Monday, June 19, 2017 - Updated: 4:00 am
Catholic school students were awarded scholarships from Junior Achievement at the annual JA Scholarship Luncheon on May 19 at the LeMont Restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood.
The Cardinal Donald Wuerl Scholarship was presented to 38 eighth-grade students who are entering a Catholic high school, and the Bishop David Zubik Scholarship was awarded to 14 current high school students. Twenty-five received the Achievement Scholarship.
Bishop Zubik was in attendance and spoke to the 190 guests. He presented each student with their certificate, along with Junior Achievement President and CEO Dennis Gilfoyle; Dr. Michael Latusek, superintendent of Catholic Schools; and State Rep. Jim Christiana.
Recipients of the Cardinal Wuerl Scholarships are: Guadalupe Alberto of St. Agnes School, advancing to Serra Catholic; Nicholas Almeter, St. Bernadette, Serra Catholic; Breeanna Bazeck, St. Philip, Bishop Canevin; Aislynn Bell, St. Joseph, Oakland Catholic; Maggie Butcher, St. Margaret, Seton LaSalle; Emily Butler, Northside Catholic, Bishop Canevin; Grace Byrnes, St. Mary of the Assumption, Oakland Catholic; Grace Cammarata, Assumption, Oakland Catholic;
Sydney Carr, St. John Bosco, Seton LaSalle; Nathan Chalus, St. Therese, Serra Catholic; Rory Cooke, St. Alexis, Vincentian Academy; Michael Estocin, East Catholic, Serra Catholic; Daniel Farrell, St. Malachy, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Fulton Fontana, St. Sebastian, Central Catholic; Alexa Julian, St. Kilian, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic; William Koloc, Christ the Divine Teacher, Central Catholic;
Emily Lupinacci, St. Rosalia, Oakland Catholic; Drake Maguire, St. Bartholomew, St. Joseph; Natalie Makovics, Mary of Nazareth, Serra Catholic; Meghan Mescan, St. Anne, Seton LaSalle; Matthew Michaux, St. Elizabeth, Seton LaSalle; Charle Moore, Holy Trinity, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Dylan Newell, Christ the Divine Teacher, Vincentian; Samuel Nicolella, John F. Kennedy Catholic, Bishop Canevin; Gregory Parrish, East Catholic, Central Catholic; Nicholas Paulson, St. Gregory, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic; Roman Rhodes, Our Lady of Fatima, Quigley Catholic; Kaia Rieger, St. Elizabeth, Serra Catholic;
Jared Russman, St. John Bosco, Seton LaSalle; Malia Sigg, St. Thomas More, Seton LaSalle; Brandon Skalniak, St. Sylvester, Seton LaSalle; Noah Smida, Our Lady of Grace, Bishop Canevin; Cameron Stack, St. Raphael, Central Catholic; Sianna Sullivan, Mary of Nazareth, Serra Catholic; Jacob Swanson, St. Thomas More, Seton LaSalle; Nicholas Wigle, St. Margaret, Seton LaSalle; Skyler Wrubleski, St. Sylvester, Seton LaSalle; and Nathan Zini, St. Thomas More, Seton LaSalle.
Winners of the Bishop Zubik Scholarships are: Clara Almeter, Serra Catholic; Savanna Carr, Seton LaSalle; Paul Chalus, Serra Catholic; Eric Ford, Vincentian; Alexandra Hall, Bishop Canevin; Andrew Hill, Serra Catholic; Faith Kisker, Seton LaSalle; Ryan Martin, Seton LaSalle; Nicole Melocchi, Serra Catholic; Abbey Ripko, Vincentian; Christopher Sigg, Seton LaSalle; Janneselle Umalin, Bishop Canevin; Hannah Warner, Seton LaSalle; and Alexis Zarnick, Bishop Canevin.
Achievement Scholarship winners are: Abby Aiello, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Laney Blair, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Nathan Chalus, Serra Catholic; Paul Chalus, Serra Catholic; Emily Long, St. Bernadette; Madison Long, St. Bernadette; Anna Mathias, Seton LaSalle; Luke Mathias, Seton LaSalle; Haley Messner, St. Malachy; Anthony Pilotta Jr., St. Malachy; Amir Robinson, St. Benedict the Moor; Amiya Robinson, St. Benedict the Moor; Alexa Schmitt, St. Malachy; Anthony Schmitt, St. Malachy; Olivia Schmitt, St. Malachy; Jacob Scott, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart; Sonni Spadaccia, St. Malachy; Rebecca Sullivan, Serra Catholic; Phoebe Tebbs, St. Sebastian; and Manus Tonery, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
Junior Achievement has provided scholarships through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program since 2004 and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program since 2015. Since 2004, more than $1.4 million in scholarships have been provided to students in the Diocese of Pittsburgh through this program.
“Our partnership with Catholic schools goes back to JA’s early start in the 1940s,” Gilfoyle said. “When Cardinal Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh, he disclosed the fact that he was in JA as a high school student. That association and his support led to a huge surge in JA program participation in our Catholic schools. It was an easy decision for JA to create a scholarship program in his name.”
Bishop Zubik said that “the Diocese of Pittsburgh is profoundly grateful to Junior Achievement for everything that the organization has done to support students in Catholic schools, and prepare them for life in a diverse, global marketplace.”
“The scholarships given this year to assist students with tuition in our Catholic high schools will bear fruit in the lives of those young people for many years to come,” he said. “I salute Junior Achievement for its commitment to young people of all backgrounds and beliefs.”
For students to qualify for the scholarships they must have received JA programming during the past school year and completed an application process, including writing an essay about the impact of JA programming in their lives.
JA programs provide sequential business and economics education to students in kindergarten through high school in western Pennsylvania. During the 2016-17 school year, JA programs were implemented in 50 Catholic schools reaching more than 7,200 students.
For more about Junior Achievement programs, visit www.jawesternpa.org.