15 grads receive DeBartolo Memorial Scholarships

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Fifteen high-school graduates receives DeBartolo Memorial Scholarships on Tuesday. In the first row from left are John York, Denise DeBartolo York, Rachel Burkell, Laura Denman, Delaney Baber and Anna Finocchi. In the second row from left are Shae Keeley, Olivia Batton, Gannon Fridley, Abbey Lipinsky, Kkylie Tullis and Jaycee Ward. Third row, Zachary Coman, John Zimmerman IV, Chloe Clear and Megan Drake.




It’s easy to reflexively associate plastic surgery with celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Kylie Jenner and Nicole Kidman, but ask Chloe Clear about it and you might get a different perspective.

“Self-confidence is big. It has the ability to change a person’s life and make them feel better about themselves,” observed the Jackson-Milton High School senior, who plans to enroll this fall at the College of Wooster to become a reconstructive surgeon, then attend graduate school.

Entering such a field has the potential to help boost others’ self-image, but Clear received a significant financial boost to attend the college in Wooster, Ohio, courtesy of being among the 15 Mahoning Valley seniors who each received $10,000 scholarships through the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation at an awards luncheon Tuesday in the Overture Restaurant, downtown.

Accompanying Clear were her parents, Craig and Trina Fetkovich, who expressed pride in their daughter’s achievement and excitement for her future.

The 15 were selected from more than 350 applications the foundation had received, which included students’ transcripts, essays and recommendations from guidance counselors and principals, noted Bob Hannon, president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, who also served as master of ceremonies.

In the past 22 years, the foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships, Hannon added.

“The goals of the foundation have been to reward worthy Valley students with the opportunity to pursue their education. My father believed that all students who have demonstrated the desire to continue their education, regardless of their financial situation, should be afforded the opportunity to receive a college education,” Denise DeBartolo York said in a statement.

Such a scholarship also will provide a jump-start to Rachel Burkell’s higher-education pursuits.

“I want to major in German and Norwegian, with a minor in education,” the Austintown Fitch High student explained, adding her school of choice is St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., which she said is only one of four universities in the U.S. to offer such a major.

Burkell has a 3.75 grade-point average and may move to and teach in Munich or Frankfurt, Germany, she said. She also recalled having to take a foreign language in high school, then discovering that German was the right fit.

“I’d say getting into NHS [National Honor Society],” Burkell replied when asked about one of her proudest high-school accomplishments.

Among those who are proud of the senior are Linda Romisher, who’s Burkell’s big sister via the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, and who came to the program.

“She’s like my own, to be honest with you,” Romisher said. “She has a strong work ethic.”



Fifteen high-school seniors from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties each received $10,000 scholarships during an awards program Tuesday at the Overture Restaurant near the DeYor Performing Arts Center in downtown Youngstown. The students and their schools are:

Delaney Baber, Struthers High

Olivia Batton, Ursuline

Rachel Burkell, Austintown Fitch

Chloe Clear, Jackson-Milton

Zachary Coman, Liberty

Laura Denman, Maplewood

Megan Drake, United

Anna Finocchi, South Range

Gannon Fridley, John F. Kennedy

Shae Keeley, Southington

Abbey Lipinsky, Boardman

Harmony Offenburg, Columbiana

Kylie Tullis, Leetonia

Jaycee Ward, Niles McKinley

John Zimmerman IV, Austintown Fitch

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