Long Island Students to Receive Scholarships Valued at $223,000

The School - Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI), sponsor of the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is proud to announce that six Long Island high school students from the 2007-2008 LI-First Robotics competition have been awarded scholarships, valued at $223,000, from accredited institutions in the field of technology.

The six students, Wayne Young, ComsewogueHector Flores, Great Neck South;Nicholas Joniak, West BabylonJonathan Kriss, PlainviewAnthony Giovanelli, Baldwin; and Michael Delph, Comsewogue were awarded combined scholarships in the amount of $223,000 over four years.  Young and Flores were awarded $9,000 over three years from Devry University in Phoenix and Devry College of New York, respectively; Joniak was awarded $1,500 per year from Hofstra University; Kriss was awarded $6,000 per year from RIT; Giovanelli was awarded $10,000 per year from the University of Delaware; while Delph was awarded a full scholarship valued at $135,000 from WPI. 

This season, participating FIRST students were eligible to apply for over $9 million in scholarships from leading universities, colleges and companies.  Since the 2002 competition, Long Island students walked away with several million dollars, combined, in college scholarships.  With additional scholarships yet to be announced, the amount of scholarships awarded to Long Island students is likely to grow. As a source of scholarships, the program surpasses Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair.

"The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about the design and building of sophisticated robots.  These students also develop maturity, professionalism, teamwork and mentoring skills that enrich their lives," said Fred Breithut, President of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI) and sponsor of the Long Island FIRST Regional Robotics Competition.  "Many of our students develop an affinity for their science and math courses, go on to study engineering, technology or science in college, and also pursue employment opportunities with sponsoring companies." 

Since its beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students and academic communities.  Surveys conducted by the Center for Essential Management Services found that participating students' attitudes about science, math, teamwork and the working world significantly improved after participating.  The students' self image also improved, particularly among minority groups.  Also, interest in internships and employment opportunities with sponsoring local companies increased.