Eric & Christopher: Realizing Their Dreams, One Day at a Time

Eric & Christopher


Anthony J. Stupore Memorial Scholarship Fund Recipients
D.R.E.A.M.S. for Youth Scholarship Recipients

Eric and Christopher are twin brothers who graduated from Seaford High School. Their father was absent for most of their childhood, while their mother struggled to raise and support three children and a 101-year-old grandparent on a teacher’s assistant salary.

The family situation created significant financial hardship and left the boys distressed. Throughout high school, both brothers held jobs to help contribute to the family finances. But following high school, Eric and Chris were able to chase their dreams with the help of United Way of Long Island’s D.R.E.A.M.S. for Youth and Anthony J. Stupore Memorial Fund Scholarships.

Eric is currently majoring in International Studies at Fordham University, while Chris is studying Accounting at SUNY Binghamton.

Eric and Chris recognized their mother’s resilience at a young age and made it their mission to get involved in their community and school as much as possible. Eric was their high school class president for four years and Chris was elected for Student Council. Both committed themselves to volunteering at community events, and they’ve continued that dedication throughout college.

At Seaford High School, Eric participated in his school’s Shared Decision-Making Committee and was Class President, a Freshman Mentor, Drama Club Treasurer, National Honor Society member and cross-country athlete. His interests in diplomacy and government fueled him to become General Chair of his town’s Model Congress, while he also interned for Congressman Peter King and served on Jeff Pravato’s State Senate Campaign. An aspiring public servant, he spends his free time at Fordham tutoring young children in reading and math at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.

“Not only do scholarships have the financial benefit that they do for financially dependent people like us, but it also shows that people are there for you,” Eric said. “These scholarships really showed that people do care about people like us and that they want to help people like us. We really appreciate the fact that people can not only financially help, but just to say, ‘We're here for you so you can accomplish your dreams.’"

Chris, on the other hand, is equally committed to making the world a better place. While in middle school, he once volunteered to help his sister's high school Student Council with their food drive. As he began sorting items that would be delivered to families in need, he didn’t realize his family was one of recipients. When Chris entered high school, he joined Student Council and was elected President senior year. Chris also spearheaded a variety of community activities including running clothing, blood and toy drives. He even dressed as Santa for over 1,000 kids in an orphanage and a hospital. At Binghamton, Chris spent the past year as a Teaching Assistant in an Intermediate Economic Theory course. He also engages in philanthropic work through his fraternity, which helps raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute and volunteers at local churches.

“There are so many financial roadblocks I would’ve faced without these scholarships,” Chris said. “Looking back, there are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do without it, so I am grateful for that.”

Eric ultimately hopes to begin a career in politics, while Chris hopes to enter the field of financial management. As Eric and Chris prepare for the junior year of college, United Way of Long Island is excited to see their accomplishments.