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Maria Luisa Starts Scholarship

From L-R: Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, Annika Scilipote and Maria Whittingham

By Sue Webb

Tappan Zee High School graduate Annika Scilipote is winner of the 2015 Maria Luisa Scholarship Award winner. This fall Annika will be attending NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

The scholarship is a partnership with Rockland Community Foundation, a charitable organization committed to building a better Rockland. The initiative was created by Maria Luisa Whittingham, the proprietor of both Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa. The scholarship is funded by Whittingham’s new web-based initiative Maria Luisa/Global/Local or  ML/GL.


Annika Scilipote

The Maria Luisa Scholarship recognizes Rockland County high school female seniors who have demonstrated a desire to learn and foster principals of civic and community involvement, issues around social justice, inequality, and related interests supporting Fair Trade and Eco-friendly principles.  Each year a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a promising graduate in need of financial aid to assist with the cost of attending a college of her choice. “We are so excited to see the beginning fruits of this labor,” says Whittingham. It’s so gratifying to have the community and online support to bring this scholarship to life.”

A second part of the initiative, through ML by Maria Luisa, provides all online shoppers a choice of three local charities to earmark a portion of their sale to: The Nyack Center, People to People, and VCS.  “We give our shoppers an ML-endorsed local ‘charity of choice.’ They can also send their contribution directly into the Scholarship Fund.”

The goal, Whittingham says, has been to both encourage the purchase of goods with global-local ties – and also raise funds for local organizations. “We are giving back to our local community while supporting Women and Small Business vendors around the world through our purchases and commitment to support their services and related goals. Our vision is to increase our awareness of our global link to each other as we live and work mindfully together on this Earth, and how we care for it. We will continue to grow and thrive through the building of relationships and partnerships nurtured on common ground.”

For more information, or to donate, visit

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