Appreciation, Recognition Dinner Honors Students, Founding Donors
CANTON — Ten St. Lawrence County members of the class of 2023 were recently named as recipients of the Northern New York Community Foundation Evergreen STEM Scholarship.
Students are awarded the scholarship due to their interest and intent to study in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field while in college. Students apply during their junior year of high school and are selected in the summer. Recipients will receive a one-year $3,000 scholarship toward their freshman year of college next fall.
The Evergreen STEM scholarship is made possible thanks to the generosity of former Gouverneur resident and Massena native Charles Owens and his late wife, Higouhi “Hi” Owens. The scholarship is a permanent fund of the Community Foundation and provides $30,000 annually for high school students who live in St. Lawrence County. Since its inception, 70 students have been awarded Evergreen STEM scholarships totaling $210,000 in educational support.
“This has been, and continues to be, a scholarship that is so much more than financial support,” said Rande Richardson, Northern New York Community Foundation executive director. “The way this program has been designed, it has the ability to help proactively nurture an interest in the STEM field, and also provide meaningful opportunities for both the student and the sponsoring family to forge strong, lasting relationships.”
Students recently had the opportunity meet and thank Mr. Owens, his daughter, Sandy Owens Hosier, and son, Bruce Owens at a scholarship dinner in Canton. Parents, school guidance counselors, and several district administrators also attended.
Mrs. Hosier is a retired English teacher who spent 33 years teaching in the Port Byron School District, and Bruce Owens is a retired electrical engineer who spent nearly 35 years working as an engineer for global aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
This year’s students are interested in pursuing careers in education, engineering, biology, veterinary studies, biomolecular science, and mathematics, among others.
Mr. Owens and his wife established the scholarship at the Community Foundation in 2014 to inspire high school students to focus on post-secondary studies and careers in STEM while encouraging them to pursue employment opportunities in the North Country. Mr. Owens spent his professional life as a pharmacist and later in senior management for Kinney Drugs, retiring in 1994. The first scholarships were awarded in 2016. During that time, others have made contributions to help build the permanent fund.
2022-2023 Evergreen STEM Scholars:
- Caeleigh N. Burke, Madrid-Waddington Central School, engineering
- Paul Cheng, Hugh C. Williams High School, Canton, mathematics
- Gracie M. Friot, Hermon-DeKalb Central School, biomolecular science
- Jessica L. Harman, Ogdensburg Free Academy, veterinary studies
- Claire H. McFarland, Potsdam Central School, biology
- Shane Frances N. Muyano, Gouverneur Central School, engineering
- Elizabeth Riutta, Gouverneur Central School, biology
- Grace Smith, Lisbon Central School, science education
- Grace Southwick, Clifton-Fine Central School, engineering
- Christopher M. St. Andrews, Colton-Pierrepont Central School, engineering
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.