In honor of 16-year-old Anthony Conti—a passionate film student who died this past January after suffering from Stage 4 Adrenal Cancer— Walpole High School Nurse Rachel Jackson has created a scholarship for students interested in studying film or film-related fields in their post secondary career.
“I decided to make it film-based because that’s what he loved,” said Jackson.
The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to one interested senior who submits an essay to Jackson that meets the criteria she was looking for; however, Jackson hopes to expand the applicant pool next year, rather than solely concentrating on the film program.
“We tossed the idea around of opening it up more to the digital arts such as TV Production or even Journalism,” said Jackson. “I mean, he liked to write and he liked to draw too. He did a movie all in sketches: instead of writing the script out, he drew it.”
Jackson created the Anthony Conti scholarship out of monetary support from multiple donations, as well as emotional support from Conti’s family.
“People were asking where they could donate money to,” said Jackson. “And I knew that his grandmother wanted to do something in his memory.”
Although many members of the Walpole community donated to the cause, local donations were not the only contributions.
“People from Hollywood have sent a lot of checks over,” said Jackson. “It was crazy! I was writing the ‘thank you’ notes and wondering how exactly I write a note to Johnny Depp.”
As a result of the copious donations, Jackson will be able to reward the scholarship to a senior from each graduating class for the next three years.
“We have enough money for us to do this year, next year, and whatever is left over we will do for his graduating year so it will be a little larger,” said Jackson.
Jackson hopes to honor Conti’s name by helping a worthy student accomplish their postsecondary aspirations, just as the Make A Film Foundation was able to help Conti.
“Anthony would be happy to know that he was able to help someone pursue their career in something that he loved: film,” said Jackson.