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Saint Dom’s student named Amirault Scholarship winner

Vanessa Bussiere, with Bishop Robert P. Deeley

The Catholic Foundation of Maine has announced that Vanessa Bussiere, a senior at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, is one of two recipients of the 2019 Lila Grace Sullivan Amirault Scholarships. The awards were presented recently by Bishop Robert P. Deeley in Portland.

The scholarship fund, which helps Maine Catholic high school students with college tuition costs, was established in 2013 by the late Patrick Amirault in memory of his wife. Amirault, who grew up as one of nine children in a poor family in Malden, Mass., created the fund to show his appreciation for the care and quality education he received at a Catholic school there. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be accepted at an accredited college or university and must plan to work while attending college. Each recipient will receive $4,000.

“His generosity makes it a little bit easier for you to get a college education,” the bishop told the winners, their families, and school officials at the presentation. “We’re very grateful for Mr. Amirault, and it reminds us of the importance of that kind of generosity as we move forward through life.”

Bussiere is an “A” student who will choose to attend either the University of Maine at Orono or Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. She hopes to major in architectural engineering.

In high school, she has spent her time building relationships as a St. Dom’s student ambassador, through the robotics team, and as an assistant chaplain, a role that allows her to help increase the role of students in liturgical preparations, service projects, and peer outreach. She also serves as the secretary for the St. Dom’s Key Club, which is committed to performing community service while building bonds of friendship among the participants.

In addition, she is involved in the school’s Mission for Mississippi program, which provides St. Dom’s students with the opportunity to take a mission trip to struggling areas in Mississippi and offer assistance through landscaping, painting houses, and visiting the elderly.

“My dad is a role model of mine, and since I was a little girl, he has always reminded me to take pride in my work,” said Bussiere, a Lisbon Falls native. “If you are happy and proud with what you accomplish, that’s the goal. What you do will have an impact on someone or something if it is done from the heart. Work ethic is wanting to help for the common good, not benefit yourself.”

The Amirault Scholarship Endowment was established through the Catholic Foundation of Maine, which provides opportunities for people to create or contribute to charitable funds that will enhance the work of the Church in Maine. The foundation manages the funds to ensure the long-term viability of the endowments so that the charitable wishes of the donors are carried out. For more information, visit the foundation’s website at

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