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William Floyd Scholarships: Giving Inspires Giving

Past scholarship recipients support their William Floyd successors.

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Mastic Beach, NY - September 4, 2013 - On Monday, August 26, Century 21 Cor-Ace Realty and Ace Builders hosted the 17th annual William Floyd Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament to raise money for William Floyd student scholarships. In the first 16 years of hosting this fundraiser, nearly $400,000 in scholarships have been raised for deserving William Floyd seniors from this scholarship program alone – the largest one at William Floyd. This scholarship, along with numerous others available to the district’s graduating seniors, has inspired past recipients to give back to the community by creating and funding their own scholarships. 

“We have a very supportive community that cares deeply about the future of our kids,” said Paul Casciano, Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, William Floyd School District. “I’m proud and honored to be part of a community that provides this level of support to our students year after year.”

Tara Castillo, William Floyd class of 1999, has for the past several years funded a scholarship bearing her name for students attending a four-year college and pursuing a career in law or political science. Now a senior associate in the Global Finance & Debt Products Group for the law firm Alston & Bird out of Washington DC, Castillo’s practice concentrates on securities, complex structured finance and securitization transactions. Recently, she counseled clients with respect to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

“My experience at William Floyd was fantastic and I received a lot of support,” said Castillo, who garnered several scholarships including the Century 21 Cor-Ace Realty & Ace Builders Scholarship during her senior year. After graduation she attended American University and received her BA in International Studies (2002). She then earned her MS in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University (2003) and returned to American University for her JD (2007).

“We have a very strong and compassionate community that pools its resources to help students,” said Castillo, adding that she was “inspired” by the community’s generosity. “Attending college can be expensive; the support that I received really made a difference.”

As a result of that kindness, she decided to sponsor the Tara E. Castillo Scholarship and regularly contributes to the highly successful Youth & Government team, a group for which she served as Governor in her senior year. Philanthropy runs in her family, as her father, Vincent Castillo, sponsors the Alma S. Castillo Memorial Scholarship in honor of his wife and Tara’s mother.

Another Cor-Ace Realty and Ace Builders recipient, Melissa Murphy, William Floyd Class of 2002, sponsors the Future Leaders of Floyd Scholarship. As a graduating senior she received a number of scholarships that helped her in her freshman year at James Madison University (JMU). She was inspired to “pay it forward” for all the kindness and support that she received from the community. She graduated from JMU in 2006 with a BBA in Finance and now works as an investment associate for UBS Financial Services in Southampton, NY.

John DeVito, a 2009 William Floyd graduate and Cor-Ace Realty and Ace Builders Scholarship recipient, studied political science at New York University. He sponsors the LGBT Scholarship for those planning to attend a four-year college and who identify with the LGBT community. He also decided to give back because of the support that he received from the community during his time at William Floyd.

“Scholarships made it possible for me to attend a prestigious university,” said DeVito, who this past May became the first member of his family to graduate from college. He is currently working on the political campaign of a New York City mayoral candidate. His future plans involve possibly working another election cycle or two and then attending law school.

William Floyd scholarships are presented to graduating students in May or June of each school year. For the Class of 2013, the community sponsored 97 different scholarships distributed to 231 students for approximately $205,000.