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Maddie Santora, Jessica Clarke receive Ro Carlucci Scholarship Awards

Everyone knew RoseMarie Carlucci as “Ro,” a teacher at Westhill High School, and coach of the Vikings’ field hockey, gymnastics, and girls tennis teams. However, Ro was a much deeper person that simply a teacher and a coach, she was a consummate counselor and friend for everyone she touched. She volunteered for everything and was the self-appointed protector of women’s sports.

The following two female student-athletes have been selected to receive the RoseMarie Carlucci Scholarship Award because they epitomize the ideals of Ro Carlucci.

Maddie Santora, Stamford Softball and Field Hockey

Maddie Santora has kept busy as an integral member of the Stamford Black Knights’ varsity softball and field hockey teams throughout her high school career, serving as a captain for both.

Her coaches describe her as a natural athlete who is ready to do anything to help out her team, such as being willing to play any position in softball. She was also a natural leader for the Knights’ field hockey team, earning two All-FCIAC honorable mentions.

Outside of the time commitment to her teams, Santora participates in an astounding number of volunteer and extracurricular activities, including Unified Sports and Friendly Faces; the Athletic Council, a highly selective group which elects only two  student-athletes per class as representatives; Inspirica; and the Environmental Action Committee.

She has taken leadership roles in all of her endeavors, organizing fundraisers and making an impact in any way possible.

Santora has also dedicated her summers and falls to coaching youth softball and field hockey, passing on her passion for athletics to the next generation.

Aside from all this, she still finds time to work at a pharmacy, babysit, and tutor — all while maintaining an impressive 3.5 GPA and taking seven AP classes.

Santora will attend the University of New Hampshire where she will major in Nursing.

Jessica Clarke, Bridgeport Central Softball, Basketball and Track and Field

Ask anyone about Jessica Clarke and invariable you will hear of her strong leadership skills and go-getter mentality.

A student at Bridge[ort Central High School, Clarke is a three-sport athlete, participating in softball, basketball and track and field, and serving as a captain of the latter two teams.

Despite suffering an ACL injury during her junior year, Clarke worked hard to rehabilitate and returned to sports for her senior year with as much determination and grit as before. She was named the MVP of the basketball team and finished in first place in the 100-meter dash at every track competition this year.

Clarke keeps herself busy outside of school and sports as well.

She has been a dedicated member of Habitat for Humanity and Jack and Jill of America Incorporated, taking leadership roles in both.

What is perhaps most impressive, however, is how she co-founded her own organization in 2009: Deserving Desserts. For the past eight years, Clarke has organised this charitable event during the holidays, running a community collection of desserts to donate to homeless shelters and religious organizations “because everyone deserves a little sweetness in life.”

Since its founding, the organization has provided more than 4,000 desserts to families in need.

With such spirit, it is no doubt that Clarke will have tremendous success at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she will major in Environmental Studies.

Stamford’s Maddie Santora (left) and Central’s Jessica Clarke were this year’s recipients of the Ro Carlucci Scholarship Awards. The awards were presented at the annual FCIAC recognition program June 15 at the Norwalk Inn. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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