Yale-Seton Book Awards go to 47 high school seniors

Yale-Seton Book Award winners
The Yale-Seton Book Award winners pose during the Oct. 1 ceremony.

The Yale Club of New Haven honored 47 high school seniors from the greater New Haven area at its annual Yale-Seton Book Award event, held Oct. 1 in Davenport College. The students were selected by their schools in recognition of their “outstanding personal character and intellectual promise.”

The Yale Club of New Haven invited Yale Book Award honorees, their families, and their school guidance counselors to campus to receive their books. The students and their guests also enjoyed breakfast and lunch in Davenport College, a panel discussion and conversation with current Yale students from the area, and tours of Yale.

Head of College John Witt welcomed everyone to Davenport. Yale’s first lady Marta Moret ’84 M.P.H. was on hand to greet the winners and their families and to award the books. She also spoke to the guests from a personal perspective about the importance of books and literacy.

Just as the early morning showers stopped and the sun came out, Handsome Dan stopped by with his handler Kevin Discepolo to pose for a group photo of the awardees in the Davenport College courtyard.

This year’s student panelists were Solomon Aromolaran ’21, Donasia Gray ’22, Jaylan Leon ’21, and Jordan Lampo ’20, joined by Abdul-Raza Zachariah ’17, author of the children’s book “The Night is Yours,” who now works at LEAP. Dr. Sandy Chang ’88, associate dean of science and quantitative reasoning education at Yale College, spoke about opportunities for students interested in STEM. Then tour guides Ella Fanger ’21 and Alissa Ji ’20 showed students and families around the campus while guidance counselors met with Patricia Wei from the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Each student was awarded two books, chosen by the student — one as a keepsake and one to present to their school library. The award program is endowed by the late Fenmore Seton ’39 and his wife Phyllis, who passed away in August. The event was made possible through the efforts of Yale Club of New Haven administrator Theresa Mester and a group of volunteers: Elaine Piraino-Holevoet ’75 (chair), club president Ronald Heiferman ’65, Timothy Bertaccini ’77, Christina Coffin ’74, David McNamara ’78, and Suzanne M. Cooney ’85 M.P.H. Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions provided additional financial support.

The 2019 Yale-Seton Book Award winners and their schools are:

  • Caron Kim, Academy of Our Lady of Mercy/Lauralton Hall
  • Alex Guzhnay, Amistad High School
  • Ameya Menta, Amity Regional High School
  • Ashmal Baig, Ansonia High School
  • Daniel Delerbo-O’Brien, Branford High School
  • Dante Strollo, Cheshire Academy
  • Peter Feng, Cheshire High School
  • Owen Gonzales, Coginchaug Regional High School
  • Brandi Ocasio, Common Ground High School
  • Julie Francois, Cooperative Arts & Humanities Magnet High School
  • Anne Barrett, Daniel Hand High School
  • Arthur Newberg, Derby High School
  • Lena Bosco, East Hampton High School
  • Kayla Vernan, East Haven High School
  • Thomas Nardini, Engineering & Science University Interdistrict Magnet High School
  • Lananh Tran, F.T. Maloney High School
  • Benjamin Crair, Guilford High School
  • Zachary Houlton, Haddam-Killingworth High School
  • Eduardo Pagliaro-Haque, Hamden Hall Country Day School
  • Mariam Khan, Hamden High School
  • Emma Bender, High School in the Community
  • Aloni Jones, Highville Change Academy
  • Elizabeth Roy, Hopkins School
  • Shua Kim, James T. Hillhouse High School
  • Madeline Papcun, Jonathan Law High School
  • Andre Jin, Joseph A. Foran High School
  • Alexis Eaton, Lyman Hall High School
  • Natalie DiDomenico, Mark T. Sheehan High School
  • Gabrielle Grant, Mercy High School
  • Adrian Huq, Metropolitan Business Academy
  • Sophie Naylor, Middletown High School
  • Emma Farrell, Morgan School
  • Molly Freeman, Nathan Hale-Ray High School
  • Alan Veloz, New Haven Academy
  • Calley Marcarelli, North Branford High School
  • Joseph Baldino, North Haven High School
  • Michael Consorte, Notre Dame High School
  • Anahi Gutierrez, Orville H. Platt High School
  • Cassidy Wilson, Oxford High School
  • Olivia Runte, Portland High School
  • Maria Papademetis, Sacred Heart Academy
  • Ashley Sirowich, Seymour High School
  • Siddhart Jain, Shelton High School
  • Ciara Ortiz-Diaz, Sound School
  • Chloe Hummel, West Haven High School
  • Andrea Coronel, Wilbur L. Cross High School
  • Alexander Pralea, Xavier High School
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