Athena A.C.E. Announces Two Scholarship Recipients for 2017
The Board of Directors of the Athena Award for Continuing Education (A.C.E.) Association recently announced the selection of two local scholarship recipients, following a reception hosted by the Ramada Geneva Lakefront and sponsored by the Geneva Wegmans.
Marilu Segura, a Geneva resident, was presented with the association’s $2,500 first-place scholarship award. Segura, a mother of two, is currently employed by the Geneva City School district as second grade teacher as part of the district’s Dual Language Program. Previously, she worked for the Midlakes Primary School, the Geneva Middle School and DeSales High School.
Through her church, Segura is part of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic Ministry where she works towards providing a voice for the Hispanic/Latino community, as well as unifying communities both locally and at the national level. She is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Geneva where she works towards providing resources to underprivileged young children so that they may have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Ms. Segura earned her Bachelor’s Degree from William Smith College. She is enrolled in the distance learning online program at SUNY Brockport working towards obtaining her bilingual certification. The Athena ACE scholarship will help her to cover her educational expenses for the next two semesters, which serve as the last periods of coursework to complete to become certified.
Silmarie Reyes Ortiz, a Geneva resident, received the association’s $2,000 second-place scholarship. Reyes Ortiz, a mother to two, most recently worked for the Geneva City School District as a Spanish language translator. Prior to that she was an English as a New Language (ENL) teaching assistant.
During her undergraduate program at William Smith College, Reyes Ortiz completed internships with the Geneva Historical Society, as well as the Hispanic Youth Program with the Family Counseling Services of the Finger Lakes. She also has a strong commitment to community service, having coached girls modified basketball for several years. She has also participated as a member of the Latin American Organization, from which received multiple leadership awards. Most recently, her volunteer focus is as a member of the Geneva Hispanic Church of God, where she helps women and their families look for employment and seek assistance from social services.
Reyes Ortiz is currently enrolled in the Master’s degree program at St. John Fisher College studying Adolescent Education. She was recently offered a full-time teaching position with the Geneva City School District upon completion of the student teaching component of her coursework.
Traditionally, the Athena ACE Association has awarded one scholarship per year on average since its inception in 2009. This year, two scholarships were made possible thanks to the generous donations from Lyons National Bank, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, The Galasso Foundation, Friends of Brian Kolb, Billsboro Winery, Finger Lakes Partners, Glove House, Bank of the Finger Lakes, Finger Lakes Hearing Center, Auto Specialists, Sinicropi Florist, D’Amico Chrysler Dodge-Jeep-Ram, Coe-Genung Funeral Home, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, as well as many individual donors.
The Athena Award for Continuing Education (ACE) scholarship supports women developing their capacity for leadership in our community by pursuing additional education. The Athena ACE is awarded annually to one or more women that demonstrate the qualities promoted by the ATHENA International program: excellence, creativity and initiative in her profession; valuable service by contributing time and energy to her community; and assistance to other women in reaching their full potential. For more information, visit the Athena ACE Association website, Facebook page or email AthenaACEA@gmail.com.