Children of 10 wine and spirits wholesaler employees were awarded $2,500 college scholarships by the WSWA Educational Foundation, the charitable arm of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). The competitive awards are presented each year to college student dependents of WSWA member firm employees.
Kasi Benskin, of Denver, N.C., is a junior at Erskine College and Seminary. Her father is an off-premise sales representative for Empire Distributors of North Carolina, Inc. Kasi has supported her education by working as the Chick-Fil-A “cow” mascot and as an employee of a transportation firm. She is also an active community and church volunteer who serves as a leader with children’s sports programs.
- Dana Dench from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., is an incoming freshman at The College of New Jersey where she will major in graphic design. Her father, Richard Dench, is a truck driver with R & R Marketing, LLC, a member of the Charmer Sunbelt Group. Dana is a volleyball and track athlete with a passion for creativity who earned the “scholar athlete award” each year during high school. She is pursuing a career in art and design, and hopes to work in the graphics and advertising field.
· Kerianne Fuoco of Monroe Township, N.J., is an incoming freshman at Monmouth University who plans to study clinical laboratory science with an emphasis on medical technology. Her father is Anthony Fuoco, a routeman with Empire Merchants, LLC, a member of the Charmer Sunbelt Group. Kerianne plans to pursue a career as a laboratory scientist working with hospitals, doctors’ offices and diagnostic laboratories. She was accepted into Monmouth University’s honors program emphasizing high-level academic and technical work.
- Giselle Garingan, from Fullerton, Calif., is an incoming freshman at California State University, Fullerton where she will major in biological science and pursue a career in the medical field. Her mother, Febes Faringan, is an accounts receivable representative with Southern Wine & Spirits of Southern California. Giselle was motivated to pursue a career in medicine after interacting with therapists and medical professionals when her father was being treated for a disabling stroke. She graduated from high school with a 4.1 grade point average.
· Maximillian Kinne of Longmeadow, Mass., attends Dartmouth College where he maintains a 3.61 grade point average and is pursuing a major in government. He plans to either double major or minor in Arabic. Maximillian is the son of Corbin Kinne, a sales manager with Martignetti Cos. A triathlete and musician, he is working toward a career in the foreign service and hopes to one day become an ambassador. He speaks French and English in addition to pursuing studies in Arabic.
· Amanda Najera from West Covina, Calif., is an incoming freshman at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Her mother, Rosemarie Najera is an executive assistant in the finance department of Young’s Market Co., LLC. A varsity athlete in high school, Amanda graduated from high school with a 4.63 grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular and community activities. She was accepted into the accelerated pre-pharmacy program and may later seek an MBA to expand her career options.
· Daniel Nieves of Winter Haven, Fla., is a student at Polk State College in his hometown. He is the son of Blanca Nieves, a logistics router with Southern Wine & Spirits of Central Florida. Daniel is currently serving in the U.S. Army Reserve and plays to pursue a degree in psychology and later serve on active duty as a psychologist.
· Jacob Peopping from Long Lake, Minn., is an incoming freshman at the University of Wisconsin pursuing a degree in community and environmental sociology. He is the son of Cheryl Poepping, a sales representative with Wirtz Beverage Minnesota. Jacob graduated from high school with a 4.08 grade point average while also working at least 15 hours per work and participating in a variety of clubs and civic organizations. He plans to study in Africa and pursue a career as a health practitioner in the foreign service.
· Sean Rubalcaba of Grand Junction, Colo., is an incoming freshman at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the son of Matt Rubalcaba, field service manager for Beverage Distributors, LLC, a member of the Charmer Sunbelt Group. Sean was active in student government and played three varsity sports during each of his high school years while maintaining a 3.91 grade point average. He plans to play football for the University of Northern Colorado team and is considering a career in financial law.
· Hope Wittig from Brownsburg, Ind., is an incoming freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University where she is working to independently pay all education costs. Hope is the daughter of Joseph Witting, director of sales analytics and support for Glazer’s Indiana. Hope is studying entrepreneurship and finance and hopes to open her own retail store. She has already launched a line of hand-made fashion accessories and has received inspiration from her father who is also pursuing an MBA while working full-time.
The 2012 scholarship winners come from eight states and were selected from a competitive field of 270 applicants, based on scholastic achievements, extracurricular activities and essays outlining their career goals.