HEAD of the Class
Annually the Colleluori family presents local high school students with the Nicholas E. Colleluori Memorial Scholarship and HEADstrong Foundation Award for their academic excellence and athletic accomplishments.
On Wednesday May 16, 2012 at the Ridley High School Senior Awards Ceremony, Cheryl and Pat Colleluori, the parents of former Ridley student-athlete and HEADstrong founder Nick Colleluori were on hand to present the prestigious Nicholas E. Colleluori Memorial Scholarship.
The 2012 recipient of the scholarship was Ridley high’s Kevin Benson, a student-athlete who will be furthering his education and athletic career at Florida Southern University. Other students including: Tara Jordan, Alexandria Lewis, Rachel Panak, Komal Parekh, Emily Savinese and Abigail Worrell received the HEADstrong Award for outstanding academic achievements.
The Nicholas E. Colleluori Scholarship is awarded to a Ridley High School athlete who exhibits exemplary leadership, a relentless drive for success, possesses true heart and character while defying the odds on and off the playing field. The HEADstrong Foundation is committed to furthering the education of devoted students pursuing a career in the medical arena.
Candidates must have an endorsement from their teacher or coach and must also submit a personal essay to the Colleluori family stating how Nick has influenced their life decisions. Recipients must carry a minimum 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate outstanding citizenship, sportsmanship and service within their community. Established in 2007, this is the fifth scholarship that has been awarded to an outstanding athlete at Ridley High school.
“Presenting this memorial scholarship on behalf of my son Nicholas is incredibly emotional for me because it was one of his final requests,” said Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom. “It is hard to believe that this is the fifth year that we have presented this award in his name.
“It feels like yesterday that our boys were students at Ridley High School and we were proudly watching them accept scholarships to further their education and athletics. The Ridley School District has been so embracing of the HEADstrong Foundation and we are proud of our growing partnership. Congratulations to Kevin Benson and all of the students who were recognized for their accomplishments this evening. Make use of the time you have and don’t stress the little things; have a smile and enjoy what you can get out of life.”
About The HEADstrong Foundation
HEADstrong Foundation works to advocate, raise funds for and to support those affected by blood cancer or working to eliminate it. HEADstrong Foundation generates funds for blood cancer research, distributes grants and provides assistance to patients and survivors of blood cancer. In addition, HEADstrong Foundation awards scholarships and grants for students with ambitions of entering the medical field. Founder Nick “Head” Colleluori” attended Hofstra University where he played lacrosse. While at Hofstra Nick was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While sick he began counseling other patients and began laying the framework for what would become the HEADstrong Foundation, in an effort to raise cancer awareness and help others and future patients that found themselves in a similar situation. In August of 2006 he even found the strength to play in one last lacrosse game. Nick passed away on November 28, 2006 at the age of 21. Even though he is gone, his memory and relentless determination lives on through the HEADstrong Foundation.