PORTLAND — The Catholic Foundation of Maine has announced that Madison “Maddie” Leslie, a senior at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, and Rachael Haskell, a senior at Cheverus High School in Portland, are the recipients of the 2018 Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarships. The awards were presented by Bishop Robert P. Deeley on March 16 in Portland.
The scholarship fund, which helps Maine Catholic high school students with college tuition costs, was established in 2013 by the late Patrick Amirault, in memory of his wife. Amirault, who grew up as one of nine children in a poor family in Malden, Massachusetts, created the fund to show his appreciation for the care and quality education he received at a Catholic school there. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be accepted at an accredited college or university and must plan to work while attending college. Each recipient will receive $4,500.
Leslie will attend Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where she intends to major in media and communications and minor in political science and music. An outstanding athlete, she will play lacrosse in college while pursuing her dream job of being a sportscaster. Leslie will also explore another of her passions: singing.
“When I was in kindergarten, the music teacher pulled my mom aside and said that I had ‘belted out the National Anthem’ and that she should put me in musical theater,” said Leslie. “In my first play, I got a standing ovation for my first solo. It was then that singing became a true love of mine and it has continued ever since. Music really does help people through hard times.”
Leslie won Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen Competition during her sophomore year and was named the top vocalist at the national level, receiving the non-finalist talent award in the process. She frequently serves as cantor during Masses at St. Dom’s.
Leslie is known for inspiring others with her positive attitude and dedication to service as a participant and organizer of fundraisers, food and blood drives, visits to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Camp Sunshine, and by using her gifts to spread joy.
“I have done various events to support veterans. I have used my God-given gift of my voice to do so. The men and women in our Armed Forces have volunteered to risk their lives for our freedom, for my freedom. I believe it is the least I can do to give of my time and talent in honor of them.”
The Amirault Scholarship Endowment was established through the Catholic Foundation of Maine (CFM). Established in 2003, CFM provides opportunities for people to create or contribute to charitable funds that will enhance the work of the Church in Maine. The foundation manages the funds to ensure the long-term viability of the endowments so that the charitable wishes of the donors are carried out.
To create an endowment with the Catholic Foundation of Maine or to contribute to an existing one, contact Executive Director Elizabeth Badger at 207-321-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the foundation’s website at www.catholicfoundationmaine.org.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley, left, awards Madison “Maddie” Leslie, a senior at Saint Dominic Academy, with the 2018 Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarship.