BY LISA ROSE
Local corrections officers and their friends and family gathered at Leo Ladders American Legion Post 130 in Thiells Wednesday, June 25 to award the 2014 Donny Coleman-Gregory Sokolohorsky Scholarships. The awards were given to seven tri-state graduating seniors who are the children of Rockland County corrections officers.
John Cocozzu, Corrections Union (COBA) president, was on hand, as well as other board members, to recognize the recipients. The union has been awarding scholarships for the past 16 years, giving out over $100,000 in that time. In the past decade the scholarship took the name of Coleman and Sokolohorsky, COs who had passed away after many years of service to the county.
Excitement and happiness was in the air as the correction officer community came together to recognize the recipients and celebrate their journey from high school to college.
Johnny Gonzalez, a Monroe-Woodbury High School graduate and volunteer firefighter, was one winner. He plans to attend Rockland Community College in the fall to study Fire Science. Gonzalez recalled memories of Gregory “Riff” Sokolohoski, who passed away in 2008 at age 46. Gonzalez said he was a great role model and “like family.”
Other Awardees of the 2014 Donny Coleman-Gregory Sokolohorsky College Scholarships:
Jenna Hertzman- Suffren High School graduate. Plans to attend Hartwick University this fall to study Nursing.
Julia Gentillo- Clarkstown South graduate. Plans to attend Rodger Williams University in the fall to study Media Communications.
Michelle Enright- Tappan Zee graduate. Plans to attend Binghamton University in the fall to study English.
Christina Zweck- Tappan Zee graduate. Plans to attend Suny Oneonta in the fall to study Pre-Medical/Biology.
Shannon Murphy- Secaucus graduate. Plans to attend Montclair University to study Art Education.
Talia Cifuni- Clarkstown North graduate. Plans to attend Rockland Community College in the fall.