2021 Recipients

Daniel Lyons – Xavier High School

Kiwanis Community Service scholarship recipient Daniel Lyons is one of the most genuine and compassionate young men to walk the halls of Xavier High School. He puts his family and faith first as well as academics before sports. Daniel has a passion for helping others and will be attending UConn’s Nursing program this fall. Throughout his time at Xavier, Daniel has volunteered over 600 hours! He has made trips to Harlan County, Kentucky to build new homes and has spent much time with the Catholic Youth & Family Ministries (CYFM) located in Garrison, NY, with an active role as a youth leader.  Whether leading a retreat for his peers, helping the less fortunate, or serving our Xavier community as a peer minister, Daniel is an exemplar role model with an unmatched passion for service.   –Melissa Kennedy, Daniel’s Guidance Counselor

Jonathan Gonzalez – Xavier High School

Kiwanis scholarship winner Jonathan Gonzalez exemplifies characteristics of the Kiwanis organization; making the community and world a better place to live. Jonathan is a young man of deep faith and service. He is extremely hard working, optimistic, and unassuming.  Jonathan is devoted to his family, his friends, and the Xavier Community. He always sees the best in people and situations. Jonathan’s family has faced many challenges throughout Jonathan’s life. He never felt sorry for himself or asked for accommodations. Instead, Jonathan worked harder and moved forward. Next year, Jonathan will take his loyalty and service to The University of New Hampshire where he will study Biomedical Engineering. – Joan Tomasiello, Jonathan’s Guidance Counselor

Dilawaiz Rao – Mercy High School

Kiwanis scholarship recipient Dilawaiz Rao is an exceptional scholar, student leader and activist. She has  been a tenacious and highly motivated student while at Mercy High School, always willing to rise to the challenge of rigorous coursework. As a junior, she enrolled in the AP Capstone Diploma program, which is a two-year track of two prescribed courses, paired with the enrollment in an additional four AP courses over the course of one’s high school career.

To say that Dilawaiz demonstrates leadership potential would be putting it mildly. Dilawaiz has exhibited an extraordinary ability to get involved in her community, and when she does, she leads. These are just some of the leadership roles she had in her years at Mercy: Mock Trial Co-Captain, Model UN President, Girl Up Club Founder and President, TechTigers Robotics Co-Captain, Diversity and Inclusion Board Founder and President, State of the Students CT Chapter Leader. And recently, she was announced as an SCC Scholar Leader for the 2020-2021 season.

Dilawaiz cares deeply for the rights of women and immigrants, so she will be using her extracurricular time to serve those communities while attending Mount Holyoke College in the pursuit of a degree in political science.

Holden Whaley – Xavier High School

Kiwanis scholarship recipient Holden Whaley is among Xavier’s finest students. He has achieved just about every academic award possible at Xavier and is destined to become a leader of his generation. Holden has always challenged himself academically and has taken the most difficult classes offered at Xavier. In addition to stellar academic success, Holden is one of the finest musicians in our band and a varsity athlete. Holden is also fluent in French, winning academic awards in that area.  As talented a young man as he is, Holden sees himself as just another member of our community. He is one of the kindest, most humble, and non-judgmental students at our school. Holden is heading to Bentley University next year. – Mark Lambert, Holden’s Guidance Counselor