Bank News, First County Bank Foundation

Three High School Seniors Each Win $5,000 Scholarships From The Richard E. Taber Citizenship Award

Three high school seniors were recently recognized as winners of the Richard E. Taber Citizenship Award administered by the First County Bank Foundation.

Claire Linegar from Darien High School, Isaiah Mohammed from Stamford’s Academy of Information Technology & Engineering and Kate Donohoe from Westhill High School (Stamford) each won a $5,000 scholarship from the First County Bank Foundation for being recognized as outstanding citizens in their communities.  The money will be used toward their continuing education.  The award is named after Richard E. Taber who retired as chairman and CEO of First County Bank in March 2011.  It is in recognition of Taber’s 40-plus-year career at the bank and innumerable contributions to the community through the First County Bank Foundation.

“Each year, the First County Bank Foundation increases its support to nonprofit organizations that support community and economic development for children and families.  The Richard E. Taber Citizenship Award expands on this program by offering scholarships to exceptional graduating seniors,” said Rey Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank, and president of the foundation.  “We are excited to be able to offer scholarships to such amazing students and know we are supporting future leaders in math, science and technology.  This year’s recipients are truly exceptional!”

“The achievements of these young adults in the realms of citizenship, leadership, academics, service and sportsmanship are being honored with this award,” said Dick Taber, a member of the board of directors at First County Bank.  “I am very proud to have my name associated with such self-sacrificing individuals as these three young adults.”

This annual award honors high school students living in lower Fairfield County who consistently demonstrate good citizenship at school, at home and in the community.  The program awards scholarships to three deserving students and is designed to recognize and encourage young people who are honest, hard-working, helpful and fair.  Each year, the foundation accepts student applications from Jan. 1 to May 31.  Winners are notified in June.

When asked about receiving the award, Kate Donohoe said, “I’m very honored and grateful to have received this scholarship named after retired Chairman and CEO Richard Taber, who so generously gave back to the community.  The First County Bank Foundation works hard to get involved in the community and give back to people.  Because of this award I’ll have extra help and a more determined drive to succeed at Pace University next September.”

“The day mister Giallongo called me and said I was a winner of the scholarship I was lost for words,” said Isaiah Mohammed, who lives in Norwalk.  “All I could say was ‘thank you very much.’

“The First County Bank Foundation is a great organization that I would recommend to anyone.  It is one of those hidden gems in Fairfield County that newspapers should write about regularly for its dedication to helping the local community.”  Mohammed plans to attend the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus for computer engineering.

Claire Linegar, who plans to attend Rutgers University in the fall, said, “My teacher encouraged me to apply for the scholarship, and once I learned more about it I found many of the principles it looked for were key values of my own.  I am deeply grateful for receiving this award and I am very appreciative of the First County Bank Foundation for helping me continue my education and future endeavors.”

The Richard E. Taber Citizenship Award does not seek to salute star scholastic or athletic performers.  Applicants are judged by the following characteristics:

  1. Citizenship – The student must be regarded as dependable and demonstrate respect for people, property and the law.  The student is also courteous, helpful and caring in their relationships with other students, teachers, coaches and adults.
  2. Leadership – The student demonstrates an ability to work with and motivate others, has sound values, good judgment, sense of fairness and has earned the respect of their peers.
  3. Academics – The student continually strives to the limits of their abilities, both in the classroom and at home, to achieve those personal academic goals that their parents and teachers believe are within reach of the student.  This in no way implies that the candidate must be academically superior.
  4. Service – The student readily and unselfishly helps others at home, at school and in their community to a degree that is judged exceptional for a person of the candidate’s age.
  5. Sportsmanship – The student demonstrates an earnest attempt to do their best during athletic or group competitions, shows a respect for the rules of that competition, and in terms of priorities, place the success of the team above a need for personal advancement.  This does not imply that the student must be an outstanding athlete.


Each winner receives a personalized certificate; a check for $5,000 will be sent directly to the school of choice; a congratulatory advertisement will appear in the local newspaper, including a photo; and winners will be prominently displayed with a photo on First County Bank’s Website.

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