The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce presented its third annual FELO Scholarship Awards June 14.

FELO is an emerging professionals group and the acronym stands for Fairfield Emerging Leaders Organization. Their goal is to network amongst themselves, share ideas, and discuss challenges to help them achieve success as they continue their career path towards more senior-level management positions.

In addition, their mission is to help raise money for Scholarship Awards that are presented annually to graduating high school students. The Fairfield Ludlowe and Warde high school students must be attending a business school or majoring in business and have financial needs.

Once again, FELO raised enough money to present two $1,500 scholarships, one for Ludlowe graduate Thomas Wyckoff and the other for Warde’s Gareth Gacetta.

In addition to the actual scholarship, both students will benefit from the mentorship of a local business leader who will make themselves available to each student throughout the year, if they have a question about a particular subject, class or business concept and they will also be happy to meet with the students in person next summer to discuss their freshman year experience.

Wyckoff will be assisted by Ryan Santoro from Connect Computer, while Gacetta’s mentor will be Jackie Kosiba from Delamar Southport.

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge of the habitats, plants, animals and natural history of Connecticut and sharing that information with others?

Master Naturalist training is offered by different organizations around the country. Programs prepare people of all experience levels to become naturalists in their communities and to contribute to environmental education and conservation efforts through volunteer service.

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Master Naturalist Program at the Center at Fairfield provides 40 hours of classroom and field training in four-hour sessions over 10 weeks. All sessions will include a mix of indoor classroom presentations and outdoor, hands-on field experiences.

Classes are taught by field experts, including Bill Kenny, a fairfield ecologist and landscape architect, and James E. Biardi, the director of environmental studies at Fairfield University.

At the conclusion of the training, graduates receive certificates and apply their knowledge and individual skills in volunteer capacities to help maintain and support education activities and operations at the center and its adjoining Larsen Sanctuary.

Classes meet Tuesdays, Sept. 5 through Nov. 7, and on Saturday, Sept. 30,

Space is limited; the registration deadline is Aug. 15.

Program fee: $205 CAS members; $260 non-members (includes a CAS membership).

As part of the tuition, participants must be able to give 10 hours of volunteer service within the year following the training. To complete the program, please expect to attend every class.

For more information about the Master Naturalist Training Program, including the application, visit or email

Ryan Desmond from Fairfield recently graduated May 21 from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. with a bachelor of science degree in finance.