June 25, 2024

HAUPPAUGE, NEW YORK –Island Federal Credit Union (Island Federal) presented Section XI Scholarships to two scholar-athletes from Suffolk County. Isabella Williams from Half Hollow Hills West High School and Benjamin Dono of Riverhead High School each received $2,500 from Island Federal to help finance their college education.  

“Island Federal has a long history of supporting local athletes whose talents extend well beyond the playing field. This year’s winners, Isabella and Benjamin, exhibit academic achievement, athletic excellence, and community involvement.  We are pleased to award $2,500 to each of them towards their college expenses,” said Craig Booth, Interim President/CEO, Island Federal Credit Union.

Chris Murray, VP/Marketing at Island Federal added, “Coaches, school administrators, teachers, and family throughout Suffolk County sent us their nominations for the Island Federal/Section XI Scholarship. During the school year, Island Federal profiled many of these students on our social media. We received nominations of more than 260 deserving students, which made it difficult to select only two scholarship winners.  Isabella and Benjamin were selected as they exhibit the leadership qualities that define a scholar-athlete.”

Murray continues, “Isabella is a well-rounded, three-sport athlete on the Varsity Field Hockey, Girls Basketball and Lacrosse Teams. Maintaining a GPA of 97.4, Isabella was named an AP Scholar and NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete and serves as National Honor Society President. Beyond her academic and athletic success, what truly distinguishes Isabella is her commitment to her community. Working with the district’s social workers, she runs an annual school supply drive for children in low socioeconomic districts. After Isabella and her sisters lost their dad to heart disease during the holidays, she and her sisters now prepare ‘blessing bags’ which include toiletries, snacks, gloves, and hats, which they personally deliver to the needy of Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day.

“Benjamin is a recognized two-sport Scholar-Athlete for Basketball and Tennis as well as Captain of the Varsity Men’s Basketball team. A member of both the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society, he maintained a weighted average of 108.39, ranking in the top 10 of his class of 468 students. To give back to his community, Benjamin cleaned up local beaches, worked at safe Halloween for young children and raised money for those in need. He was particularly proud to be a peer leader, visiting elementary schools to inspire future student athletes,” commented Murray.   

Tom Combs, Executive Director, Section XI- NYSPHSAA added, “For the third consecutive year, we are  proud to partner with Island Federal in highlighting the great achievements of our student-athletes. By presenting a monthly winner, then two winners of the year, it motivates many to succeed. This is a very high honor recognizing success in the classroom and on the field. We greatly appreciate Island Federal’s support of Section XI student-athletes.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Brookhaven Town Hall.   

About Island Federal Credit Union

Island Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., is a not-for-profit, full-service financial institution, providing affordable banking products and services to Long Islanders. Founded in 1955, Island has grown to be among the top performing credit unions in New York State with $1.4 billion in assets, serving over 50,000 members. Island’s successful track record can be attributed to consistently delivering the best rates, no hidden fees, and exceptional service to its Members. When banking at Island, members have access to a complete menu of loan and deposit products, including Cash Back Checking accounts, Certificate accounts, IRAs, Auto loans, Mortgage, Home Equity loans and lines, a Credit Mastercard® and Student Choice College loans. For anytime access, Island offers free 24/7/365 customer service, online banking, bill payer, and mobile banking services. In 2014, Island announced a 10-year, multi-faceted partnership with Stony Brook University that included naming rights of the Island Federal Credit Union Arena, sponsorship of the Stony Brook Film Festival, support of the Long Island State Veterans Home and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital as well as providing two branches and more than 14 ATMs on the Stony Brook University campus. In 2018, Island Federal merged with Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union, adding a branch in Brooklyn. In addition to the Stony Brook University and Brooklyn locations, Island operates eight full-service branches located on Long Island, in Bellmore, East Setauket, Hauppauge, Hicksville, Massapequa, Riverhead, Sayville, and Selden. Island members can also access their Island accounts at more than 5,600 shared credit union branches throughout the country, and over 125,000 fee-free ATM networks worldwide. For more information about Island, stop by any branch, visit their website, islandfcu.com, or call (631) 851-1100.

About Section XI

Section XI is part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association; a private nonprofit 501c organization in existence since 1943. Section XI is Suffolk County’s governing body for interscholastic athletics that services 59-member high schools and over 75-member middle/junior high schools, and well over 80,000 student-athletes.