Southington Education Foundation awards three students scholarships

Published on Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:38
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SOUTHINGTON – Abhiram Bhamidipati, Rebecca Dorzens and Michaela Hughes have been named recipients of Southington Education Foundation’s 2019 scholarships; each scholarship awards $1,000 to the recipients.

Abhiram Bhamidipati was named recipient of SEF’s Dr. Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating Southington High School senior who is civic-minded and who has demonstrated the desire to help school, community and/or country.

Bhamidipati has chosen to attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he will study Computer Science and Economics. His excellent academic ability earned him top honors at Southington High School as well as being named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. Among Bhamidipati’s many volunteer involvements is Power of Peace, an organization that he co-founded in 2013 to promote peace through eradicating hunger, providing better living conditions, and giving underprivileged children a means to prepare for the future. During the past five years, the group has grown and raised over $130,000 to benefit organizations across the world that align with the group’s goals.

Bhamidipati’s extensive resume details his many other activities including Project Lead the Way, VEX Team Captain for the First Robotics Team and membership on the Math Team and Track and Field Team to name just a few. His future plans include graduating early from Northeastern, followed by graduate studies in Computation Finance. In his essay, he states that he is committed to continue service to his community. Bhamidipati is the son of Phani and Kameswari Bhamidipati

Rebecca Dorzens was named recipient of SEF’s STEM Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating Southington High School senior in good standing with a desire to major or minor in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Dorzens will attend the University of New Hampshire where she will major in Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. Her interest in Engineering was piqued when her counselor in eighth grade informed her of the Project Lead the Way program at SHS. PLTW is a four year engineering capstone course of study offering college level curriculum and credits. In addition to the principles in engineering that Rebecca learned in PLTW, she credits the course with teaching professionalism and time-management skills. Her involvement in Women in Science and Engineering encouraged the positive, active participation of young women in STEM careers. Dorzens’ leadership skills are evidenced in her positions held as Co-President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and as a Board Member of the Southington Activists for Gender Equality. Her recent achievements include CT State Scholastic Silver Key Art Award and the Society of Women Engineers Award for excellence in math and science. She states in her essay that she is confident in her career choice based on all of the experiences she gained at SHS. Dorzens is the daughter of Robert and Lisa Dorzens.

Michaela Hughes was named recipient of SEF’s Arts and Humanities Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating Southington High School senior in good standing with a desire to major or minor in the Arts and/or Humanities. Michaela will attend the University of Connecticut where she will major in Illustration. Her studies at SHS

included several Advanced Placement Art courses affirming her desire to pursue art as a career. Even as a child, Hughes loved art and as a result she entered and won a competition at the YMCA where her illustration was chosen for that year’s Christmas card. Since that time, she has received numerous awards for her artistic talents.

She is particularly proud of receiving the Connecticut Scholastic Gold Key Art Award for 2019. Hughes’ extracurricular activities included SHS Color Guard Section Leader, assisting Color Guards at the Middle School and volunteering with Arts and Crafts at Vacation Bible for several summers. Hughes’ goal is to be an illustrator for children’s novels.

This goal was fueled by the positive influence that illustrated characters in novels had on her growing up. She believes well-illustrated characters can teach children to deal with difficult situations and inspire them to be kind and respect others. She states in her essay, “I aspire to create characters that capture the love and attention of a little child. I want the characters and illustrations I make to have a positive impact on future generations.”

Hughes is the daughter of Michael and Linda Hughes.

The SEF is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 to support enriching and creative initiatives in education. This is the fifth year that SEF has awarded scholarships to Southington students. The STEM scholarship is one way the Foundation supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. During his tenure as Southington Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Joseph V. Erardi encouraged educators and residents alike to become active in the community and was a catalyst for founding the Foundation. The Arts and Humanities Scholarship was awarded for the first time this year. Readers can learn more about the Southington Education Foundation by visiting To learn more about SEF membership, email Jan Galati at or call 860-628-0279.

– The Southington Education Foundation

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:38. Updated: Tuesday, 13 August 2019 17:40.