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Mamaroneck Committee Awards Inaugural Irish Heritage Scholarships

Cassie White mentors at the Holy Family Youth Ministry and received the President’s National Volunteer Service Award in 2013. Photo Credit: Sound Shore St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee
Carine Leslie founded Let’s Erase the Stigma, a school-based activist group aimed at raising awareness for mental illness, particularly among young people.  Photo Credit: Sound Shore St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Irish pride paid off for two teens from Rye and New Rochelle, who are the first to ever be awarded Irish Heritage scholarships by the Sound Shore St. Patrick's Day Parade committee.

The $2,500 scholarships are granted based on academic performance and commitment to Irish culture. The committee was formed in 2011 an organized the first Sound Shore St. Patrick's Day Parade in Mamaroneck in 2012.

Carine Leslie, of Rye, is an avid Irish dancer that has taken her skills to the competitive level. The Rye High School senior has made the honor roll all four years and has won the Global History Award, the AP Photography Award and the Rye High School Scholar designation. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was named an AP Scholar in July 2012.

“The purpose of the Sound Shore St. Patrick’s Day Parade is to promote the development of a strong community, bound together by a shared appreciation of Irish culture, the arts and public service,” said Christopher Regan, chair of the Sound Shore St. Patrick’s Day Parade scholarship committee.

Cassie White, of New Rochelle, plans to study Gaelic in college after learning about her Irish heritage through her grandmother, who was widowed and raised seven kids on her own in America and lived to the age of 98.

Inspired by Orla Gartland and other Irish folk singers, she puts on cafe performances at New Rochelle High School and is the president and treasurer of the school's Theater Works Club. In 2008, she was chosen to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“Young as they are, both Cassie and Carine really exemplify these values and it makes us proud as a committee to be able to support their studies and their love of their Irish heritage.”

White will study acting and stage design at Case Western University in Ohio and Leslie will study psychology at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

The Sound Shore St. Patrick’s Day Parade Organization promotes Irish culture and community in Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Rye, New Rochelle, Harrison, Port Chester and Pelham.  In addition to the annual parade and scholarship awards, the organization supports numerous Irish cultural events and outings throughout the year.

Find more information about the organization and its activities on its website .

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