Charter Oak Awards $100,000 in Scholarships: 50 Local Students Each Receive $2,000 For the Academic Year

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union hosted a reception on Thursday, May 30th, to formally award $100,000 in scholarships to 50 deserving high school and college students from the New London and Windham counties.

These students were chosen by a committee that reviewed over 170 applications to their 2024 Community Giving Scholarship Program. Students were required to submit a detailed essay to demonstrate their commitment to their scholarly efforts, as well as to showcase how they plan to give back to their local community. Topics included improving local park and recreation centers, creating services for the homeless population, as well as creating/helping food pantries within the region.

“Since starting the Scholarship Program in 2009, we’ve given over $1,000,000 in scholarships,” said Brian Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President, and CEO. “The students’ passion for making a difference aligns perfectly with Charter Oak’s mission, and we are proud to support their endeavors” he said.

Congratulations to the following 2024 Community Outreach Scholarship Winners: 
This year’s high school student scholarship winners (sorted by school) are: Lovely Manfred, Academy of the Holy Family; Jessica-Willow Harris, Bacon Academy; Tara Guttman, East Lyme High School; Sarah Brooke Bonura, East Lyme High School; Richard Parsons, Ella T. Grasso Technical High School; Payton Lee, Griswold High School; Jocelyn Crowley, Killingly High School; Peyton Rosen, Killingly High School; Sean Harren, Ledyard High School; Ella Stephe, Ledyard High School; Cameron Sammarco, Lyman Memorial High School; Allyssa Judd, Lyman Memorial High School; Leland Hine, Lyme-Old Lyme High School; Zaire Moore, Marianapolis Preparatory School; Jacob Watson, Marine Science Magnet High School; Tyler Lawton, Montville High School; Ava Gero, Montville High School; John Mancuso, New London High School; Brooke Romanski, Norwich Free Academy; Seth Howe, Norwich Technical High School; Kara Benito, Parish Hill High School; Jake Taylor, Plainfield High School; Ian Wolanin, Pomfret School; Nathan Virtue, Robert E Fitch High School; Calvin McCoy III, Robert E Fitch High School; Joslynn Centeno, Robert E Fitch High School; Lucas Dellacono, Saint Bernard High School; John Paul Peck, Saint Bernard High School; Sian Crespo, Science and Technology Magnet High school; Ethan King, Stonington High School; Grace Duggan, Stonington High School; Skye Nugent, The Williams School; Eric Levesque, Tourtellotte Memorial High School; Payton Smith, Waterford High School; Benjamin Nave, Wheeler High School; Megan Smith, Woodstock Academy; Julia Coyle, Woodstock Academy.

College award winners include: Sandra Allen-Fernandez, Case Western Reserve University; Kelsea Anderson, Clemson University; Leanne Pappas, Eastern Connecticut State University; Sage Stefanski, Fairfield University; Keeley Cerbo, Nichols College; Ella Stone, Northeastern University; Sarah May, Shenandoah University; Rene Cummings, Southern New Hampshire University; Abigail Ashbey, Southern Connecticut State University; Jessica Wood, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Navya Sabu, University of Connecticut, Avery Larkin, University of North Carolina Charlotte; Shelby Bellows, Virginia Tech.

Charter Oak awards scholarships on an annual basis and will begin accepting applications again in January 2025 for the 2025-2026 school year. To learn more about the Credit Union’s scholarship program, please visit:

Contact: Ronald Wertz
VP-Director of Marketing
(860) 446-3254 (

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.568 billion as of April 30, 2024. They’ve proudly been serving Eastern Connecticut since 1939 and offer great checking, deposit, lending, and investment services. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, visit any of their convenient branches, call their Contact Center at 860.446.8085, or visit their website online. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.