School news – Dec. 25

Published Dec 23, 2013 at 6:01 am (Updated Dec 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm)

Youth scholarship

Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, will award a college scholarship to one student from every community that is home to a Simon property. Any student who will graduate in the class of 2014 and lives within 50 miles of Grove City Premium Outlets or any Simon property is eligible. The program will award a one-time scholarship of up to $1,500 to students who plan to enroll in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

The application period is open through Jan. 11, 2014.

Pick up a scholarship application at the Simon Guest Services Center at Grove City Premium, or download at the SYF website,

In addition, an “Award of Excellence” and a $2,500 scholarship renewable for up to three years will be given to the top candidate from among the scholarship winners that represent each of the nationwide Premium Outlets locations.

Students are selected based on a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic performance, leadership skills and participation in school and community activities. Those students who are the first in their family to pursue a post-secondary education will also be given close consideration.

The completed application, along with official school transcripts and parents’ most recently filed tax form, must be sent to Scholarship Management Services by Jan. 11.

$1 million challenge

The Aubrey Rose Foundation and its social enterprise, Writely Sew, are hosting a nationwide fundraising challenge to find the nation’s top college student, who will win $1 million.

The challenge begins on Jan. 1, 2014, and runs through Dec. 31, 2015, and will be divided up into six academic semesters, three a year for two years.

Students will create and execute their own plans to raise development dollars for the Aubrey Rose Foundation. The individual who generates the greatest development gift to the Aubrey Rose Foundation over the length of the challenge will receive a $1 million annuity. The winner will be determined on Dec. 31, 2015. In addition, the top fundraiser for each of the six semesters will be awarded with a $100,000 annuity at the end of each semester.

Students from across the country are invited to craft and execute marketing, business and social media plans to develop charitable contributions to help families with medically fragile children.

To learn more and for official rules, visit Questions and comments can be sent to

Eagle award

Christopher Matsin Laster, 17, of Peters Township has earned the Eagle Scout Award, the highest achievement award in the Boy Scouts of America. A member of Troop 1313, chartered by St. Benedict the Abbot Catholic Church in McMurray, Laster is a third-generation Eagle Scout. He is a senior at Peters Township High School.

To achieve the award, Laster earned 34 merit badges, of which 21 were required, served as a leader in his troop and completed a major community service project. His project included the collection and distribution of books and school supplies to newly-built village schools in the most rural parts of Tanzania, Africa.

(PIX)Seven Core Values Award

Two Canon-McMillan High School students were chosen by the school’s coaches as this year’s recipients of the U.S. Army Friday Night Lights Tour, Seven Core Values Award. Brendan Price, son of Amy and Mark Price of Cecil Township, was selected in wrestling. Giorgianna Zeremenko, daughter of Stephanie Pankas Zeremenko of Canonsburg and Jim Zeremenko of North Strabane Township, was chosen in softball. Both led their respective teams to PIAA State Championships last year.

The seven core values that the Army identifies in leaders, and that these two young people embody are: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

The coaches were asked to nominate and then vote on numerous deserving athletes, based on those seven criteria.

Top ACT score

Matthew Gummersbach, son of Todd and Lori Gummersbach and a junior at Peters Township High School, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2013, only 1,162 of 1.8 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional Writing Test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

Aviation Art Contest open to PA students

Pennsylvania students are invited to depict aviation’s importance to public safety by participating in the annual 2014 Aviation Art Contest.

The contest theme, “Flying Saves Lives,” aims to illustrate how aircraft can transport much-needed supplies or provide relief during emergencies. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 17, 2014.

Entries from children ages 6 to 17 will be accepted in watercolor, acrylic, oil paint, indelible marker pens, felt-tip pens, soft ballpoint pens, indelible ink, crayons or any similar medium (work using pencil, charcoal or other non-permanent media, computer-generated artwork, or collage work involving photocopies is not permitted) in three categories: Junior, Intermediate and Senior.

For further requirements, rules and information, visit Send entries to: Bureau of Aviation, C/O William Sieg, 400 North St., Harrisburg, PA 17120 or P.O. Box 3457, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0064.

Music scholarships

The Blackwood Theater Organ Society will award several scholarships to area high school seniors pursuing a college degree in instrumental music performance. Completed applications must be postmarked by Feb. 1.

Applications will be reviewed by a screening committee and finalists will be required to audition at Heinz Hall in March before a panel of musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of musical talent, recommendations from private and high school music teachers, academic performance, the written essay, motivation and financial need. Selected recipients will perform at a recital at the Blackwood Estate in Harrisville, Pa., in May.

Scholarship amounts range from $3,000 to $5,000 with an average of six recipients per year. The Blackwood Theater Organ Society is a not-for-profit organization created to encourage students to pursue instrumental music performance careers.

For an application or more information, visit or contact Ben Robertson at 724-735-2813.

School programs

Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA has school programs available for preschool through college students in Washington County.

For more information, call 724-223-5477.

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