Felicia Fil

2020 Winner

Helen Hamilton Scholarship

The 2020 and fifth award recipient of the Helen Hamilton Scholarship is Ms. Felicia Fil. This year’s scholarship award is for $1,200, the largest Helen Hamilton scholarship awarded to date. Felicia is a freshman at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and, though our youngest award winner, has already developed a strong track record for community service and giving back. 

Felicia started young, joining the Brownies in first grade, participating in numerous community service projects like baking cookies for Veterans, initiating clothing drives, volunteering at the local animal shelter, serving meals to the elderly, and planting flowers at the local cemetery. She knew early that she wanted to use her strengths and talents to make the world a better place.  Later, as a girl scout, she earned the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. 

Felicia was active with her Church, volunteering in various capacities in her youth and with senior citizens by creating social nights that engaged all generations in a night of fun and socializing. That led to her volunteer effort at the Arbors Assisted Living in Amherst, MA where she hosted monthly tea parties on Sundays for those that could not get out easily and didn’t have much family to visit them. She hosted a Senior Citizens Prom for 115 Senior Citizens complete with disc jockey, photo booth, and five course sit down meal. “To see the smiles and amount of joy radiating off of the Senior Citizens faces that night is what made my project so meaningful. I knew in that moment that my work was special to others and I would do the project all over again to see those smiles.” 

Felicia has been involved in Meals on Wheels, preparing 30 meals for members of the Hadley community who are in need. She has helped out at the Mardi Gras dinners, Parish Picnic and decorating the altar. “There is extremely limited youth in my church and my duty is to inspire others to get involved and find fulfillment and purpose in serving their communities. I am the founder of monthly bingo nights at my church”. In 11th grade, Felicia was asked to be on the Parish Council which serves as the Parishioners’ voice when making decisions for the church and she is currently the youngest member on the council. “Through all of my volunteer efforts, I have grown closer to my family, friends, myself and my community. I look forward to continuing helping others in college and beyond through community service projects, mission trips, being a mentor and role model to others, having an optimistic mindset to help create a positive atmosphere on campus and encouraging people to become the best versions of themselves.”

To the Helen Hamilton Scholarship Donors: “Thank you very much for helping me fulfill my dreams of pursuing a college degree. This scholarship will help lift a huge weight off my shoulders from the financial burden that comes with college. A scholarship will mean that someone believes in me and will support me through my journey. It is a huge confidence booster that someone has seen my hard work over my high school years and is willing to give me an opportunity at providing a better quality of life for myself and my future family. After years of giving back to others, I can do something for myself that will eventually lead to benefiting others as well. My future plans are to major in Psychology. I believe Psychology can be used as a tool to help others heal from trauma, suffering, or mental illnesses. I can draw from my challenging life experiences to inspire and motivate others that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I intend to use my gifts of empathizing with others, having a positive mindset and pushing people to become better versions of themselves in order to help people reach their full potential and keep people mentally healthy. Volunteering is at the core of who I am and I have always wanted to help others in need, I have always wanted to be the one that makes people smile in times of darkness, and I have always wanted to provide empathy and compassion for people.”