Local students win WTC Warwick Citizens Memorial Scholarships

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    WARWICK-Shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the Pentagon and World Trade Center, the Warwick Police Benevolent Association (PBA), other organizations and members of the community formed the WTC Warwick Citizens Memorial Committee. In a spectacular demonstration of community spirit, the organization soon raised more than was needed to erect a monument, that would honor all of Warwick's residents who were victims in that attack, in Veterans Memoral Park. After the dedication in the fall of 2002, the committee elected to use any surplus funds, not needed for the preservation of the monument, for a scholarship trust that would benefit the children in the families of those who were involved in the disaster. This year, two $500 scholarships were awarded to Becky Prial and Audra Silfee, both seniors at Warwick Valley High School. WTC Warwick Citizens Memorial Committee members Jerry Terry and Eileen Padham presented the awards. Becky Prial has a 99.23 average and ranks in the top two percent of her senior class at Warwick Valley High School. She serves as secretary of the local chapter of the National Honor Society and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She is also active in sports and extracurricular activities as well as community service. Prial graduated with honors from St. Stephen's - St. Edward's Elementary School where her mother, Anne Prial, taught an advanced high school course in mathematics. Becky Prial is an active member of St. Stephen's God's TYM, a youth ministry organization, and the Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries. She has also volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity. Prial has been accepted by several universities. Audra Silfee is an honors student who has been an active member of her community throughout her high school career. She is a member of the National Honor Society, active in sports and extracurricular activities as well as a volunteer for many community programs. Silfee, an altar server at Sunday Mass, is also active in her Church and has taught at Summer Bible School. Rev. Thomas Byrnes, the former parochial vicar of the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, was impressed with the balance Audra Silfee kept in her life between faith, academics, athletics and volunteer work. In his letter of recommendation, he wrote, "It is easy to see that Audra is a highly motivated person who can handle a great deal of responsibility well and is not afraid to work hard." Silfee received similar recommendations from St. Anthony Community Hospital and the St. Stephen's Teen Choir. She has been accepted by several universities and plans to pursue a career in education. "We're happy to offer these scholarships each year and we're proud of deserving students like Becky and Audra," said George Arnott, retired Warwick Police Sgt. and chairman of the WTC Warwick Citizens Memorial Committee. "All the applications were excellent and it was a difficult decision for the committee."