Westfield student wins Thomas L. Barresi Memorial Scholarship

Todd Tranum, president of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, recently announced a scholarship award from the Thomas L. Barresi Memorial Scholarship Fund held at the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation. Joelle DeJohn of Westfield was awarded a $500 scholarship to further her education in early childhood education.

DeJohn is a 2012 graduate of Westfield Academy High School. While attending high school, she volunteered at Camp Onyahsa, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and various Key Club activities.

She is attending Fredonia State University and is pursuing a degree in early childhood education. In her essay, which accompanied her application to the scholarship, DeJohn stated, “I believe every child should have the opportunity to attend and participate in a quality early childhood experience. She wants to give children the opportunity to learn at their own pace and provide fun, interesting, and developmentally appropriate educational experiences for them in a nurturing environment.”

The scholarship fund was established at the NCCF in August of 2009 by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce in appreciation for Tom Barresi’s 25 years of employment with the chamber and a lifetime of service to our community. Barresi began his career as an educator in Friendship, N.Y. From 1963 to 1961, he served as director of elementary education for the Fredonia Central Schools. He served as village trustee for three terms and served on various community boards. After his retirement as an educator, he became the Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be pursuing a career in education or business; those interested may contact their local school guidance department for an application.

The NCCF was incorporated in 1986 as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Since its establishment, the NCCF has distributed more than $8.5 million in the community through its various grant programs. It is an organization inherently committed to enriching the northern Chautauqua community and encouraging local philanthropy. For more information on the NCCF, visit or call 366-4892.