Painting for Peace in Ferguson

Please join us as Carol Klein will read from her book Painting for Peace in Ferguson, with activities for children through grade 6.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2 pm • Lovell Room   

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2018 VSMF National Scholarship Winner, Emily Sedlak!

We would like to introduce you to our 2018 VSMF National Scholarship recipient, Emily Sedlak. Emily is a graduate from Carlisle High School in Pennsylvania. She plans on attending Messiah College in Pennsylvania majoring in Early Elementary Education and Special Education. Emily was chosen out of over 50 applications from all over the country. In speaking to Emily, we felt she embodies the spirit of Vicki!

She said, “It means the world to me that out of countless applicants, I was chosen as the Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship National recipient. I feel incredibly blessed that Miss Soto’s family and friends believed in me so much that they have chosen me to carry on Vicki’s legacy. Vicki was such an incredible woman, and to know that her family and friends see the same light she had in me means everything. When I first received the call I was so honored and speechless. I was in such a state of gratitude and shock that I was at a loss for words. Throughout the phone call all I could think about was honoring Vicki’s memory and making the Soto’s and my new scholarship family proud, which I hope I will be able to do. All I could say was an endless amount of “thank you’s” and hope that it would at least partially express my overwhelming gratitude.”

We are so excited and honored to have Emily as part of our Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship family. Emily has been spending most of her summer teaching in her church’s children’s ministry program. Emily said, “Getting to work with kids at Sunday school, as well as participating in vacation bible school has been such a treat and a highlight of my summer. I love getting to serve my community in any way I can, and it has been a blast getting hands on experience teaching and doing what I love.”

Emily sent us pictures of her from this summer. She said, “The first picture is of me during one of my church’s summer youth group nights where I now serve as a middle school youth group leader! The other two pictures are from the youth group’s meal packing night! Through an organization called “Change For Change”, we packaged 10,000 meals for families  in Zambia- an exciting beginning to our work with the organization as we are planning to pack 60,000 meals by the end of the school year!”

We are so proud of Emily and all her hard work working with her church and children this year. We wish her all the best this fall!

2018 VSMF Bunnell High School Scholarship Winner, Elizabeth Larsen!

We are excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Larsen, the 2018 Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship recipient from Bunnell High School. Elizabeth will be attending Housatonic Community College in the Fall for Early Childhood Education. After winning the scholarship, she said, “When I heard my name called as the winner of the Victoria Soto Memorial Fund Scholarship I started shaking from excitement…it was all I could do to walk across the stage. Winning this scholarship means a great deal to me. I truly believe Miss Soto was a superhero. I hope to have the same love and respect from my students someday that she had and be the kind of teacher that she was.”

Elizabeth is such an enthusiastic, warm, kind and wonderful senior who is ready to pursue her passion of becoming an educator. She has already attended college orientation and when we spoke to her this summer she said that she was very much looking forward to starting her college career!

In addition, Elizabeth told us, “This June, after graduation, I participated in the Barnum Festival Road Show for the second season as a “Barnumette” dancer.  The Barnumettes are a group my brother and I started when he was Barnum Festival King last year. We asked several of our friends from KICKS Dance Center to be in the Road Show with us, and it was such fun, everyone did it again.  We even added three new younger girls to prime the group for next year since the senior class will retire. We visited nineteen convalescent, retirement homes and special needs facilities over three days  around the Bridgeport area. We were on the front page of the Connecticut Post and had a float in the Great Street Parade. As part of the Barnumettes, I also danced and modeled in a charity fashion show for the Angel Fund, which helps families who have lost a baby.”

We are so honored to welcome Elizabeth to the VSMF family! We wish Elizabeth all the best at school and in her journey to become a teacher.

Pictured from right to left Katelyn Root recipient in 2016, Mathew Soto, Elizabeth Larsen, and Jessica Tailercio recipient in 2017.

Pictured from right to left Katelyn Root recipient in 2016, Mathew Soto, Elizabeth Larsen, and Jessica Tailercio recipient in 2017.