This week, the Long Island Junior Soccer League announced their annual scholarship winners. This year, the league recognized 21 student-athletes with scholarship awards, and honored three Top Soccer Volunteers for their work with the program.
The LIJSL Scholarship program began in the early 1980's as the brain child of Rocco Amoroso and Peter Collins. The program was originally created to provide need-based assistance for LIJSL soccer players who were heading off to college. But over time, the awards have evolved to include recognition for standards of excellence in academics and community service, and essays and letters of recommendation are critical parts of the criteria for being selected, and players must have played at least five seasons with an LIJSL club while in high school.
“Our committee consists of an English Professor, Math teacher, special ed teacher, dentist and a few LIJSL volunteers and coaches,” said Pat Grecco, the chairperson of the Scholarship Committee, who has been on the committee since 1995 and took over the chairperson position in 2001. “One need not be the smartest or the best soccer player ever. We look for a combination of qualities.”
Scholarship money is provided by benefactors who are remembering loved ones no longer with us. You will notice that many of the scholarships are memorial awards. Other scholarships are given by LIJSL sponsors, while still others are awarded by the LIJSL directly.
This year’s awards brunch took place on Sunday, July 22nd at the Huntington Hilton.
“We invite each scholarship recipient and their parents as guests of the LIJSL to the Scholarship Brunch,” said Grecco. “There, they are honored, receive their scholarship check, a medal, and congratulations from many. In addition we write to each recipient’s congressman and local state elected officials and they are presented with proclamations from elected officials. Many times these officials come in person.”
The Long Island Junior Soccer League would like to congratulate all of this year’s scholarship winners and their families, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
To see the Event Program for more details on the awards and the accomplishments of the recipients click here.
For a listing of past and current winners click here.