2017 Scholarship Applications
Previous Jennifer J. Harris Scholarship Recipients
Mildred Aguirre graduated from Lynn English High School with plans to attend Gordon College in Wenham, MA. While at Lynn English and a member of the JROTC program, she participated in a variety of JROTC community service activities such as the Lynn Youth Track events, Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations, placing flags on Veterans’ graves, My Brothers Table, and a variety of high school open houses to name just a few. Mildred was also a member of the high school Volley Ball team and was an executive class officer. She additionally shared her generous spirit through participation as a Special Needs Buddy and The Friends of Rachel Club founded after the Columbine Tragedy and the death of Rachel Scott to encourage positive change in communities through acts of kindness and compassion.
Marissa Militello graduated from Gloucester High School as a member of the JROTC program with a goal of attending Norwich University in Northfield, VT. She received a number of awards ranging from The Outstanding Cadet Award to the Distinguished Military Training Award, to the Civil Service Award. She also helped others by serving in numerous leadership positions giving her the opportunity to mentor and guide underclass students in hopes of being a positive influence. These experiences led to her role as the Commanding Officer of the MCJROTC program, the highest leadership position in the program. Her community service activities included volunteering at the Elks Club Veterans Luncheons, Memorial and Veterans Days Ceremonies, Operation Support Troops, Chelsea Soldiers Home, Toys for Tots and Fish Box Derbies.
Lynda Bik served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. She attended North Shore Community College and while there she was a member of the NSCC Veterans Club. For her participation in the Club’s events and activities, including significant community service efforts, she was awarded the Club’s Distinguished Service Award.
Michael Baird-Kelly served in the U.S. Army and is an OEF Veteran 2007-2009 Jalabad, Afghanistan. He attended North Shore Community College and majored in Business Management. While at NSCC, he was President of the Veterans Club and a member of the Delta Alpha Pi Club. For his leadership and community service participation in these student clubs, he received the Veterans Club Distinguished Service Award, the Delta Alpha Pi Club Service Award, and the NSCC’s Director’s Award for Outstanding Dedication. Michael currently works for TJX companies as a supervisor.
Ian Munnelly, a graduate of Swampscott High School, demonstrated his leadership through his participation in a range of activities while in high school. He was active in the following at SHS: a member and captain of the indoor and outdoor track teams; a student government representative to the Student Council; founder, president and member of the Creative Writing Club; and, a student editor and writer for the school’s Newspaper. He volunteered at his Church’s St. Vincent de Paul’s Society, an organization that provides anti-poverty services. His volunteer efforts included fundraising events, warehousing and delivery of donated items to families in need, and Christmas drives. He also worked with a group of U.S. Army veterans to rebuild and remodel a home in downtown Lynn, MA for disabled and troubled veterans and came to appreciate the ‘pain and suffering of these people who gave us everything.’ Ian credits his commitment to community service to a value he learned from his hometown of Nahant, MA, saying, ‘that learning happened because our community is committed to pubic service and service is so prevalent in our day to day lives. . . . we understand the importance of community because we are saturated with it. . . . [and] If we are to truly appreciate what the community has given to us, we must give back to the community.’
Patrick Viselli graduated from Salem High School as a member of its JROTC program. Patrick recognized the skills and values learned through the JROTC program such as respecting others and looking up to his peers, values that began early in his life and which were reinforced during his high school years. Patrick’s community service activities included participation in the MCJROTC programs – Toys for Tots and Recycling Days; Saint Anne’s Church as Sunday School and Holiday Bazaar volunteers; and, the North Shore ARC helping children with disabilities. He will attend North Shore Community College with a goal of enrolling in the Aviation Science Program.
