The Record-Journal Foundation gives out scholarships to two students at Middlesex Community College and one journalism student at Quinnipiac University each year.
This year, the two Middlesex Community College students receiving the scholarship are Shauntazia Davenport and Thomas Laskowski. Both students received $1,000 scholarships.
Davenport is a returning student from Meriden enrolled in the Business Administration Program. Her long term goal is to attain a master’s degree in Business and Accounting.
“I think the scholarship will impact my future by giving me the opportunity to take summer courses, pick up more classes that maybe I couldn’t afford before because of financial reasons,” Davenport said. “... Coming from a single parent home, my mom was a single mom, growing up, things could get a little tough. When I found out I received the scholarship and another one, I was so relieved and so excited because my dreams are coming true,
The 18-year-old has been interested in owning a business since she was young.
“I love stocks,” Davenport said. “I actually purchased a few stocks just recently. Just really want to understand the business world.”
Laskowski is a returning Middlesex student from Wallingford enrolled in the Psychology Studies program. He hopes to get a master’s degree in Counseling and Pastoral studies and pursue his studies after Middlesex at an Ivy League school.
“I really want to help people and open people up and also help to lead the church,” Laskowski said. “My passion is really for the church but I find that can be a little bit financially unstable so I am going into counseling for a ‘real job’ with having the church as my actual passion.”
Laskowski is also a part of the honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is planning to continue at Middlesex Community College for the upcoming year because of the opportunities the honors program has to offer.
Emily Canto, the interim director of student services, a counselor and a co-coordinator of the honors program at Middlesex, had Laskowski in an honors seminar.
“I think (Laskowski) is a very enthusiastic learner,” Canto said. “I think he is committed to doing well in school. I think he is curious all of which are characteristics that are pretty indicative of students who do well in school.”
As a student who was homeschooled before coming to college, Laskowski believes that being a recipient of the Record-Journal Foundation Scholarship gives him some credibility.
“I feel like all of my life I have been worried about credibility being homeschooled,” Laskowski said. “People not taking my opinion seriously, people not taking my goals seriously...this is the first real scholarship that I have gotten from a third party...someone choosing me just based on who I am. It boosted my motivation.”
At Quinnipiac University, the Department of Journalism chooses a journalism student that lives within the circulation area of the Record-Journal. This year, the department chose David Rooney of Wallingford. Rooney received a $2,000 scholarship.
“We take all of the journalism students who live in the circulation area of the Record-Journal, the nine towns, and we look at their GPA and we discuss each student,” said Richard Hanley, an associate professor of journalism and chairman of the Record-Journal Foundation Scholarship committee. “Their record in classes, their GPA and then we make the selection based on that conversation. We’ve had some very worthy recipients in the past and David certainly fits within that group.”
Rooney was encouraged by his mother to study journalism. He works as a freelancer writer for the Record-Journal sports section.
“(My mom) told me at first she was not in favor of me going into journalism for sports, but then she realized I have been a strong writer my whole life and I love sports,” Rooney said. “She said, ‘if that’s what you love, go for it.’ So she’s actually the one who convinced me to go into journalism.”
After his undergraduate work, Rooney is aiming for a master’s degree in public relations at Quinnipiac and hopes to keep writing sports stories and eventually open up his own public relations firm. He says receiving this scholarship helped him realize he is capable of pursuing his dreams.
“It’s a source of validation for myself of what I am capable of and that other people believe in me, especially people within the school community,” Rooney said.