Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich, the Greece Youth Board and Greece Town Board announced the recipients of the Jerry J. Helfer Youth Engagement Scholarship. This year’s winners are Chima Alice Dimgba from Greece Athena High School and runner-up Ryan Ozzello from Odyssey Academy. Chima received a $2,000 scholarship check and Ryan received a $500 scholarship check.
The Jerry J. Helfer Youth Engagement Scholarship provides the Greece community with the opportunity to recognize a student that regularly upholds exemplary moral values, devotes time and energy into helping serve the Greece community, and consistently displays outstanding leadership skills. This scholarship has been established by the Town of Greece to highlight Jerry’s exceptional character, virtue and his lifelong love of learning and public service. With over 25 years of public service, Jerry served on the Greece Youth Board, was elected as Town Councilman for 10 years and served as Deputy Supervisor until his untimely passing in July of 2014.
“Jerry was an upstanding citizen, co-worker and friend and the love he had for his community and public service are the foundations of this scholarship” said Supervisor Reilich. “This year we had several applicants from all throughout the Greece community. Through careful consideration by the Greece Youth Board and the Helfer Family, this year’s winners both provided excellent examples of leadership, public service and volunteerism. I was proud to part take in Monday nights’ ceremony and congratulate both Chima and Ryan for their great leadership and volunteerism and to help continue on the legacy of Jerry Helfer.”
This year’s winner, Chima Dimgba, is a senior at Greece Athena High School. Chima’s goal is to be a physician. This goal was formed when she visited her father’s village in Nigeria, West Africa when she was only five years old. Over the years, she often returned to Nigeria to volunteer through playing with the sick children and their siblings in an effort to relieve some of the stress being in a hospital gave to them. Chima wants to become a physician in order to help those who cannot afford or who do not have access to proper medical care. During her senior year of high school, Chima was selected to participate in the highly competitive New Visions Program – Medical Field with the University of Rochester, where she shadowed and learned from physicians. At Greece Athena, she is the Presidents of the National Honor Society, VP of Varsity Volunteer Club, and Captain of the Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams. She will graduate with Valedictorian Honors.
This year’s runner-up, Ryan Ozzello, is a senior at Odyssey Academy. Ryan is passionate about community service and volunteering. His most passionate leadership activity is being a tutor and friend to children at Orchard Place Affinity Apartments. Each Monday, he has the privilege of talking to the kids about their day, helping them complete homework, and playing games with them. Ryan also has a leadership position in student government, where he takes on such responsibilities as managing people as a resource to complete tasks, designing concise and informational announcements, and participating in strictly labor oriented tasks such as boxing goods.