-By John Lynds
Massport announced this week that it has established a scholarship honoring the memory of the late Donna Rauseo, a long-time Port Authority employee and lifelong resident of East Boston.
The $5,000 Donna Rauseo Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a young woman from East Boston who is graduating from high school and has been accepted to an accredited college or university.
Rauseo was a graduate of East Boston High School and for more than 20 years was the executive assistant to Thomas Kinton when he served as Aviation Director of Logan Airport and later as CEO and Executive Director for Massport.
“Donna was my right hand,” said Kinton. “But more than that, she was a good friend and trusted colleague who made coming to work each day a little brighter. This scholarship will memorialize Donna’s contribution as part of the Massport family, while at the same time recognizing young people for community service and contributing to their neighborhood, something Donna felt strongly about.”
To be considered for the Donna Rauseo Memorial Scholarship, young women must meet the following eligibility requirements: applicants must be a resident of East Boston; a female high school senior with a minimum 3.0 GPA; a letter of acceptance to an accredited college or university for the 2011-2012 academic year; involvement in community service in East Boston; and must obtain two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the community service agency where the applicant has volunteered.
Rauseo, a longtime East Boston resident known for her outsized personality and sparkling sense of humor, died in 2009 following heart complications.
Born Donna Morash, Rauseo was part of an Eastie family known for their political, social and environmental activism. At a very young age Rauseo’s social conscience was fully formed by her family, most especially by her mother, longtime community activist Evelyn Morash.
Rauseo was a graduate of East Boston High School and began her working career helping the neighborhood’s poorer residents through the East Boston APAC social service programs.
She knew from day one the mission of the APAC–to help low income people access resources, advocate on their behalf against bureaucracy and cut through the red tape to get them the help they needed. In addition to her secretarial duties and in her usual style Rauseo found time to counsel, console and cheerlead for the discouraged client.
Recognizing her skills Rauseo was promoted to administrative assistant. It was at this time that Rauseo met her future husband John ‘Junior’ Rauseo. He was the son of Millie Rauseo, who worked as an employment counselor at APAC.
After working at APAC for over two decades, Rauseo went on to work for Kinton’s executive assistant when Kinton served as Aviation Director at Logan Airport and later CEO and Executive Director for Massport.
Young women interested in applying for the Donna Rauseo Memorial Scholarship must submit an essay of 1000 words describing what community service means to them and how their volunteer contribution has affected their outlook on life. All essays, letters of recommendation, certified High School transcript and proof of residency must be received by Massport’s Office of Government and Community Affairs no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. For more information on the Donna Rauseo Memorial Scholarship, including an application checklist, please visit www.massport.com/scholarships.