Brendan McGee, a graduate of Beverly High School, was Junior Class President, a member of the National Honor Society, played football and a range of other sports such as wrestling and track. He credits his successes to the physical strength, mental endurance, and leadership he learned through the JROTC program. McGee notes the dedication of JROTC students by describing his first morning of JROTC Physical Training (PT). “I had been working out with football for a few years but I puked that first Tuesday at 0530. That morning of working out with my [fellow] JROTC cadets, I could tell there was something different about them. There was so much energy and motivation among the cadets that it pushed us along together. Everyone was excited to be doing pull-ups and push-ups while other students were still asleep. That morning confirmed my dream of pursuing a career in the military because I realized one critical thing: People in the Military are there because they want to be there.
Evan Gross graduated Gloucester High School with a goal of attending Norwich University as a member of the Corps of Cadets and the NROTC program. His ultimate goal is to become a Naval Officer and Aviator. While at Gloucester High, he participated in JROTC, Varsity Track, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Through his participation in the Naval Sea Cadets Corps, he experienced many enriching and exhilarating training opportunities such as Advanced Airman Training at the Naval Air Statin in Lemoore, CA, training at sea aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and the Submarine Seminar at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT. He served his community by participating in local Veterans and Memorial Day parades marching with the JROTC or Sea Cadet Corps, putting flags on the graves of Veterans, joining in community service efforts with the crew of the USS John L. Hall frigate, and volunteering at the Cape Ann Food Pantry.
Lauren Ortins, a Beverly High School graduate, softball and field hockey athlete and JROTC participant, demonstrated her good citizenship and commitment to service through a range of activities. She traveled to Mexico with a church group in July of 2011 and volunteered at an orphanage utilizing the knowledge and skills she acquired through her training as a certified nursing assistant. She traveled to Washington D.C. and visited with veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She also volunteered at the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, MA. Her leadership, academic excellence, and community service efforts were recognized with a number of awards include The Women Marines Association Outstand Cadet Award for Meritorious Service. Lauren began her college career by attending North Shore Community College.
Gino Cresta’s service to others, while at Swampscott High School, includes, in part, the following: participation in Toys for Local Children (TLC), a member of the Swampscott Blew Crew which promotes health habits among students throughout Swampscott High, being a peer mentor/leader, participation in the Rotary Youth Leadership Program, and volunteering at My Brother’s Table. He also played ice hockey, golf, and baseball while at Swampscott High. Gino attends Bentley University with a career goal of establishing his own business to assist people in need of help.
Highlights of Jessica’s leadership, good citizenship and commitment to serving others include the following: Lynn English JROTC Alpha Company’s Commanding Officer and Public Affairs Officer; Participation in Lynn English Track and Field, Rotary Youth Leadership program, Girls Inc. Sister-to-Sister Program, and Toys for Tots. She has also been a Peer Educator for the “La Verdad” substance abuse and prevention awareness program of Girls, Inc. Sabino’s honors span a variety of awards, most notable of which is The Woman Marine Association Outstanding Cadet Award.
Gina’s commitment to helping others, as well as her openness to learning from others through her volunteer activities, and love of sailing were just some of the values, activities and qualities that mirror those of Capt. Harris. The trustees found it fitting that a Swampscott High School senior with a passion for excellence and love of the sea is the 2010 Swampscott/Nahant Citizen recipient.
Christopher M. Kalpin
Kalpin was active in high school sports and clubs but it was his participation in several community service activities which led to his realization that a small sacrifice of time on his part could greatly influence and help the lives of others. Among his many activities, he volunteered for Toys for Local Children (TLC), Walk for H.A.WW.C., and My Brothers Table in Lynn where once a month he both worked in the soup kitchen and donated food. Kalpin will be attending Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.
Kathleen S. Wendell
Wendell’s JROTC experience strengthened her values of helping others and throughout her high school years she participated in many community service activities such as a 30-Hour Famine program that raised money and awareness of hunger and related diseases, Urban Immersion raising awareness of homelessness, and Project Linus that brought home-made blankets to needy children. She participated in and organized several other service projects including the Salvation Army food drive and the MCJROTC Toys for Tots providing toys to over a hundred children on Boston’s North Shore and four Native American tribes. Wendell will be attending the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where she will be continuing her high school band experience as a member of UW’s Blugold Marching Band.
