Awards recognize local graduates

The foundation has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships over the past 10 years.



BOARDMAN — As Stepfanie Higgins of Labrae High School was called to the front of the room to receive her scholarship, mom Rhea Higgins had tears of happiness rolling down her face.

Denise DeBartolo-York awarded the eight area high school seniors Wednesday with $5,000 scholarships to help pay for college. The scholarships are in memory of her father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who believed high school students who have a desire to learn should have the opportunity regardless of the financial situation, DeBartolo-York said.

“It’s an emotional and special day for me to honor my dad and continue his legacy,” she said.

The recipients, along with family and friends, attended a luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Boardman.

Higgins is the youngest of four children. Her mother said “she’s just fun and outgoing.” Higgins plans on attending Concordia University in Michigan and majoring in secondary education.

This year there were more than 350 applicants, said Cindy Miller of the DeBartolo Corp. Recipients were selected based on need, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

Jasmine Williams from The Rayen School in Youngstown is in foster care with her two younger siblings. She said this is the first scholarship she has received, so far.

“All I can do is keep smiling,” she said after she received her award. Williams said her plans are to major in nursing at Cleveland State University.

The recipients

The Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships over the past 10 years. DeBartolo-York said she is “thrilled” to provide these seniors with the scholarships to further their education and become successful:

Delilah Benedis, daughter of Lisa and David Benedis, will graduate from Campbell Memorial High School. She plans to attend Youngstown State University and major in physical therapy or nursing. Delilah plays sports, volunteers at her church and baby-sits her two siblings.

Michael Brown, son of Amy and Jim Brown, maintains a 4.0 GPA at Southern Local High School. He plans on attending Mount Union to major in sports management.

Alyssa Donahey, daughter of Susan Moore, is a member of the National Honor Society at David Anderson High School in Lisbon. She plans on attending Mount Union and wants to major in biology.

Jessica Kemble, daughter of Virginia and Danny Kicula, holds a 3.0 GPA at Austintown Fitch High School. She works full time at Kentucky Fried Chicken. She wants to attend Youngstown State University and major in nursing.

Kimberly Myers, daughter of Joseph and the late Janice Myers, is from Brookfield High School. She lost her mother two years ago to cancer. She holds a 3.6 GPA, and plans to attend Youngstown State University and major in music education.

Higgins will graduate from Labrae High School with a 3.25 GPA. She will attend Concordia University and major in secondary education.

Shnicka Shuler, granddaughter of Sandra Davis-Ferolito, is from The Rayen School in Youngstown. She wants to attend Cleveland State University and major in criminal justice.

Jasmine Williams, daughter of Gwendolyn Williams, will graduate from The Rayen School. Her plan is to attend Cleveland State University and major in nursing.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.