Four Sayville High School juniors receive scholarships for summer program at Notre Dame


Four Sayville high school juniors have been selected to receive a scholarship to take part in Notre Dame’s prestigious pre-college summer program later this month.

The group includes a cancer survivor whose career goal is to find a cure for childhood cancer and the niece of a New York state Supreme Court judge who aspires to invent a treadmill specifically designed for people with Down’s syndrome, said one of the scholarship program’s co-chairs, James Bertsch, a member of the Sayville school board.

Retired MTA police detective Jamie Atkinson and his wife Brenda, who serves in the U.S. Navy, this spring established the “Susan & Harold Atkinson Scholarship” in memory of Jamie Atkinson’s parents. The program is being offered virtually and online from June 26 to July 10.

Here are the four Sayville students participating.

MAGGIE MONGIELLO aspires to become a doula and to help with childhood mortality. She wants to eventually earn a doctorate degree.

SARAH HINTEMAN wants to organize and volunteer for childhood cancer awareness fundraisers. She also hopes to help invent a life-saving device to prevent drowning.

KERRY O’DONOGHUE, whose “life dream or achievement” is to invent a treadmill specially designed for people with Down’s syndrome.

BROOKE DUBAY is a cancer survivor who wants to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Bertsch along with Jamie Bilek served as co-chairs on the scholarship program.

The scholarship recipients will also be in line to receive an additional scholarship (toward the college of their choice) in the name of Brenda Atkinson’s late father Humberto Orejuela. That award comes with the successful completion of the Notre Dame summer program and graduation from Sayville High School.

In 2001, Jamie Atkinson was a 19-year-old first responder at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. As a result, he was recently diagnosed with an extremely rare of stage-four cancer.