Since 1974, you have supported our local college students through this scholars program.  The mission of the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars® is to promote scholarship, community involvement and leadership among the undergraduate college students of Granville and Tolland through financial support for their education.  Throughout 2015, we'll share articles, profiles of scholars and endowment donors as we continue our commitment to the children of our villages, Granville and Tolland.

Where in the world...are the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars?  Help us hear from the many recipients since 1974, our first year. Spread the news, Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars is on Facebook and we would love to hear from many past recipients sharing their story where their education has led them since graduating from college. "Like" our Facebook page and share a post updating your hometown friends and neighbors. Our local scholarship recipients follow their academic paths, near and far, as noted in the following profiles.




Tom Burzynski of Granville will graduate from American International College in August, 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Science. Tom is presently applying to graduate school with an interest in receiving a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. The career aspiration for Tom is to be a top-notch therapist in his chosen field of study. As an undergraduate, learning the aspects of college life and taking classes which enhance one's knowledge was a critical part of his rewarding experience. Becoming a well-rounded individual is equally important to Tom. As a true baseball enthusiast and for an extra-curricular activity, Tom devoted three years during his college career to Tri-County Baseball playing short-stop for the Western Mass Community Baseball League.

 "Thank you for supporting all the young people from Granville and Tolland as we pursue degrees."


Abigael Deming of Tolland just completed her sophomore year at Westfield State University. Pursuing a degree in Special Education, her career aspiration is to become a Special Education Teacher. Her first semester included observations of students and interaction with the teacher in an elementary school setting. This experience helped justify her decision to remain with her chosen major. Believing in yourself and working hard has paid off for Abigael and the reward came to fruition when she made the Dean's List the semester before in her freshman year. "If you give it your 100%, then good things will come" is the motto for this diligent student. Abigael also belongs to SNEA (Student National Education Association) as part of her extra-curricular activities.

"The financial assistance that this organization has bestowed upon me is a very large factor in my education."


Lydia Heinrichs of Granville graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Honors English and Classics from Williams College in June, 2015. Studying English and Classics have always been a true passion for Lydia as her studies have included a junior year abroad at Exeter College, Oxford University (U.K.) and Roman archaeological excavations in Northern Israel and Oxford, U.K., funded by several fellowships during summers off from college. Lydia will be returning to the U.K. for two years to pursue her Master's in Philosophy in Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University funded by the Dr. Herchel Smith Fellowship. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance English in the United States. Lydia also received several award prizes at graduation in English and Classics. Sometimes feeling like a "homework machine", she attributes her year at Exeter College as defining her as a writer, critical thinker and a researcher.

"Thanks so much for making my time at Williams possible - because of this funding, I have been able to travel to Israel and England in order to study abroad, and these were invaluable experiences for me."


Daniel Roberts of Granville just finished his sophomore year at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and has his sights set on a major in Mechanical Engineering. Because the world is filled with new technology and the greater need to improve upon this, Daniel chose this field of study as he hopes to become a major player in the decision making process in the ever changing field of renewable energy. His focus in Clean Energy as a minor will further provide him with the necessary tools to tackle these future issues. In addition, Daniel is a member of the Solar Decathlon Club which is an award-winning program that challenges schools from around the world to design, build and operate a solar-powered home and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

 "A mere thank-you to the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars does not encompass the support and gratitude I feel towards this foundation. They actively seek to support the education of our youth. For their contributions, my gratefulness goes out to them in full."




Benjamin Deming of Tolland just completed his fourth year at UMASS Amherst and has a career aspiration to become Chemistry teacher. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree next year, he would like to pursue a Master's program in education and subsequently teach at a private school. Initially, Ben was not interested in education but through the organization, Girl's, Inc., he conducted several workshops to tutor girls from underprivileged areas to the campus science labs to help introduce them to the world of science. With this much enthusiasm, Ben is sure to instill and inspire many future students of science.

 "This scholarship has allowed me to concentrate on my studies instead of working extra hours to raise my own funds."


Erica LeFebvre of Granville just recently finished her junior year at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Erica is majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Music and Film. This multi-talented young woman funds her education by building sets for main stage performances and also installs A/V equipment for the Info Tech department on campus. In addition, her extra activities include Marching Band, Student Musical Theater, Women's Choir, Wind Symphony and Piano Studio. Upon graduation from Gettysburg, she would like teach English in Spain as she was unable to go abroad during school. Her ultimate career goal is to attend graduate school for Web/Graphic Design.

