Rockland firefighters give scholarships to 2 college-bound residents

By Hema Easley July 11, 2009

Two college-bound Rockland residents received the Stuart L. Gates scholarship awarded by the Rockland County Volunteer Firemen's Association yesterday. Joanna Felice of Garnerville and Brandon Mager of Suffern both received $1,250.

Felice, who ranked fourth in her North Rockland High School graduating class, plans to study special education at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She was on the principal's honor roll all four years of high school and in five honor societies. She was a member of Key Club and Youth Against Cancer, tutored her peers at the Homework Center, helped at church summer Bible school and volunteered at the Haverstraw King's Daughters Library. Her father, Jerry, is a life member of the Lady Warren Hose Comp-any No. 5 of Haverstraw and a member of the firefighters association since 1976.

Mager plans to attend Lesley University in Boston to gain certification to help children with special needs. He earned the Iron Horse Award in 2008 for his motivated efforts in football. He won medals in the ninth, 10th and 11th grades for varsity winter track and was kick returner and running back during grades 11 and 12 for varsity football. Mager was a teaching assistant at Viola Elementary School in 2007-08 in a special-education classroom. He coached Pee Wee and youth lacrosse for three years and was a counselor at Blue Rill Day Camp. He was school sportscaster for hockey and basketball during the past year. His grandfather, Robert Burton of the Tallman Fire Department, was the RCVFA president from 1984 to 1985.