Vanessa Faro Petersen of Winthrop was the recipient of a major scholarship award from the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Massachusetts Chapter at its induction banquet.
Faro Petersen’s scholastic career at Saint Joseph Preparatory High School in Brighton was a perfect match for the award that recognized academic achievement, athletic prowess, leadership, and community service.
A senior at Saint Joseph Preparatory High School in Brighton, Faro Petersen said she was proud to accept the statewide award at the banquet that was attended by mire than 300 guests at Venezia in Boston.
“I’m very honored because I have dedicated my time to my schoolwork and my sports,” said Faro Petersen, whose former school, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, merged with Trinity Catholic High School this year. “It [the merger] has been a good change.”
Vanessa is a three-sport athlete at Saint Joseph, excelling in volleyball, basketball, and softball. The 5-foot-8-inch performer was the starting center and captain of the basketball team. She led the volleyball team to a berth in the State Tournament last fall. She is concluding her stellar career as the starting right fielder and captain for the softball team.
Thomas Nunan, head of St. Joseph Preparatory School, praised Faro-Petersen, saying she is “a very gifted student who has been fully engaged in the academic and spiritual life of the school as well being that rare three-sport athlete.”
“High school at Saint Joseph Prep is not a spectator sport and Vanessa Faro Petersen has been the epitome of that,” said Nunan. “It’s exceedingly rare that we see three-sport athletes today. To have someone who has excelled at the varsity level in volleyball, basketball, and softball is wonderfully inspiring. She is an inspiration to her classmates and a great kid who is a real leader.”
Locally Vanessa has been a four-year member of the Winthrop Police Explorer Post, led by Winthrop Police Lieutenant Frank Scarpa and Sergeant Steve Rogers.
“It’s a great organization and it’s really influenced my life in a positive way,” said Faro Petersen. “We’ve traveled to national conferences in Georgia and Colorado. We’ve had success in national competitions. We finished third in the nationals.”
Vanessa was the 2012 Winthrop Explorer of the Year. He older sister, Samantha was the 2011 Explorer of the Year and attends St. Joseph College in Maine.
“My sister has been a great role model for me,” said Vanessa.
Vanessa’s involvement in the Explorer Post has motivated her to study Criminal Justice at Lasell College where she will begin her studies this fall. She also hopes to play college volleyball.
“I’m just very passionate about the field of criminal justice,” said Faro-Petersen. “There’s something about it that interests me.”
Vanessa is the daughter of Elaine Faro and the granddaughter of Salvatore and Lorraine Faro.
“I want to thank my family for all their support,” said Faro Petersen. “My mother has been at every game and every school event.”