$336K in Scholarships Awarded to 207 Students
As the new school year begins, 207 local students will be getting a jump-start on their educations, thanks to community members who have established scholarship or award funds at Centre Foundation.
“Our community members understand the value of education, whether that is at a two-year college, four-year university, or trade school,” noted Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation. “They have established more than 150 scholarship funds and have entrusted us to administer applications and awards to deserving students each year.”
In total, $336,244 was distributed to 207 students attending 47 post-secondary schools. Recipients include graduating seniors from all five Centre County school districts, in addition to school districts from surrounding counties. A number of the scholarships also support returning adult students.
To highlight a few of these scholarship funds, the Centre County Emergency Responders Fund was created earlier this year by the Centre County Commissioners to provide scholarships for volunteer firefighters, paramedics, police officers, or other first responders.
James Pletcher, the scholarship’s first recipient, is currently studying criminal justice at the South Hills School of Business and Technology and has recently joined the Alpha Fire Company. “Any monetary aid I receive helps me greatly, so I can spend more time focusing on studying and volunteering with Alpha,” expressed Pletcher.
The Heidi Michelle Lingle Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in 2006 by Heidi’s parents after she passed away in an automobile accident in 2003. This fund annually provides two scholarships for Bellefonte Area High School students who plan to pursue higher education, one who has actively participated in the wrestling program and one who has been active in the arts.
Caleb Putnam, a former member of Bellefonte’s wrestling and lacrosse teams, received the wrestling scholarship and is studying accounting at Bloomsburg University. “This award will help me do what so many students and young people in this world want to do, which is to pursue my dreams and make the world a better place,” noted Putnam.
The William G. and Karen K. Mastin Family Scholarship Fund was created in honor of William G. and Karen K. Mastin. The scholarship benefits a State College Area High School senior attending a post-secondary institution who is the first person from his/her immediate family to attend college.
Davida Wagner, a pre-nursing student enrolled at Penn State Altoona, was this year’s scholarship recipient. “This award has made me realize that there are people in this world who are willing to donate some of their money to people who don’t have a lot, so they can have the chance to go to school,” expressed Wagner. “I hope that one day I will be able to return the favor.”
“Scholarship season is a very exciting time of the year,” explained Lauren Petrone, Administration and Scholarship Coordinator at Centre Foundation. “I enjoy learning about the stories and accomplishments of all these incredible students, and I’m honored to work with the school districts and fund holders to facilitate the annual scholarship process.”
High school seniors wishing to apply for scholarships should contact their respective school districts when the application period opens.
If you are interested in establishing a fund of any type, Centre Foundation is happy to assist you in reaching your philanthropic goals. For more information, visit www.centre-foundation.org or call (814) 237-6229.