"I am extremely grateful for every donor that has allowed me to have the opportunities and experiences that I have had. I love attending Gettysburg College and every donor helps make that possible."


Alexandra Platanitis of Granville has just completed her sophomore year at Mt. Holyoke College. She plans to major in Education and Psychology. While balancing her double major, Alexandra was faced with many challenging classes and determined to bring up a few grades to her current 3.8 GPA. It was no small task to do the work necessary to make this a rewarding experience. And speaking of hard work, she funds her education with a part-time waitress job on Cape Cod and also a part-time catering job in Otis, MA. Even though her current employment is temporary, she has earned an abundance of life-long people skills and how to handle a wide range of situations related to her jobs.

 "Thank you very much for your generous donation to all of the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars recipients. None of this would be possible without people like you."


Ashlyn Stromgren of Granville concluded her junior year at UMASS, Amherst. She likes to do a little digging around by working and analyzing sediment cores from Japan. This allows this Geology major and Anthropology minor to have hands-on experience. This demonstrates how classroom knowledge can be applied to real life projects and gives this young woman a taste of what this career may have to offer. On the flip-side, Ashlyn is an active member of the UMASS Theater Guild. She looks forward to working on productions each semester and hang around with her friendly and talented peers.

"Thank you to everyone that helps out their local students by donating. It really eases us knowing that we won't have the carry this financial burden all by ourselves." 




Nicholas Fielding of Granville is a sophomore at Springfield College and has a career aspiration to become a Physician's Assistant with a minor in Nutrition. Nicholas currently works as an EMT in Southwick, MA as a means to help fund his college expenses. He gets a lot of gratification after receiving written thank-you notes from those he assisted during their time of need. In addition, he takes his academics seriously and are a high priority. In the fall semester, Nicholas ran for and was elected as Vice President of Residence Hall Council complementing his leadership abilities and becoming a liaison to help fellow students maintain a happy and healthy balance of residential life at the college.

 "Thanks to Dollars for Scholars, I can not only afford to go to a great school, I can enjoy my college experience without having to worry about the extra cost of books, class trips and other supplies."




Lydia Randall of Granville is currently a sophomore at Keene State College. While balancing a major in Health Sciences and a minor in Dance, Lydia likes to kick up her heels teaching Zumba several nights a week and also lifeguards part-time at the pool on campus to help with college expenses. Lydia's career aspiration is to become a Nurse.  In addition to her busy schedule around the college, Lydia volunteers her time at Keene Hospital and is a wonderful complement to her future career. 

"Thanking the people who make this scholarship happen is beyond words. It has made it possible to buy my books each year. Thank you for your help and support." 




Stuart Kinsman of Granville is a senior at Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a major in Marine Engineering. One of Stuart's most rewarding experiences in his college career was as Company Commander. Stuart put his effective leadership skills to good use along with 13 squad leaders to guide 62 young men and women through their freshman year of regimental orientation - no small task for this enthusiastic young man. In addition to a rigorous schedule, Stuart has been a representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, has had an active position in the Regiment of Cadets and was also involved in men's soccer.

 "I cannot express my gratitude enough! The financial assistance this scholarship has provided will surely help me reach my career goals."




Kelsey Platanitis of Granville is currently a junior at Roger Williams University with a double-major in Biology and Chemistry, minoring in Public Health and earning a Biotechnology Certificate. Kelsey is aspiring to have a career in Human Medicine. Rewarding experiences come in various forms and Kelsey takes this seriously as a varsity athlete for the Roger Williams University Hawks IHSA Equestrian team. After very long days in class and lab, riding is Kelsey's outlet of choice as well as running. "My decision to join the team is something I'll never forget and I hope to keep the friendships and memories I make for my whole life."

"I cannot express my gratitude enough. This scholarship is so helpful to me as I work to achieve my goals." 









Alexander Lafrance of Granville, has had his heart set on pursuing a career as a research scientist in biochemistry/ molecular biology since high school. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to study science as a sophomore at Haverford College, in Pennsylvania. Alex is a member of FIG IT programing club, web designer for Fordgery, a comedy publication, and an aspiring BBQ club manager. "One thing I am sure of, however, is that by the time I'm ready to retire, I would like to return to my high school to teach a science course and perhaps form a new biology club, so that maybe, just maybe, another student will find themselves captivated by biology and research as I was."

