College graduate holding her 2-year-old, also in cap and gown

Domenica Scholars of 2020 Graduate from College

Most Domenica Scholars in the high school class of 2020 are graduating from college this spring. Among them are Analiz Santana, pictured above with her two-year-old daughter, and Andre Hatcher, pictured below in his cap and gown.

Both students attended Camden Catholic High School supported by Domenica Scholarships for all four years, 2016–2020. 

Analiz earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Rowan University. She plans to enroll in an accelerated program to earn a bachelor’s in nursing so she can become a registered nurse. We are particularly proud of Analiz for earning her degree in four years while mothering her child.

college grad headshot in cap and gown

Andre graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He plans to take the LSAT this summer and enroll in Rutgers School of Law. We expect great things from this ambitious young man.

    We also heard from Emily Reyes Villa (pictured here), who expects to graduate from Rowan University in 2026 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

    “This is a full-circle story!” said Elena Piperno, Domenica Foundation executive director. Like all Domenica Scholars, Emily attended one of the five Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden. While she is earning her degree, she is working in CPS’s dual language pre-K program at her former school, St. Anthony of Padua. She plans on becoming a full-time ESL teacher.

    Teacher working at table with preschool children

    Domenica Scholarships constitute a large proportion of our philanthropy. Our aim is to enable outstanding eighth-grade students in the Camden area to get a high-quality high school education. 

    “There are plenty of opportunities for college scholarships,” said Pepe Piperno, Domenica Foundation founder and CEO. “We saw high school scholarships as a niche where we could make a difference.”

    “Too many talented kids get lost in underperforming Camden high schools,” added Elena. “Our scholarships give students a chance to learn and thrive in a high-quality Catholic school where they are valued as individuals.”

    Andre acknowledged the importance of his Domenica Scholarship, saying that it “allowed me to attend Camden Catholic High School,” which gave him “the education, support, and guidance to continue my education at Saint Joseph’s University.”

    Every year, we offer scholarships to up to 25 rising ninth-graders. Scholarships continue for all four years of high school, as long as students maintain good academic standing. In 18 years, more than 370 Domenica Scholars have graduated from high school. Nearly all go on to college.

    Domenica Scholarships often become family affairs! Analiz’s older sister, Domenica Scholar class of 2019, also graduated from college this spring, and their younger sister is currently a scholar at Camden Catholic. Andre’s twin sister, who attended Paul VI High School on a Domenica Scholarship, will graduate from Cedar Crest College in December.