By HAROLD GWIN
The Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation has given eight area high school seniors a major boost in meeting the costs of college.
Denise DeBartolo-York, daughter of the late Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., and Dr. John York, her husband, presented a $6,000 scholarship to each of the students at a luncheon Thursday at the Holiday Inn.
The foundation has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships over the last 13 years, and the program will continue into the future, according to DeBartolo-York.
“This is probably the most special day of the year to me,” she said, explaining that it gives her the opportunity to continue the community-involvement tradition established by her parents.
More than 300 applications were received for this year’s scholarships, and DeBartolo-York praised the outstanding students selected for the honor on the basis of academic achievement, community involvement and financial need.
“We’re trying to make a difference in your lives because I believe you can make a difference in the world,” she told the recipients.
The scholarship foundation was established after the 1994 death of Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., the man credited with making the shopping mall an American icon. It’s goal is to reward Valley students who have proved to be hard-working in their community by helping them go to college, DeBartolo-York said.
“My father believed that all students who have demonstrated intensity and desire, regardless of their financial situation, should be afforded the opportunity to receive a college education,” she said.
This year’s recipients are:
Kaylie Hebebrand—Austintown Fitch High School.
Hebebrand plans to major in business administration at either Lorain County Community College or Cleveland State University. She has a 3.023 grade-point average, works at a part-time job, plays softball and participates on the school speech and debate teams.
Joshua Jones — Southern Local High School.
Jones plans to major in engineering at either Youngstown State University, Ohio State University or the University of Akron. He has a 4.0 grade-point average, works part-time at a local steak house, works on his family’s farm, competes on the school track team and is a member of the National Honor Society, the FFA and other organizations.
Meghan Kubic — Canfield High School.
Kubic plans to major in kinesiology at either Northwestern University or the University of Southern California. She has a 4.0 grade-point average and is involved in the Young Leaders program, competes on the school cross country team and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Kashmere Pearson — Brookfield High School.
Pearson plans to major in premedical studies at Capital University. She has a 3.952 grade-point average, works part-time, volunteers at a local nursing home as well as a food bank and her church and plays on the school basketball team. She participates in numerous school clubs and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Peter Rassega — Mineral Ridge High School.
Rassega plans to major in business economics at Youngstown State University. He has a 3.1 grade-point average, works part-time, plays on the school golf team and participates in the Beta Club. He is a member of the school’s honor roll.
Ashley Rondini — Maplewood High School.
Rondini plans to major in nursing at Kent State University-Trumbull. She has a 3.09 grade-point average, works at a part-time job and plays volleyball and basketball as well as participates with TEAM and several community-service projects.
Jordan Stevenson — Maplewood High School.
Stevenson plans to major in forensic science at Mercyhurst College, Ohio University or Pennsylvania State University. She has a 3.279 grade-point average, works at a part-time job and plays volleyball and softball. She participates in TEAM and other school and community volunteer projects and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Genevieve Wideman — Austintown Fitch High School.
Wideman plans to major in psychology at Slippery Rock University. She has a 3.282 grade-point average and participates in the school’s drama club and concert choir.