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Three Fairfield County College Students Earn $5,000 Scholarships

Three Fairfield County college students - Sebastian Arreola, Pat Fortunato and Andrew Kurth - have been rewarded with $5,000 scholarships from the Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund.
Three Fairfield County college students - Sebastian Arreola, Pat Fortunato and Andrew Kurth - have been rewarded with $5,000 scholarships from the Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund. Photo Credit: Margaret Fox

Three lucky and talented college students studying STEM fields in Fairfield County have earned a $5,000 scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The scholarships were granted by the Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund, a major construction industry financial-aid program that was established by former Chairman Emeritus of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., Louis G. Nappi, in 2009.

The committee, which includes representatives from both labor and management, selects scholarship candidates based on the exemplification of the “high scholastic and personal standards” necessary to further a career in the construction and building industries. This year, a total of 17 students in the area received scholarships totaling $85,000.

“This scholarship award is a living testimony to Louis Nappi,” said Ross J. Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council. “Lou Nappi’s commitment to engineering and science lives on today in these scholarships and through you. Giving you the financial assistance to pursue higher education and advanced degrees, Mr. Nappi believed the future of the nation’s construction and building industries would regain its global competitiveness and preeminence."

Scholarship winners from Fairfield County were:

  • Sebastian Arreola, 18, of Danbury, a freshman studying computer engineering at the University of Hartford in West Hartford and the grandson of a member of Heavy Construction Laborers L.U. 60
  • Pat Fortunato, 20, of Fairfield, a senior studying computer science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and the grandson of a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137
  • Andrew Kurth, 19, of New Canaan, a sophomore studying chemical engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca and a great-grandson of CIC Chairman Emeritus Louis G. Nappi

William Mascetta, Scholarship Committee Chairman and President of Transit Construction Corp. in Mount Vernon, New York, emphasized the importance of avoiding “digital distraction” by going into the field to learn practical skills in a hands-on manner.

“In this age of technology and unfettered access to information, technology has advanced so far in such a short period of time and we all rely on it very heavily. We’re more comfortable seeing things on a phone or tablet screen and not getting out there and touching and feeling the projects we’re building,” said Mascetta. “That’s a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of everyone: you, the students, and we as members and owners in the construction industry.”

Now in its 10th year of operation, the Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $600,000 to an estimated 120 students, many of whom are related to employees of CIC-member companies or affiliated unions such as the Laborers International Union of N.A. Local 60, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456.

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