Connecticut awards annual scholarships

MILFORD, Conn. — Olivia Rustic, Christopher Klepinger and Ashley Bielert are the winners of the 2014 Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation scholarship program. The students will receive $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively, to put toward their education.

“Every spring, the CBN solicits applications from qualifying candidates that are reviewed and judged by the Scholarship Committee,” explained Sylvia Morris, Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation president. “Applicants must answer various questions, including a small essay and provide information about their studies. Three awards are provided each year to the top applicants as chosen by the committee.”

Rustic is the daughter of Dean Rustic, a member of the Mohawk Valley Bassmasters. She has won the award for the past three years. Rustic attends Bryant University, where she has a 3.76 GPA. She is president of the women’s rowing team and a project lead for Bryant’s business support of Rhode Island City Farm Gardens. Rustic has also helped the Mohawk Valley Bassmasters teach fishing to Cub Scouts.

Klepinger, a member of the MidConn Anglers, plans to attend Dickinson College after his recent graduation from Wethersfield High School. Klepinger has been a part of the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation for years, having grown up in the Junior Bassmaster program. He volunteers with the Special Olympics in his spare time.

Bielert was on the honor roll in every quarter of her tenure at Bristal Central High School. She plans to attend the University of Rhode Island. Her grandfather, Dan Bielert, is a member of the Xtreme Bassmasters.

“I would like to thank the scholarship committee, Matt DeSimone, Rob Germain and Dan Monroe,” said Morris. “Since January 2005, the CBN has awarded more than $26,000 in scholarships. The CBN thanks its sponsors, membership and the committee for making the scholarship program such a success.”