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2009 Celtic Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program

Award Recipients

Kristen E. Saunders


Kristen E. Saunders is the daughter of Terry and Liz Saunders from East Hartford. She graduated from East Hartford High School and is currently a junior at the University of New Haven where she is a double major in Criminal Justice- Investigative Services and Legal Studies. She plans on attending Law School and practicing in Criminal Law or Health/Biomedical

Law. Kristen spends her free time as Vice President of the 5-6-7-8 Dance Team and is a member of the Welcome Wagon at school. She enjoys playing soccer, Irish Step dancing and is a past CCD teacher and Peer Minister in the religious education program at St. Christopher Church. Additionally, she works part time at Best Buy in Newington.

Kristen takes great pride in her Irish heritage. You can always find her volunteering at the annual Feis or the Greater Hartford Irish Music Festival both held on the grounds of the Irish American Home in Glastonbury.

Kristen has deep Irish roots on both sides of her family. She is the granddaughter of Anthony (Co. Kildare) and Margaret Foley Lynch (Co. Kerry) and the great granddaughter of Terrance Mallon (Co. Tyrone). Kristen is very excited to be chosen as the 2009 Celtic Daughter.


Brendan Porter


Brendan Porter is a Senior at Conard High School in West Hartford. He has spent the last four years actively involved in Boy Scouts, obtaining his Eagle Scout rank this past winter. Besides community service projects with the scouts, he participated in tutoring, Relay for Life, and helped cook the corned beef for Irish Night at St. Helena’s Church.  As Wrestling Captain, Brendan spends a large part of each winter season trying to eat the foods he loves while still ‘making weight’ .  Fortunately, St. Patrick’s Day follows the weigh-in period, so he can really eat all the soda bread he desires.

For enjoyment, Brendan plays trumpet for a Ska band called ‘Positive Downside’. The group performs locally at   The Grounds and outdoor concerts in Blue Back Square. Their First Night show at the Battle of the Bands earned them first place, along with the opportunity to receive a professional recording session.

Brendan hopes his music interests will complement his business career as he considers attendance at Fordham, Villanova, or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He appreciates the opportunity to share his Irish heritage, and is very grateful to receive the Central Connecticut Celtic Son Scholarship.