SHARONSTEEL FOUNDATION Nontraditional student wins full scholarship

Sharonsteel Foundation has awarded nine consecutive annual scholarships.
SHARON, Pa. -- Dawn Taylor of Sharpsville didn't know why she was summoned to the campus administrator's office at Penn State Shenango.
The 1996 graduate of Farrell High School, set to begin her freshman year at Penn State, only knew that she had been asked to be at Dr. Thomas Rookey's office at 4 p.m. Monday.
It was more than a pleasant surprise when Lori Darby, administrator of the Sharonsteel Foundation's annual Penn State scholarship, walked into the meeting to announce that Taylor was selected as the 2004-05 Sharonsteel Scholar.
The award covers four full years of tuition, a $40,000 value today.
"Oh my goodness!" Taylor exclaimed. "I'm just kind of in shock. I had no idea what this meeting was about."
Darby also announced that James Baker of Greenville, preparing for his sophomore year at Penn State Shenango, was chosen as the 2003-04 Sharonsteel Scholar, replacing last year's recipient who decided not to return to Penn State this fall.
Baker will get full tuition coverage for three years.
This is the ninth consecutive year the foundation has awarded a full-tuition scholarship at the campus, and Taylor is the first nontraditional student to receive the award.
Winners' backgrounds
Born in Brazil in 1977, she moved to Pennsylvania and grew up in the Shenango Valley.
She was salutatorian in her Farrell High School class and worked for a local restaurant before moving back to Brazil to work with her parents in a company they started.
She later worked for Choice Hotels International and returned to the United States in 2003. She now works at The Cookery Family Restaurant in Hermitage. She is enrolled in Penn State Shenango's Human Development and Family Studies program.
Baker, a 2003 graduate of Greenville High School, is a liberal arts major. He served as president of the National Honor Society at Greenville, participated on the track team and lettered in football in both his junior and senior years.
He is active in volunteer work and church functions.
Sharonsteel Foundation scholarships are awarded to students with outstanding academic achievement and school and community involvement.

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