BTCF Blog | Valerie Lenis Receives $105,000 Derwin Scholarship

BTCF Blog

Valerie Lenis Receives $105,000 Derwin Scholarship

By Darryl Gangloff / May 16, 2019 / Grantee Spotlight, News & Announcements
Valerie Lenis Receives $105,000 Derwin Scholarship

Valerie Lenis of Lakeville is the ninth recipient of the $105,000 Margaret Derwin scholarship, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation named in memory of a beloved 2005 graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School. This annual award supports a Housatonic junior who, like Margaret Derwin, demonstrates a commitment to achieving his or her dreams.

Valerie will receive up to $25,000 annually toward college tuition and other costs, and $5,000 to participate in an overseas community service program. She plans to travel to the Dominican Republic this summer to assist with public health and water sanitation efforts.

Valerie’s teachers and counselors have praised her “positive energy” and “genuine passion” for her studies, particularly science and English. She is a class officer and member of the Student Government Association, the Envirothon Team and the Mentoring Team, curates galleries with the school’s art department, and plays volleyball and tennis.

She values her internship with Women’s Support Services, a nonprofit in Sharon that focuses on domestic violence intervention and prevention. She has volunteered with the EXTRAS after-school program at Salisbury Central School and the Noble Horizons retirement community in Salisbury, and she recently traveled to a Costa Rican rainforest to learn about sustainable development in hopes of using the knowledge to help her community in northwest Litchfield County.

Lily Bibro
Lily Bibro

Tuition has been an obstacle to Valerie’s goal of applying to a competitive university. As a Margaret Derwin scholar, she’s excited to broaden her horizons and expand her school search while considering a career path that may involve medicine, law, environmental conservation or research biology.

“This scholarship means so much to me,” Valerie said. “It means opportunity. It means a weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s so valuable, and I want to put it to full use. I’m so grateful.”

The Margaret Derwin Scholarship Fund also awarded $5,000 to Lily Bibro of Salisbury for an overseas community service trip. The Housatonic junior will travel to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, this summer to work on construction projects that will improve the community’s infrastructure.

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