Four Warwick Veterans Memorial High School seniors have been named recipients of the 2012 Rep. Frank Ferri Leadership Award scholarship.
The winners are Devin C. Hurst, Jacqueline Bouchard, Robert Martoralli Jr. and Sean Banno. Each will receive a $500 scholarship.
Ferri (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) established the scholarship with the waiver payment he receives for declining the state-paid health insurance he could receive as a state representative. Representative Ferri buys his health insurance through the business he owns, Town Hall Lanes, a bowling center in Johnston, and when he won election to the House of Representatives in 2007, he planned to save taxpayers a few dollars by opting out of the state insurance plan. Later, he found out that turning down the insurance would result in a waiver payment for him, so he decided to fund a scholarship so the money would be used for his community. Since the waiver payment was reduced by half beginning last year, Representative Ferri now supplements the scholarship funding with his own money.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to provide some support to students on their way to higher education. I’m proud of the great kids we have in our community and the initiative they’re taking in establishing their own success and contributing to a better world. I’d like to congratulate them all and wish them well in their next steps in life,” said Ferri. “This has become especially meaningful to me since I became chairman of the House Commission on Public Higher Education Accessibility and Affordability. Most students really need all the financial assistance they can get.”
The scholarships were open to graduating seniors of Warwick Veterans High School as well as students from House District 22 graduating from other schools. The awards were announced at Warwick Veterans’ Honors Night on May 16.
Applicants were selected for their leadership and work toward equality and fairness for all, as well as academic and extracurricular achievements. They were also asked to submit a brief essay responding to the following statement from Bernadette Devlin: “Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.”