the late Joseph Finazzo and wife Delina Finazzo.
The John Cola Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Devin Walden. Devin attended Arrowhead Christian Academy High School in Redlands, CA, with a 3.2 grade point average. Devin has volunteered with nonprofit organizations including Santa Claus, Inc., Dr. Ronald Mc- Donald House, Brand New Day Autism Foundation, and anti-bulling events. Devin plans to attend California Baptist University to major in business and to minor in music. Devin’s parents are Brian and Gina Walden, grandfather is Frank Foglio. John Cola, Devin’s great uncle, was an active member of our lodge who strived to make our hall facility and property one of the best in southern California. Devin’s family is extremely proud that this memorial is awarded to a family member. Lodge members of Devin’s extended family include: Connie and David Ryan, Anna Chase, great aunt Yolanda Sarracino, cousins James and Janet Sarracino, along with Leah and Kevin Flaherty.
The Nick Sclafani Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Haley Garcia for $2,000. A graduate of Jurupa Hills High School in Fontana, CA. Haley has a 3.0 grade point average. Her extracurricular activities included peer leadership, the National Honor Society and, during summer recess, participated in the summer youth program at Kaiser Hospital. When at a very early age Haley lost her little sister, she was prompted to get involved with helping others who may need a peer person. Haley was president of the Polynesian dance, Latin dance and Link Crew organizations. She took a leadership role in these clubs. Haley plans to attend Riverside City College for the general education program before moving on to California State University. Her goal is to be in the field of psychology/ psych-social worker. Haley is the daughter of Jody Garcia and the granddaughter of Pete and Judy Sclafani and the great niece of Florence Zerrilli, Mamie (Babe) Musolino, Anthony and Rosemarie Sclafani.
The Angelo Juliano Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Sorowar Uddi. A graduate of Rancho Cucamonga High School, Sorowar earned a 3.6 grade point average. Sorowar will be attending Chaffey Community College with plans to major in computer engineering. To help out with financial responsibilities, Sorowar has a part-time job at the 99cent store. When time permits, he enjoys watching soccer. Sorowar is a friend of Esther and Elvira Calamore who are members of the lodge.
The Albert & Joanne Coccia Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Melia M. Guevara. Melia graduated from Redlands High School in Redlands, CA, earning a grade point average of 3.14. Her extracurricular activities included water polo. She will be obtaining her general education courses at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, CA. Melia is a Junior member of the Joanne Coccia Lodge and has participated in several events. She acknowledges “learning a lot” from the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America and is proud of her heritage. Melia was a member of Girl Scouts and was always at the top of the list for the annual cookie sales contest. For a time while in high school, Melia worked in the pizza business to help with expenses for her activities. She is very proud of her family roots. Evelyn Minicucci, her grandmother, was a nurse and then a Physician’s Assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, CA. Melia is the daughter of Michealynn Minicucci and the sister of our Prince Devin, who was on the court of the Sons and Daughters of Italy King and Queen Contest. Melia will do well in whatever she chooses for her life’s work.
The Ronald Bitonti & Martha Nagy Memorial: $2,000 awarded to Gianna Rotellini. Gianna graduated from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, CA, with a grade point average of 3.7. Her studies included astronomy and astrophysics. Gianna was active in volunteering in the community through her church and local homeless shelters. She loves dancing and plans to resume dance lessons. Gianna also worked while in high school. Her favorite famous Italian is Giovanni Domenico Cassie. His involvement with the space probe awarded him a space probe in his name. Based on her record and determination, Gianna will do well at Orange Coast College. Gianna’s parents are Jennifer and Dave Rotellini. She is the granddaughter of Joanne Sclafani and the late Joseph Sclafani and niece to Anthony and Rosemarie Sclafani who are members of our lodge.
The Ronald Rovere Memorial: $2,000 awarded to John Santiago Romagnoli. John is a graduate of Redlands High School, earning a 3.8 grade point average. He will be attending The University of California, Riverside. Since John was a little tyke, he was interested in all aspects of bugs (entomology). His hobby is the study of bugs and beekeeping. John owns two Italian-bred hives in his backyard. John has been involved with the assistance league of Redlands, helping young students to get involved in helping others. John’s college major will be in entomology. (This is the first time I have heard of this major.) John is the son of John and Adelaida Romagnoli, grandson of Mauro and Judith Romagnoli who are members of our lodge.
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