What's Happening?

What's Happening?

Nicholas DeGeorgia never saw himself as a teacher.


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Good at math and working with his hands, DeGeorgia became a machinist and eventually got a job at a manufacturing facility in Albany County. He also continued his education at Hudson Valley Community College, where his instructors recognized his teaching potential and invited him to fill a part-time position.

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“They said, ‘We can see your qualities among the class, with leadership and how you work with your fellow students,’” DeGeorgia, of Glenville, recalled. “‘We think you’d be a good fit.’”

It was a good fit, and DeGeorgia, 37, decided he wanted to teach full-time. To do that, he needed a bachelor’s degree.

He applied for The Schenectady Foundation’s Dave Goyette Memorial Vocational Scholarship and won, using the award to attend SUNY Empire State College and attain the needed credential.


The Dave Goyette Memorial Vocational Scholarship is available to Schenectady County residents interested in a vocational career, from high school graduates to those already employed in the trades, which include HVAC/R, electrical work, machining, welding, automotive collision repair and refinishing, and building construction, or to teach in a vocational field.

Today DeGeorgia is an instructor in manufacturing technology at Hudson Valley Community College, sharing his knowledge with students eager to soak it in. The best part of teaching, he said, is the relationships with students.

“When a struggling student finally understands a math equation or how to do something, that’s great to see,” said DeGeorgia, who is married with two children, ages five and three. “It sparks life into you.”

DeGeorgia was the first-ever recipient of the Daveid J. Goyette Memorial Vocational Scholarship, created in 2020.

David Goyette lost his year long battle with lymphoma in December 2019. Like DeGeorgia, he had returned to college later in life, graduating from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education. His work as a heating and air conditioning service technician included training others, and he started his career in education by teaching a semester at Hudson Valley Community College.

In all areas of his life, he was known for his quiet acts of kindness, uplifting words, and sharing of whatever knowledge might help someone. He had a strong belief in the value of a vocational education. This scholarship is awarded to candidates enrolled in vocational studies who exhibit Mr. Goyette’s character traits.

The deadline for applying for the Dave Goyette Memorial Vocational Scholarship is March 20. For an application, visit schenectadyfoundation.org/scholarships.


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