Berkshire Bank Awarded $52,000 in Scholarships

2017 Awards Recognize Students For Volunteer Service

Pittsfield, MA – - Berkshire Bank announced today that it selected a record 35 high school seniors to receive a total of $52,500 in scholarships through its Berkshire Bank Foundation Scholarship Awards Program. Each of the recipients received $1,500.

The scholarship awards recognize students who have exemplified community service through their volunteer efforts, have succeeded academically, and have a financial need. The program highlights the Foundation's support for education and the Bank's commitment to promote volunteerism in the community.

A team of 200 Berkshire Bank employee volunteers reviewed nearly 300 applications to select the winners, all of whom live in regions served by Berkshire Bank, including Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The recipients, who were presented with their scholarship awards by Bank employees at their respective high schools, included:


  • Melanie Rivera: Whitinsville, MA - Blackstone Valley Tech
  • Sebastien Francois: Hyde Park, MA - Boston Preparatory Charter Public School
  • Vidhi Patel: Springfield, MA - Chicopee Comprehensive High School
  • Diana Tereshchuk: Russell, MA - Gateway Regional High School
  • Samantha Dion: Wilbraham, MA - Minnechaug Regional High School
  • Maeven Broderick: Pittsfield, MA - Monument Mountain Regional High School
  • Kelsey Netzer: Housatonic, MA - Mount Everett Regional High School
  • Tyrell Boire: Pittsfield, MA - Pittsfield High School
  • Hailey Kirchner: Pittsfield, MA - Pittsfield High School
  • Gabriella Rodriguez: Springfield, MA - SABIS International Charter School
  • Kasey Johnson: South Hadley, MA - South Hadley High School
  • Devon Roberts: Granville ,MA - Southwick Regional School
  • Suraji Omoru: Springfield, MA - Springfield High School of Science and Technology
  • Jennifer VanBramer: Pittsfield, MA - Taconic High School

New York:

  • Shyanne Sherwin: Eagle Bridge, NY - Cambridge Central School
  • Dominique Cesario: Canastota, NY - Canastota High School
  • Alexandra Holbrook: Jordan, NY - Cato-Meridian High School
  • Stella Fairall: Austerlitz, NY - Chatham High School
  • Claire Guyer: Altamont, NY - Clayton A. Bouton High School (Voorheesville)
  • Nicholas Ferri: Little Falls, NY - Herkimer High School
  • Lucas Vespi: Little Falls, NY - Little Falls High School
  • Sarah Logan: Queensbury, NY - Queensbury High School
  • Lena Roemer: Clifton Park, NY - Shenendehowa High School
  • Rachel Aidala: Schenectady, NY - South Colonie Central High School
  • Michael Le: Whitesboro, NY - Whitesboro High School


  • Sha-Toya Lewis: Hartford, CT - Culinary Arts Academy at Weaver High School
  • Lauren Brooks: Newington, CT - Newington High School


  • Steven Kapusta: Danby, VT - Burr & Burton Academy
  • Thea Vunk: Pawlet, VT - Burr and Burton Academy
  • Skylar Alger: Proctor, VT - Rutland High School

New Jersey:

  • Briana Peterson: Hamilton, NJ - Allentown High School
  • Ryan Malloy: Groveville, NJ - Hamilton High School East
  • Maria Shipp: Hamilton, NJ - Hamilton High School West


  • Olivia Tempesta: Doylestown, PA - Central Bucks High School West
  • Hyeonji Park: Horsham, PA - Hatboro-Horsham Senior High School

According to Lori Gazzillo, Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, "Encouraging volunteerism among students at an early age is a win-win, as it benefits both those who volunteer as well as the communities they serve and ultimately leads to on-going community involvement. We are so pleased to support these student leaders with their educational endeavors."

Just as these scholarship recipients play an active role in their communities, Berkshire Bank encourages its employees to support their communities through the XTEAM®, Berkshire's nationally acclaimed Employee Volunteer Program, which provides 16 hours paid time off to employees to volunteer during regular business hours. Last year, 100% of the Bank's employees participated in the program and donated more than 40,000 hours of volunteer service.

About Berkshire Bank Foundation

Through foundation grants to nonprofits, scholarships to students, environmental programs, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates $2 million to nonprofits throughout the Bank's footprint and 100% of bank employees provide over 40,000 hours of service through their XTEAM® corporate volunteer program. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts' Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal in 2016. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $9.3 billion in assets and 97 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. The Company has a pending agreement to acquire Commerce Bancshares Corp., the parent company of Commerce Bank and Trust Company, a $2.2 billion bank with 16 branches in the Worcester, MA and Boston, MA markets. To learn more, visit, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of NESN's Boston Bruins coverage and the community partner of Boston Season at City Hall Plaza.

Contact: Heidi Higgins
Berkshire Bank
Phone: (413) 236-3756

Vanessa Pesa
Berkshire Bank
Phone: 4134471851