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St. Dominic Academy student wins 2018 Amirault Scholarship

Pictured here with Bishop Deeley, St. Dominic Academy senior Madison “Maddie” Leslie plans to attend Franklin Pierce University in the fall.

Madison “Maddie” Leslie, a senior at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, is one of two Maine students selected by the Catholic Foundation of Maine to receive a 2018 Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarship. The award was presented by Bishop Robert P. Deeley on Friday, March 16.

The scholarship fund, which helps Maine Catholic high school students with college tuition costs, was established in 2013 by the late Patrick Amirault in memory of his wife. Amirault, who grew up as one of nine children in a poor family in Malden, Mass., created the fund to show his appreciation for the care and quality education he received at a Catholic school there.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be accepted at an accredited college or university and must plan to work while attending college. Each recipient will receive $4,500.

“I remember opening the award letter when it arrived,” said Leslie. “It was such an exciting moment. I am honored and blessed to have been awarded this scholarship… as it helps pay such a large amount of my first year of college.”

Leslie will attend Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where she intends to major in media and communications and minor in political science and music. An outstanding athlete, she will play lacrosse in college while pursuing her dream job of being a sportscaster. She also plans to explore another of her passions: singing.

Leslie won Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen Competition during her sophomore year and was named the top vocalist at the national level, receiving the non-finalist talent award in the process. She frequently serves as cantor during Masses at St. Dom’s.

“Music ministry has helped me connect to my faith through sharing the gift God has given me,” she says. “This also allowed me to participate in Mass which I truly believe God intended for me.”

Faith has always been an important part of her life. “I often pray before games to ask God for strength and courage to be the best athlete that I can be,” she says. “I trust in Him. I always look to God for guidance, for strength and courage. I know He has a plan for everything, so I have to trust in that.”

Leslie is known for inspiring others with her positive attitude and dedication to service as a participant and organizer of fundraisers, food and blood drives, visits to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Camp Sunshine, and by using her gifts to spread joy.

Her contributions to the school community will not be forgotten, nor will she forget the indelible moments she experienced at St. Dom’s.

“I have forged beautiful friendships and have been blessed to have had so many tremendous teachers,” she says. “The academics have challenged me, and the faculty has driven me to do my very best to achieve great grades. The rigorous courses have taught me how to time manage and be disciplined.

“Saint Dominic Academy and the community as a whole has been a supportive and loving family, for which I am eternally grateful.”

The Amirault Scholarship Endowment was established through the Catholic Foundation of Maine. Established in 2003, CFM provides opportunities for people to create or contribute to charitable funds that will enhance the work of the Church in Maine. The foundation manages the funds to ensure the long-term viability of the endowments so that the charitable wishes of the donors are carried out. For more information, see www.catholicfoundationmaine.org.

To create an endowment with the Catholic Foundation of Maine or to contribute to an existing one, contact Executive Director Elizabeth Badger at 321-7820 or elizabeth.badger@portlanddiocese.org.

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