Featured Fund: John A. Sabulis Memorial Scholarship
|John A. Sabulis
After spending his career as a teacher, John P. Sabulis decided the next phase of his life should begin with a new goal, and one with a dual purpose. He dedicated part of his retirement package to establish the John A. Sabulis Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of his father, which would help local students realize not only their own career goals but recognize the value of civic engagement.
“My father was very involved with the City of Ansonia. He presided over the Board of Alderman, headed the sewer project, and was instrumental in lighting the length of Pulaski Highway. Everyone called him the Hilltop Mayor because of what he did.”
After Mr. Sabulis served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he went on to serve his community as a police commissioner and supernumerary policeman for the Ansonia Police Department.
Inspired by his father’s level of involvement, John made a concerted effort to discover how he could do more than just remember a man who put such a high value on community engagement. “I decided on a scholarship. I could set it up to go on forever and I know that the kids that receive the support are continuing in my father’s example.”
John initially set up the scholarship with the support of his brother, Stephen, at Ansonia High School. They later moved their fund to the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) where it was among the first 100 funds to be established at the then new foundation.
“I wanted to give the kids from Ansonia an advantage because I am a graduate of Ansonia High School and that’s also where I taught.”
He added, “Students who see a future in any aspect of law enforcement are eligible. We’re pretty broad about what that means because there are new careers developing all the time. So, they might pursue forensics or become a defense attorney, police officer, detective, or even enter the field of homeland security.”
Since starting the fund, John has added to it to ensure that it will exist in perpetuity.
John often meets with scholarship recipients years after they graduate and has a sense of pride in their accomplishments. “I think my father would be proud, too, not so much because of how the scholarship remembers him, but that the people in our town are benefiting. I’m just continuing what he started."
In addition to building the scholarship, John gives back by teaching the trumpet and making sure budding musicians have access to sheet music, even if they can’t afford it. “I think everyone should give back to the community however they can. It’s an incredible feeling to do something for others.”