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--- Issued July 27, 2017

The five 2017 Louis J. Tullio Scholarship recipients are  “Amazing – just listening to them makes me realize that the future is in good hands,” says Michael R. Fraley, executive director of the Erie Housing Authority. “They just keep getting better every year.”

Each of the $1,250 award winners were give their scholarship at the July 24 evening’s board meeting at Erie City Hall

Award winners are:

Curtis Duck, Jr., a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh; Zainab Kareem, a junior at Penn State Behrend; Medina Klino, a freshman at Gannon; Kinana Morgan, a senior at Carlow University; and Esfir Pikulia, a sophomore at Mercyhurst University.

The Tullio Scholarships, donated from private sources, are meant to encourage higher education and self-esteem among high school and college students living in public housing – and to keep alive the memory and spirit of the late Louis J. Tullio, Erie’s only six term mayor and a dedicated educator and coach.

“A key purpose of these scholarships is to establish role models for public housing children.  We expect this year’s winners to do that and more,” Fraley said. The students will use the scholarships for school expenses.

He cited architecture major Pikulia, 18, of Crimea, who wrote in her applicant’s essay: “With every bit of education about my career, I start loving what I learn even more.  Learning in depth about architecture, its influence, its history … I anticipate falling in love with it more and more and with the help of my degree, I hope to become an asset to the City of Erie.”

Duck, 20, of Erie, wrote that, “Growing up in a low-income family is hard to manage but you can get through with the help of others.  Being a poor African American kid made me want to chase a career that would provide for my financial needs when I’m older.  That’s why I chose engineering.”

Since the scholarship program began in 1998, $103,250 in Tullio Scholarships has been awarded.  

Also at the Erie City Hall awards ceremony on July 24, 25 children ranging from kindergarten to 7th grade were each  awarded an Ellen Curry scholarship to help them attend City of Erie parochial elementary schools of their choice. 

Since 1998, the Curry Foundation has awarded 130 scholarships totaling approximately $500,000 to public housing children.

For more information, call Michael R. Fraley at 452-2425.