Nika Lauren

Libro Student Awards presented locally, including to an Amherstburg student



By Ron Giofu


A total of 31 students across southwestern Ontario are receiving $2,000 Student Awards from Libro Credit Union with area students honoured last Thursday evening.

Of the eight students between the ages of 17-25 recognized by Libro for their volunteerism, leadership and academic commitment, one of them came from Amherstburg. Natalie Pallisco, a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, was selected by the Amherstburg branch as its recipient.

Nika Laurin, branch manager in Amherstburg, noted Pallisco’s applications stood out from the over 20 that the local branch received. Pallisco carries a 97 per cent average in school while amassing hundreds of volunteer hours in the community.

Natalie Pallisco (left) earned a Libro Student Award. She was the Amherstburg recipient last Thursday evening. Making the presentation is Amherstburg branch manager Nika Laurin.

Among Pallisco’s duties in the community include organizing blood drives at Villanova, volunteering at Hotel-Dieu Hospital and being an assistant coach on her school’s badminton team.

Pallisco said it was an honour to be included with the other students that received the awards last Thursday evening at Oxley Estate Winery. She noted that volunteer work isn’t done with scholarships or awards in mind, but they are still a nice to receive.

“It’s incredible (to receive an award), especially when you hear about everyone else that is being recognized,” said Pallisco. “We all kind of have the same values.”

The winners are committed to helping others, she noted, adding “I think we become better when we help others.”

Pallisco said she started volunteering in Grade 9 and said it was nice to have organizations such as Libro recognize academic success and community development. She helps with blood drives as “you never know who is going to need it” and that every unit can save up to three lives.

Volunteering at Hotel-Dieu also sees her help the elderly, even by just visiting two to three times a week or doing small tasks for them. She says the little things make a difference and helps brighten people’s lives.

Eight recipients of Libro Student Awards were recognized last Thursday evening at Oxley Estate Winery. From left: Jessica DeSantis (Leamington), Zachary Lauzon (Harrow), Zak Hu (Essex), Natalie Pallisco (Amherstburg), Rain Pfaff (Blenheim), Sierra Currie (Woodslee), Gillian Marshall (Belle River) and Emma Muldoon (Kingsville).

“We’re inspired and awed by these students,” said Lori Atkinson, Libro’s Regional Manager for Essex-Kent. “To be so committed to their communities and to improving themselves academically at their age, it’s not a one-shot deal. We’re excited to support these students on their educational journey and to see what they bring to the table in the future.”

Since 2012, Libro has awarded more than $360,000 to 166 students between the ages of 17 and 25 through its Student Award Program.

Other winners included Gillian Marshall (Belle River), Rain Pfaff (Blenheim), Zak Hu (Essex), Zachary Lauzon (Harrow), Emma Muldoon (Kingsville), Jessica DeSantis (Leamington) and Sierra Currie (Woodslee).

Local credit union recognizes long-time employee



By Ron Giofu


It was a celebration 20 years in the making for a local credit union employee.

Tracy Policella celebrated two decades at Libro Credit Union March 12 with staff, customers and special guests dropping by. The financial services representative was surprised yet happy with the turnout.

“It’s awesome,” said Policella. “It’s been great. These are some great people that I am working with.”

Policella noted she has been through a couple of mergers during her employment with the company. She started when it was known as Woodslee Credit Union and the mergers saw it be known as United Communities Credit Union and now Libro Credit Union. She added that she has worked with “a lot of awesome people” during her time there.

Tracy Policella (second from left) was honoured recently for her 20 years of service with Libro Credit Union. Also pictured are Josephine Grant, branch manager Nika Laurin and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

In addition to praising the people she works with, Policella also spoke highly of the customers at the branch. A big highlight of her 20-year career, which is ongoing, are “the people I get to meet.”

Policella said she knew her co-workers had plans to commemorate her 20-year anniversary but was surprised by how far they went. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo also stopped by to wish Policella well.

“I didn’t know the extent that it was going to be,” Policella said of the celebration.

The celebration was a reflection of how her co-workers feel about Policella as well, indicated branch manager Nika Laurin.

“We love her too,” said Laurin.