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Barlow Senior Gianna Oliveri Receives Russell Lloyd Equi Memorial Scholarship Award Sponsored by the Easton Democratic Town Committee

(Easton, CT Thursday June 7, 2024) The Joel Barlow Awards Committee has selected graduating senior Gianna Oliveri as the 2024 recipient of the Russell Lloyd Equi Memorial Award, a scholarship established in the memory of Easton resident Russell Equi who lost his life in VietNam. The annual award is sponsored by the The Easton Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) and was presented to Gianna by Region 9 school board member Karen O'Brien at Barlow Awards Night on May 30. 

The scholarship honors a Barlow student each year who excels in academics and athletics, has served the community as a volunteer, and intends to pursue a career in a health-related field. 

Russell Equi, a 1962 graduate of Joel Barlow High School, excelled in academics and sports and went on to play football at Columbia University, where he graduated with honors as a pre-med student in 1966. He enlisted in the Marines in 1966 and was killed in 1967 just before the end of his tour of duty.  The scholarship was established in 1967 by his family with donations from many Easton residents. 

This year's scholarship recipient, Gianna Oliveri, excelled in academics, was the varsity goalkeeper for Barlow's Girls Soccer team and also played ice hockey and lacrosse at Barlow. She serves as a junior firefighter member of the Redding Ridge Fire Department, where leadership selected her to attend the Connecticut Fire Academy. There she was a squad leader and named the Honor Cadet of the ITTFS Class 51. She will enter the 2028 class at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as an Elizabeth Blackwell Scholar to pursue a degree in public health. 

Upon receiving the scholarship, Gianna said, “I’m so honored to receive this scholarship in memory of Russell Equi. It's especially meaningful to me because like Russell, three members of my family also served in VietNam, one of whom, also like Russell, graduated from Columbia University Medical School before deploying as a Navy doctor. I hope to carry on Russell's commitment by pursuing a career in the fire service and I'm very grateful to the Barlow Awards Committee and the Easton DTC for this honor." 

"The DTC is thrilled to give the Equi award to Gianna.  She's an amazing scholar, athlete, first responder, and a positive force in our community.  We know she'll continue to use her talents to benefit others and see her accomplishing great things in the future."

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