        "Opportunity does not always readily present itself in life and college is the one place where opportunities abound in great numbers.  Thank you for supporting me to make the most of this time and to explore the various options not available to me."



Nicole Rose McClellan of Tolland, is keeping her options open at Endicott College. In her first year, Nicole's currently a liberal studies major looking for the career that "hooks" her and she might be on to something in psychology. She says her most rewarding experiences in college thus far have been the friends she has made, primarily through the Varsity Equestrian team. "The riding team has been an outlet for me to forget about schoolwork for a little while and do something that I enjoy without stressing."

Early in my first year, I realized how fortunate I am to attend college and how thankful I am to my parents.  I wish everyone could have the chance if that want it and I'm grateful for GTDFS's support as a scholarship recipient.






Abigail Johnson is 'going off the map' as she spends the spring 2014 semester studying abroad in Ghana, West Africa. A junior at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, Abby studies Neuroscience, earning membership into the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society. She balances out the sciences with a Studio Art minor and enjoys working in her university's art gallery.  Abby is a school tour guide and member of Club Volleyball, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity and the planning committee for first year orientation. Abby has interned at local hospitals and practices, which have strengthened an interest in Occupational Therapy with a focus on Orthotics and Prosthetics.

 "Thank you for the local community support of the education that is shaping me as a student and individual!"


Abby in Ghana, West Africa


Jesse Greg is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with sights set high going pre-med and a minor in psychology. Jesse has worked hard as a member of Webster Hall House Council organizing events and improving dorm living. He also keeps busy broadcasting for WMUA radio station and adventuring with the Outing Club. Jesse wants to express his deep appreciation for the financial support. He has found that while working hard to be "as financially independent as possible" and taking on the job of a bellhop, he has strengthened interpersonal skills and expanded an interest and respect for the hospitality industry.

"I appreciate all the financial support given me by the GTDFS!  I realize how expensive, yet essential, a college degree is in achieving my career goals and will continue to strive to get good grades." 




Amy LeFebvre is a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University and organizing her next step. As a Studio Art major with minors in Sociology and Anthropology, Amy has high hopes of becoming a Museum Curator. She recently took a three-week "Theory-to-Practice" trip into New Mexico where she met with artists, museum officials, and even shadowed an alumnus to gather more information about job options within her desired field. Over her four years, she has worked on the Werner Gallery Board, and participated in her school's Inter-Faith house.

"Thank you so much in furthering my education by assisting my finances over the past four years.  I feel I cannot thank you enough."



Samantha White is a freshman at Our Lady of the Elms College. She became very inspired by a family friend who works as a nurse and now hopes to become one herself .  Samantha sees it as "a great way to both give back to society by saving lives and helping those in need." She keeps busy outside the classroom as an active member of Diversity club, International club, friendship partners program and Vice President of Art Club. Samantha keeps active as a member of her school's cross country and track teams.

"I want to thank the Granville-Tolland Scholarship Fund for the opportunity they have given me.  Without their donation, it would have been much harder for me to receive an education I need in order to move forward in my life."




Hillary Adams loves the little things in life, down to cells and molecules. She will graduate from UMass Amherst this spring with a BS degree in Biochemistry, which she hopes to follow up with a Master's in cellular and molecular biology. Inspired by a professor, she is in pursuit of a career in biotechnology industries. Hillary is a research assistant at her school and even incorporates research of her own on progesterone signaling of the brain. When she isn't in the lab, Hillary is an active member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.

"I want to thank the Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars donors for providing me with the opportunity to complete my education.  I am forever grateful and hope to pass on this generosity myself."




William Teter is wrapping up his undergraduate career at UMass Lowell with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Business Administration. Will hopes to be a mechanical engineering project manager in the medical field and hopefully take that knowledge abroad, to impoverished areas "to serve in whatever capacity they need." Looking back on the past four college years, Will accounts his most rewarding experience being a three-week trip to China through the Christian Student Fellowship where he served with many friends. He has also gained confidence in his field through two mechanical engineering internships.

"I have been so blessed through college to be one of the several recipients of this scholarship.  The generosity of the many donors has given me the financial stability to continue.  Thank you to all who have contributed, served and shared."



Will in China (left) and Panama (right)