STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Two students from Stamford High School have been awarded scholarships for being “outstanding students.”

Jose Portillo and Kayla Williamson are both recipients of the Roberta K. Eichler Heart of Gold Scholarship for 2023, presented to them by United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWCT).

The President of UWWCT had this to say about the students:

“Each year we receive applications from outstanding students committed to making a difference where they live. “Jose and Kayla are remarkable young leaders who will undoubtedly go on to do amazing things. It is an honor to name them as this year’s Heart of Gold Scholarship recipients.” 

The Heart of Gold Scholarship is named after Roberta K. Eichler, who has been the Executive Director of the Stamford Volunteer Center for over 20 years, and awards $5,000 each year to two outstanding student volunteers from Stamford, as a way to promote continued education.

Jose Portillo volunteers an extra 30 hours at the local Boys & Girls Club, and is program leader at the Keystone Club, and has spent five years at his church, volunteering as musical leader.

Kayla is executive Member of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, founder and also president of Westhill Environmental Club. She volunteered as a COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador at Stamford Hospital, and she continues to volunteer at the New Covenant Center.

“Kayla truly has big ideas, but even more impressive is her ability to make them into a reality through her exceptional communication skills and determination,” said Carley Grant from the Westhill High School Science Department in her recommendation for Kayla. “Everything about her is impressive – she has the innate ability to analyze and make connections… Considering her kind spirit, huge heart, and bright mind, I have no doubt that she will continue to make a positive difference in the world.”