December 19, 2014
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3 high school grads receive John A. Caruso Scholarship Awards
Christopher Carter
Photo Credit: WSA Staff
RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP: Megan Wilks receives the John A. Caruso Scholarship Award at Warwick Sewer Authority on Aug. 6. From left to right: Mayor Scott Avedisian, Bethany Furtado (School Committee Chair), Megan Wilks, BettyAnne Rossi (WSA Laboratory Director/Pretreatment Coordinator), and Aaron Guckian (WSA Board Chair).

Three Warwick high school graduates with an interest in science and engineering have been awarded John A. Caruso Scholarships from the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA).

On Wednesday, Aug. 6, the Warwick Sewer Authority Industrial Pretreatment Program held its 2014 John A. Caruso Scholarship Presentation. Mayor Scott Avedisian joined Aaron Guckian, chairman of the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA), Bethany A. Furtado, chairperson of the Warwick School Committee, and staff members of the WSA to award scholarships to three Warwick high school graduates during a ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 6 in the WSA’s John A. Caruso Conference Room at 125 Arthur Devine Boulevard in Warwick.

“It is always an inspiration to have the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of our city’s youth. They are our future leaders. Today we honor three students who are dedicated to achieving academic excellence and have a bright future ahead of them,” Avedisian said in a statement.

This year’s scholarship recipients are: Nicole Luiz of Veterans Memorial High School, Taylor Venter of Toll Gate High School, and Megan Wilks of Pilgrim High School. Luiz will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a major in mechanical engineering. Venter will also be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a major in chemical engineering and Wilks will attend the University of Rhode Island in the honors program with a major in pharmacy.

“Since its inception in 2003, the John A. Caruso Scholarship Award program has distributed a total of $48,000 among 30 of our most exceptional and very grateful high school graduates,” said BettyAnne Rossi, WSA laboratory director/pretreatment coordinator and manager of the scholarship program.

Three recipients for this scholarship are chosen each year. One $1,000 scholarship is given per Warwick public high school. The scholarship is paid directly to the colleges in which the awardees are enrolled.

“The Caruso Scholarship encourages and supports Warwick high school seniors pursuing careers in science and engineering. The wastewater industry relies heavily on scientists and engineers, and I am particularly thrilled to assist three outstanding young women this year,” said Janine Burke, WSA executive director.

Any high school senior who is a Warwick resident, attending a Warwick high school and plans to major in a pure or applied science, environmental study, or engineering is eligible.

Submissions are reviewed by a panel of WSA board members and ranked based on grades, extra curricular activities, community involvement, the letters of recommendation, the essay, and financial need.

The funds for these awards have been administered through WSA’s Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP). The IPP was established in the 1980s and is required by the federal government in order to outreach to the community and have an educational component. In their effort to protect the sewer collection system, treatment facility, Narragansett Bay, and Pawtuxet River, the IPP ensures wastewater discharge permits are set for all Warwick industrial and commercial facilities. Facilities that violate their permit are subject to fines of up to $25,000 per day per violation. However, Burke stated, “most violations are minor fines of about $50 to $100 that accumulate.” The IPP saves the money from the fines to give to the scholarship program.

These scholarships have been awarded since 2003 in honor of the late John A. Caruso, chairman of the board from 1983 to 2003. The scholarships were Caruso’s idea but he never lived to see it in fruition. Rossi said, “John never liked giving out fines, but would be happy to know that they are going to such a great cause.”


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