John and Denise York present $125,000 in scholarships to students
By Graig Graziosi
Twenty graduating seniors from local high schools were awarded a total of $125,000 in scholarships during a ceremony hosted by the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Denise DeBartolo York and her husband, John York, on Thursday presented the graduates with scholarships for $6,250 for use in their continuing education.
The ceremony was at the Holiday Inn in Boardman and attended by about 100 friends and family of the recipients.
The students had to apply for the scholarships and were selected based on their academic achievements, community involvement and their financial needs.
“This is the most gratifying day of my year,” DeBartolo York said. “These students are special to us. They have the qualities of determination, courage and heart that truly sets them apart.”
The students represented 15 area high schools.
The foundation received more than 400 applications for the scholarships.
Shae Haas, who will graduate from West Branch High School and who plans to attend Ohio University for communications, said she appreciated the opportunity the foundation provides.
“I was really excited when I found out I’d won,” Haas said. “It’s good to know there’s people out there working to help support students like me who want to continue their education.”
The foundation has been awarding graduating seniors for the past 20 years, giving more than $960,000 in scholarships.
DeBartolo York said the foundation was a continuation of the belief of her father, entrepreneur Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., that education was the key to leveling the playing field for the disadvantaged.
She said her father and his friend Donald Pipino were the first to award scholarships to deserving students. After her father’s death in 1994, she began the memorial foundation and continued the practice.