Nina Poeta Scholarship Award Fund

Est. 2017 by John, Dorie, and Cara Poeta.

Nina Teresa Poeta loved life. She embraced everything it had to offer-family, friends, and faith - and would joyfully share that love with everyone she met. Nina's boundless enthusiasm, infectious smile, and contagious laughter warmed the hearts of so many throughout the years. After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and subsequently passing away at the age of 17 in 2014, the Valley became "Nina Strong." The outpouring of support her mother Dorie, father John, and sister Cara Poeta received from Valley residents and beyond led them to create the Nina Poeta Scholarship Award Fund.

"People have been incredibly generous," said Dorie. "We received so many contributions from people here in the Valley, the State, and all throughout the world who have honored her memory and celebrated her life. We created this scholarship to ensure Nina's legacy would live on in perpetuity."

This year, the Poetas decided to transfer the Scholarship Fund to the Valley Community Foundation (VCF). "We chose to work with VCF because we were born and raised in the Valley, and recognize the impact the Foundation has had on this community," John continued. "It was a natural fit."

Through this scholarship Fund, the Poetas are

seeking to reward and hopefully inspire youth to participate in charitable community service just as Nina had done. "It's not about someone with the best grades or the most awards," said Dorie. "It is more about the person who has gone that extra mile to help those who are disenfranchised, who may be physically or mentally challenged and are in need of a kind word or special support. Those are the qualities that Nina exhibited each and every day."

The Poetas plan to have the Fund become a designated Fund over time, supporting the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys and Girls Club, Seymour HighSchool, and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Committee.


"Nina brought out the best in all of us," said Dorie. "She was that bright beacon of hope and courage that everyone could relate to. She never gave up and was always smiling and cheering us on. We hope this Fund will leave a 'trail of glitter' for other young people to follow Nina's path of service and
light, now and for years to come."

To make a tax-deductible contribution to this fund, please complete the secure, online credit card form below: