Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Black Dirt Scholarship

Warwick’s agricultural roots are firmly based in Pine Island’s Black Dirt Region. The region provides food for residents, restaurants and retailers throughout the Hudson Valley, New York City and nearby communities. Today this region is known as one of the richest farmlands in all of North America.
The Black Dirt Scholarship Fund, created in 2012 from a portion of the proceeds of the annual Black Dirt Feast now in its 11th year, and presented by the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, honors students seeking to further their education in three areas: 1) Agricultural/Equestrian Studies 2) Culinary Arts/Hospitality Industry 3) Arts and Sciences.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to and involvement in community volunteer service or community work experience.

Since its founding in 1961, the mission of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce has been to promote prosperity in the business community, support and enhance the uniqueness of the region, and to enrich the lives of all residents through community spirit and cooperation.

Application Deadline
All materials must be submitted to the high school guidance department. Check back for 2021 Application due dates.

Scholarships are announced in May, awarded in June.

Download Scholarship Application

Previous Award Winners

The Pine Island Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the Black Dirt Scholarship award winners. The Black Dirt Scholarship Fund awards three annual scholarships of $1,500 each to students who have demonstrated a commitment to and involvement in community volunteer service or community work experience.

Natalie Daigle: 

Natalie will be attending Vassar College where she plans to study biology and will also play on the women’s lacrosse team. She intends to pursue a research based biological science career and eventually enter the medical field. Natalie is highly involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. She is a member of the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta (the Math honors Society), Model UN, and Sports Medicine Club. She served as a student liaison for the Board of Education, is on the Varsity Lacrosse team and is currently the team captain where she has helped to mentor her younger teammates and always displays a positive attitude. She was selected as a Warwick Valley Historical Society student member and serves as a member of their board and is also highly involved in community service. She initiated the Boxes for Soldiers of the Hudson Valley Donation Drive in the Warwick High School last year. She also co-organized the Recycle for Sight Program district, and community-wide.

Vidar Hageman: 

Vidar will be attending the University of Virginia where he plans to study philosophy. Vidar stands up and speaks out for what he believes in but is also willing to learn from what he doesn’t know or necessarily agree with. He doesn’t shy away from leadership opportunities as is evidenced in his position as Senior Class President and Varsity Basketball Captain. Time and time again, Vidar has shown his dedication to helping inspire change in his community. Whether he is giving his time to support a candidate he believes in, preparing a garden for the Warwick Garden Tour for an elderly neighbor, assisting at our local farm market, singing with the choir at all of the community service gigs and tree lightings around Warwick, Pine Island, and Greenwood Lake, volunteering as a member of the Pine Island Fire Department, or writing a well-researched letter to the editor expressing his concerns about using artificial turf, Vidar does it with a smile, confidence and with heart.

Varin Sawh: 

Varin will be attending Macaulay Honors College at CUNY where he plans to study mechanical engineering. Varin is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. He is Warwick chapter President of Mu Alpha Theta, where he has contributed by assisting math teachers with extra help, provided individualized peer tutoring, and assisted with various fund raisers, he helps to conduct the bi-weekly meetings, comes up with community service projects and assists with selecting new members. Varin is Captain of OCAL (Orange County Academic League), a member of Model UN, National Honor Society, Math Team, Debate Club, Spanish Club, and Aerospace Engineering Club. He has also volunteered with Warwick Valley Community Kitchen, the Black Dirt Feast and at the Albert Wisner Public Library.

The Black Dirt Scholarship is funded with a portion of the proceeds from the Black Dirt Feast. The feast was conceived to showcase some of the top chefs in the region and the farms that provide the produce that they use. The event’s objective is to bring the entire community together to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the Black Dirt Region. Although this years’ event has been postponed, the Chamber will continue to support the Black Dirt Scholarship Fund.

Since its founding in 1961, the mission of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce (https://pineislandny.com) has been to promote prosperity in the business community, support and enhance the uniqueness of the region, and to enrich the lives of all residents through community spirit and cooperation.

The Black Dirt Scholarship is funded with a portion of the proceeds from the Black Dirt Feast. The feast was conceived of as a way to showcase some of the top chefs in the region and the farms who provide the produce that they use. The event’s objective is to bring the entire community together to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the Black Dirt Region.

Since its founding in 1961, the mission of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce has been to promote prosperity in the business community, support and enhance the uniqueness of the region, and to enrich the lives of all residents through community spirit and cooperation.