Submitted photos and press release:
The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Annual Scholarship Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12th, at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia.
The Foundation welcomes eight candidates this year, seven from Genesee County schools and one from Wyoming County.
The family of Vincent Gautieri, also offers a scholarship for members of the Foundation, from Genesee County and outside the County.
Tickets for the scholarship dinner are available from Foundation board members, Ben's Appliances, and VJ Gautieri Constructors Inc., located at 45 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia.
Below are the 2019 Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Scholarship candidates' photos and information.
Elizabeth Grace Cohen is presently attending Batavia Senior High School, and is the daughter of Richard Cohen and Jeanne Tehan Cohen.
Elizabeth is a member of the National Honor Society, and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union Junior Banking.
In the fall, she will be attending SUNY Geneseo, majoring in Psychology, minoring in Special Education and Early Childhood Development. She has been recruited for the college track team.
Elizabeth has been on the honor roll all semesters for four consecutive years at Batavia High School.
She was awarded the Positive Referral Award for kindness to special needs students in 2018.
Elizabeth participated in BHS gymnastics 2013-2018. She received the Coaches Award in 2016. She participated in BHS indoor/ outdoor track 2013-2019, receiving the Most Improved Award 2015-1016. For 2016-2017 Elizabeth was awarded Athlete of the Year; for 2018-2019 she earned Most Valuable Athlete. She also participated in multiple team and individual events.
Elizabeth has volunteered for a variety of church events, the United Way's annual Make a Difference Day at local preschools, concession stands for sporting events, and fund-raising car washes.
Elizabeth says “values can be defined as one’s judgement of what is important in life,” and for her it’s her Italian American family.
Pierce Joseph Corbelli, son of Peter and Jennifer Corbelli, attends Batavia High School. Pierce plans on attending University of Buffalo to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree.
Pierce has been a recipient of: BHS Blue Award; BHS Bronze Award; BHS Silver Award; Regents Chemistry Award for Outstanding Chemistry Grade; Rensselear Medal Award for four years; Merit Scholarship to RPI; and various Music Pins.
He participated in varsity ice hockey all four years of high school, was a “B” letter recipient, earned the Section V Division 3 Scholar Athlete Award, and participated in JV lacrosse, varsity lacrosse and Batavia Ramparts hockey.
Pierce’s musical talent consist of Batavia Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Barbershop vocal harmony singing, Brass Ensemble, All County Chorus, All County Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Solo Festival, Music Composition/Arrangement. Pierce also has participated in six school musicals.
Pierce’s community service includes Holland Land Office Museum Summer Program, and Try Hockey For Free Day at Falleti Ice Arena, which introduces the community to hockey.
Pierce’s believes that growing up in an Italian American Family, "you learn to value hard work and, above all, family."
Griffin Matthew Della Penna is attending Batavia High School. His parents are Matthew and Ellen Della Penna. He has been accepted at Canisius College in Buffalo, majoring in Journalism and Sports Broadcasting.
He is: the President of Student Government; President of National Honor Society; a member of Link Crew: Senior Leader to incoming Freshmen; Yearbook Senior Editor; and a member of Blue Zoo: Student Section Leader.
Griffin was awarded Scholar Athlete for three years, High Honor Roll all for four years, was Student of the Month, Homecoming Prince 2018 and King 2019, voted Most School Spirit, and Beauty and Brains in the BHS Senior Polls.
His athletic participation is baseball all for years, receiving Captain’s 1st Team Monroe County, Rotary Tournament MVP 2018, BHS football -- two years, basketball -- one year, and was Third Place in Mr. Batavian Competition his Senior Year.
Griffin belongs to Ascension Parish and works as a volunteer for many church events. Griffin has helped raise a considerable amount of money for the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.
Griffin’s idea of Italian American is “it embodies having compassion for others and taking care of my community."
Addysen Di Matteo is the daughter of David and Ann Di Matteo. She currently attends Notre Dame High School.
She plans on attending Daemen College in Amherst to pursue a career in Physical Therapy.
She received the Religious Studies Highest Average Award in 2018, as well as Student of the Month.
Addysen has been involved in soccer and basketball as team captain, received the MVP and Rookie of the Year Award, as well as the Coach’s Award.
She is currently a teacher’s assistant in Religious Education classes.
From 2015 to present, she is involved in Special Olympics track and field.
Addysen is a volunteer in the Notre Dame High School Second Annual Dodge for a Cause, the proceeds from which are donated to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
She values her Italian American heritage and attributes it to her family’s history, and all they endured in order to give her a better life.
Hannah Gaultieri attends Notre Dame High School. Michael and Deborah Gaultieri are Hanna’s parents. She will be attending Binghamton University in the fall for Mechanical Engineering.
Hannah has been Class Treasurer for four years, a member of National Honor Society, the Secretary of the Honor Society, Envirothon, Year Book Club and Mission Club at Notre Dame.
Hannah’s awards are many: Scholar Athlete for four years; Perfect Attendance; First Place Oral Presentation for State Championship in Envirothon 2017; Top 10 overall for State Championship in Envirothon; National Football Foundation Gold Scholar Athlete Award 2018; and RIT Computing Medal Award 2108.
Hannah participated in cheerleading, captain for four years, winter cheerleading, cross-country, outdoor track, indoor track. Receiving the Scholar Athlete award all four years. She acted and was dance choreographer for the school musical for three years.
Volunteering at Our Lady of Mercy for Fish Fries on Friday during Lent, Vacation Bible School, Special Olympics, fusion dance teacher assistant, participated in Living Station of the Cross and Shadow Stations during Lent and decorated Our Lady of Mercy Church for Christmas.
Hannah believes “the history of our ancestors creates a guideline for us to live by.”
Spencer Dominic Misiti is the son of Vincent and Margie Misiti. He currently attends Notre Dame High School.
He plans to attend Canisius College to study Marketing and Finance.
Spencer has been a Scholar-Athlete throughout high school in football, basketball and baseball.
He was awarded the Elmira College Key Award for Academic Excellence. He also received the Notre Dame High School Faculty and Staff Award for academic and character excellence.
Spencer volunteers at St. Joseph School officiating games and keeping the scoreboard. He has also helped officiate youth flag football games.
He has stated the history of his Italian family is significant to him by being raised to follow Catholic values and to always put family first.
Anna Marie O’Geen is the daughter of Donald and Deborah O’Geen. She is currently attending Warsaw High School in Wyoming County.
She plans to attend Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., where she will major in Intelligence Studies and minor in Cybersecurity.
She was awarded Student of the Month for Genesee Valley BOCES in 2018. She has been a High Honor Roll student her entire school career.
Anna Marie has been involved in soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and band. She also volunteers as youth basketball and softball coach, Perry Rotary Club, and St. Michael Church.
She attributes her love and appreciation of being an Italian American to her large family and the precious traditions they continue to pass down to her.
Jadan Torcello is the daughter of Jacob and Danielle Torcello. She attends Batavia High School.
She plans on attending University of Buffalo, majoring in Political Science and to pursue a law degree.
She is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Art Society.
Jadan is President of the Model United Nations. She is involved in Genesee County Youth Court. In 2019, she received the Youth Recognition Award.
Jadan is senior captain of the varsity tennis team and also participated in track and field, Z-Club (Zonta Club) activities, elementary school activities, Genesee County Nursing Home and The Salvation Army.
She believes being surrounded by her Italian American family has taught her inherent core principles in life.