NESPA Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners

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NESPA announces Hannah Melissen of Chalfont, Pa. and Emmah Evangelista of Collingswood, N.J. are the 2017 H. J. “Duke” Ellington Memorial Scholarship awardees.

Melissen was nominated by Ray Calvitti of Blue Haven Pools & Spas (Hatfield, Pa.). She will receive a $3,000 scholarship award. Evangelista was nominated by Aimee Speas of Blue Wave Pools (Audubon, N.J.). She will receive a $2,000 scholarship award.

Since 1985, NESPA honored the memory of Harold J. “Duke” Ellington and his devotion to the pool industry by awarding scholarships to students who demonstrate a commitment to community service. The scholarship is open to all students who permanently reside within the NESPA region (Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, Eastern New York and Eastern Pennsylvania). The primary consideration for the award is the performance of "good deeds" or community service but academics and financial need are also considered.

All students participating in the scholarship program must be nominated by a NESPA member. Students who are in the immediate family of an owner or employee of NESPA member firm are given special consideration. This year both scholarship winners had a direct connection to an owner or employee of a NESPA member company.

“With more than 50 candidates stepping up to be considered this year, our committee had the daunting task of reviewing each and every application,” says Scholarship Committee Chair Sandy Nadler of Bel-Aqua Pool Supply in New Rochelle, N.Y. “This diverse group of young adults all balance challenging academic schedules with their volunteer efforts which makes their achievements all the more impressive.”

About Hannah Melissen

Melissen has donated her time to support causes she is passionate about since she was young. For seven years, she has been a key volunteer for her community's Relay for Life. She helped her community raise over $3 million to support The American Cancer Society as part of this event.

She has also taken her volunteerism to the global stage by traveling to Thailand where she helped teach basic English and grammar to young students. Because of this experience, she is studying Sociology at Suffolk University. She is planning to use her degree to work with an international young volunteer program.

About Emmah Evangelista

Evangelista has devoted much time to various community service organizations and projects throughout her high school career. As a leader in her high school's National Honor Society, she played a role in selecting the organization's service project for the 2016-17 school year. This year the students helped support a local family that has a child battling leukemia. They helped the family in big and small ways from lending a hand with household chores to fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Emmah will be attending George Washington University in Washington D.C.


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