Two New Hartford students honored with scholarships [Register Citizen]

July 1, 2015

The Register Citizen
NEW HARTFORD >> It may be a relatively small community but business leaders in New Hartford have come through in a big way for two local students.

On Thursday evening, the New Hartford Business Council presented $5,000 scholarships to Casey Stotler and Jakrin Lanphouthacoul, both local residents and recent graduates of Northwestern Regional High School.

In addition to sponsors and traditional funds, the council, which has 120 members, held two successful fundraisers — a Valentine’s Day Wine Tasting at the Pine Meadow Fire House and an April comedy show at Ski Sundown.

The students were thankful for the scholarships, which come in two increments of $2,500.

“I’m thankful they’re supporting me in my education,” Lanphouthacoul said.

“I’m just very blessed to have received it,” Stotler said. “It’s going to make such a difference.”

The Thursday night scholarship presentations were part of “Emerging Leaders of New Hartford” program at Ski Sundown, at which there was also acknowledgement of an internship program with the council and the Region 7 school district.

The evening featured remarks by council president Paul Amenta, Region 7 Principal Ken Chichester, state Sen. Kevin Witkos and Kelly Walsh, a student who participated in the internship program with speech pathologist Michelle Amenta.

The two scholarship recipients were chosen from a pool of 18 participants and honored for academics and community involvement.

Stotler has been a swim instructor at the YMCA in Winsted, a camp counselor at Brodie Park, a student council chairman, a Special Olympics Northwest Swim team volunteer and more. She also participated in the mentoring club at school and co-founded the cycling club and board gamer club.

Additionally Stotler was a shadow at Bristol Hospital and she plans to study nursing at the University of Connecticut.

Lanphouthacoul was treasurer of the Class of 2015 at Region 7 and worked part time at Northwest Community Bank.

Lanphouthacoul was also an active participant in the internship program, participating in the first year of its existence his junior year and again in the fall of his senior year.

He worked as a Connecticut transition Coordinator Intern at Capital Good Fund, working in the area of loan projections, market potential, marketing, law and transportation. He also interned for CPA firm Lori Riiska LLC in Winsted.

Lanphouthacoul is headed to the University of Connecticut to study finance.

Chichester thanked the business council for their support with the internship program as well as the scholarships. Both send a strong message of support, he said.

“In every case we’ve all been amazed and impressed by what a kids have been able to do by working with you,” he said of the internship program.

He also expressed his gratitude at the amount of scholarships.

“It is truly astounding that were able to raise $10,000 for two $5,000 scholarships, which again sends a strong message of your support for the success of the students in the district.”

Witkos talked about taking risks and the concepts of empowerment and resiliency. He also talked about he and his wife’s journey to start a business following his retiring from the Canton Police Department. He didn’t know what he was doing but forged ahead.

Witkos also mentioned the resiliency of the Hurley Business Park of New Hartford owners, who are working hard to revive a complex that had been hit hard when Fender guitar ceased production at the site in 2014. He told all the students in attendance that they were the ones who will find the answers people are looking for.

“To all the students here tonight, you have the energy, you have the drive and you have the appetite to do amazing things,” he said.