Briana A. Hogan
Hogan will attend the Virginia Military Institute where upon graduation she plans to enter the U.S. Marine Corps. As a member of Beverly High School’s JROTC program, she rose to the rank of Captain and was the Program’s Commanding Officer. While in high school, she volunteered because she thought it was good to do so and it was something she could readily accomplish. Her volunteer work included the Veterans Association Hospital in Bedford, MA and special events at the Vittori-Rocci Post for Italian-American War Veterans. She also volunteered for Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics and at Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation in Boxford, MA. Windrush is a non-profit, working horse farm that helps children and adults with physical, emotional and learning disabilities.
Carissa Roche participated in a variety of community service activities such as volunteering at My Brother’s Table, a private community based organization that feeds the hungry, homeless, or lonely citizens of Lynn, MA; being an advisor in the local D.A.R.E. Program; and, was a member of The Fairy Godmother Club, an organization that provides gently used prom gowns and accessories to those you cannot afford to buy them. She also played varsity softball and was the high school team’s starting pitcher. In both her volunteer work and as a member of the softball team, she displayed leadership qualities and a sincere understanding for the less fortunate. Roche plans to attend Suffolk University in the fall in preparation for a career in Law.
Katherine (Katie) Kippen
Katherine (Katie) Kippen was Cadet Major, the highest-ranking position, in Gloucester High School’s JROTC Program. As a member of Gloucester’s JROTC, Kippen participated in and won several National Drill Team and Color Guard Championships. Highlights of her community service activities include Memorial Day events and their preparation which involved placing American flags on the graves of Veterans at local cemeteries; visiting patients at Chelsea’s Soldier Home; and, volunteering at Gloucester’s annual Fish Box Derby for youngsters. She was also a member of Gloucester High’s Varsity Girls Ice Hockey Team. Kippen plans to attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall where she will double major in accounting and German. There she also hopes to enlist in the University’s ROTC Program in preparation for a future career as a Marine Corps Officer.
In the Spring of 2007, the First Annual Captain Jennifer J. Harris Memorial Scholarships were awarded through a scholarship committee for each scholarship identifying three students as the first recipients. The Swampscott/Nahant Citizen scholarship was awarded to Kate Elizabeth Bartholomew, a Swampscott High School Senior who would be attending the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.
Andrew Henkenmeier was a member of Lynn English High School’s JROTC Program and would be attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Bourne, MA. Jen’s great Uncle attended Mass Maritime and the two shared a relationship that was particularly supportive during her years at the Naval Academy. Andrew’s compassion for others was evident in his participation in community service activities, a sample of which included: Habitat for Humanity; Toys for Tots;, Cancer Walks and Cerebral Palsy Walks; placing American flags on the gravesites of veterans; flag burning ceremonies that honor our American flag; and, local school and community Clean-up projects. The Scholarship Committee was particularly impressed with Andrew’s commitment to those who have given their lives for our country. He had participated in the funeral services of three local heroes – Staff Sergeant Christopher Piper from Marblehead, Specialist Jared Raymond from Swampscott, and Jen. As a member of a local color guard, standing outside the church during the entire funeral mass in weather conditions of sub-zero degrees, Andrew carried the American Flag on February 19, 2007 at Jen’s funeral.
Sharing the First Annual Captain Jennifer J. Harris Memorial JROTC Scholarship was Ariel Hope Sargent, a member of Gloucester High School’s JROTC program who would be attending Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts. Ariel showed a compassion and sympathy for Jen’s family and an appreciation for Jen’s sacrifice that was unparalleled among scholarship applicants. She also mirrored Jen’s interests in music and the arts and participated in community service activities that included visiting the local nursing homes to spend time with veterans and parents or spouses of veterans.