Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ education grants awarded

ANCRAM — With the inspirational name Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association (ANHNA), it’s not surprising that 10 education grants from that organization have been awarded to residents whose education is leading to careers that will help to make the world a better place.

Recently named after the late, beloved community member Adrienne Citrin, the Memorial Higher Education need based $1,500 grants are made possible thanks to donations from local residents. In this 10th year for the awards, participants are up from six recipients last year. 

The following information on the award winners was provided by ANHN, which “relies on community contributions to fund its various activities, including providing area families with food on a weekly basis, holiday baskets, school supplies for area students and schools and help during family emergencies, such as job loss or health crisis.”

Educating students of all ages is the focus of half of the grant recipients. 

Matthew Boice, a first-year student in the graduate program of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, hopes to bring the sounds of his bassoon to the world by becoming a member of a professional symphony and teaching at the university level.

Sydney Cleveland hopes her studies at Columbia-Greene Community College will lead to a career as a history teacher as she majors in history with a minor in environmental science.

Matthew Hitchen has plans to attend the College of Saint Rose to become a Special Education and Social Studies teacher, having completed undergraduate work at SUNY Oneonta and graduate work at Washington State University.

Samantha Mason, a graduate student in the 1-6 grade education program at the University of Albany hopes “these classes will increase the success levels of her second-grade students in the Pine Plains Central School District.”

Sarah Mason is “looking forward to student teaching this fall” as she completes her undergraduate program at SUNY New Paltz with hopes of entering that school’s graduate Special Education program. 

The health and well being of others is the objective of the five other recipients.

Leslie Boice, a dean’s list and honor society member, is entering her final year at Russell Sage College School of Heath Sciences, majoring in occupational therapy, “looking forward to working with patients to increase their independence and quality of life.”

Christine Boyles of the Child Advocacy Center of Columbia and Greene Counties “looks forward to learning new techniques to better assist people in need” through her program at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work.

Sara DeRocha, who hopes to “improve her Spanish” has “enjoyed helping others… and volunteering.” She plans to become a nurse through studies at Russell Sage College in Troy.

David Ditto will transfer to Clarkson University having achieved his associate’s degree from Dutchess Community College. He plans to study innovations in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Power Systems Engineering and Sustainable Energy Systems.

Emily Mason “looks forward to helping her patients live long, happy and healthy lives” after completing her fourth year preparing at Columbia-Greene Community College to be  a surgical nurse practitioner.

 In addition to the above,  grants for nontraditional education and training, which have gone begging until now, have two applicants. Others are still encouraged to apply.

For more information on any ANHNA program, call Jack Lindsey at 518-329-7306 or Hila Richardson at 917-414-8270;  or email To donate, send checks to ANHNA, P.O. Box 97, Ancramdale, NY 12503.

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