Announcing Three Recipients of Durkin Scholarship

On the occasion of John J. “Jack" Durkin’s retirement 25 years ago in 1996, following 26 years serving as President & CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, United Way’s Board established a scholarship endowment in his honor. Since then, each year the John J. Durkin Scholarship is awarded to a Dutchess County resident.

Traditionally, the scholarship award rotates annually between one of three local colleges: Dutchess Community College, Marist and Vassar. This year the Durkin Scholarship has been awarded to a student at each of the three colleges. Poughkeepsie resident and the first veteran recipient Francisco Andrade was awarded the scholarship at Vassar College. Hopewell Junction resident Annmarie Lynn Balzano was awarded the scholarship at Dutchess Community College. Clinton Corners resident Francesco Mollico was awarded the scholarship at Marist College.

“We at United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region congratulate these three scholars and their dedication to helping the community,” stated Jeannie Montano, President & CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

For more information about United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, go to For Dutchess Community College, Marist and Vassar students interested in the Durkin Scholarship, please contact your school’s scholarship office.

About the John J. Durkin Scholarship Recipients:

Class of 2022 Vassar College Student Francisco Andrade, majoring in Education and Media Studies, is the first veteran to receive the Durkin Scholarship. He is a resident of the City of Poughkeepsie and attended Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, FL. Francisco Andrade served 6 years in the Army as a Logistician. In Poughkeepsie, he has volunteered with The Art Effect, where he was a Production and Administrative Intern, and with Habitat for Humanity. He was an Educational Content and Partnerships Intern with Common Sense Media. Francisco Andrade says his goal is to “work in the development of free educational media”

Class of 2021 Dutchess Community College graduate Annmarie Balzano will use her Durkin Scholarship to study social work at the College of Saint Rose, with plans to graduate with a BSW in 2023. She attended John Jay High School, graduating in 1987, and is a resident of Hopewell Junction. She has volunteered at the St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry, Right to Life Ministries, various parent clubs at St. Denis / St. Columba School at Hopewell Junction and at Alcoholics Anonymous. Her previous internships include working with the Putnam County Department of Probation and the MARC (Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery).

Class of 2021 Marist College student Francesca Mollica was awarded the Durkin Scholarship in September of 2020. A Clinton Corners resident, she attended Stissing Mountain Senior High School in Pine Plains, NY. She has volunteered with Angels of Light Foundation and Out of the Darkness. With majors in Psychology and Special Education, she plans to be a special education / general education teacher.

Annual Sponsors

Premier Annual Sponsors: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, M&T Bank, Orange & Rockland, Pratt & WhitneyAnnual Sponsors: IBM, Resorts World, RBT, TD Bank, Ulster Savings