By Nicholas Smaldone, Contributing Writer
On May 20, Westborough High School (WHS) alumnus and MassBay Community College student Kevin Garcia received the Anne Piscia Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to WHS students who speak English as a second language and are pursuing a higher education degree.
Garcia is currently paying his way through college, the first in his family to attend. Garcia called the scholarship “a great opportunity” and is “proud to be receiving the award.”
Anne Piscia was a former Spanish teacher at WHS and advocate for English language learners; Piscia lost her battle to cancer four years ago. Close friend and colleague Diane Perryman described Piscia’s determination through adversity.
“She worked for 10 years after being diagnosed,” Perryman said. “She was committed to each and every one of her students and we hope that the scholarship reflects that kind of commitment.”
Perryman and other staff were “so happy to honor her legacy, especially helping the population of students she so deeply cared about.”
Garcia’s former ESL teacher Jackie Coelho reflected on how empowering the scholarship can be, after personally seeing all the barriers ESL students face.
“To see one of my students that’s working so hard to go even further really fills my heart,” she said.
Many were grateful for the availability of such scholarships in Westborough, from Garcia who “never thought [he’d] be able to have this opportunity” to Coelho who was “incredibly thankful to be living in a community that helps students so much.”
To learn more about Anne Piscia and donate to her memorial scholarship, visit www.gofundme.com/auwnjzks.