The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) has chosen the winners of its 2021 Thomas R. and Laura Ridge Scholarship. Twenty-two students who represent PFMA’s membership earned the scholarships based on their academic record, school and community involvement, a submitted essay and required recommendations.
“Congratulations to these deserving students on all of their hard work. We’re thrilled to provide these scholarships to help them in their college pursuits,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “Thank you to our generous PFMA members for their contributions to the Ridge Scholarship program. It would not be possible without their commitment.”
This spring, an independent judging panel evaluated scholarship applications to choose the 22 recipients. Recipients must work for a PFMA member or be the child of an employee or company owner that is a PFMA member. Each student received between $2,000 and $2,500, with a total of $45,000 awarded in 2021. Recipients are sponsored by PFMA members that contribute to the Ridge Fund Endowment, including The GIANT Company, Karns Quality Foods, Rutter’s, Sheetz and Wawa.
This year’s recipients are listed below with their goals in higher education. The scholarship amount and sponsoring business are listed in parentheses.
Kiersten Barr of Havertown, Pa., plans to attend Clemson University and major in microbiology, with a concentration in biomedicine. ($2,000; Wawa)
Katherine Calderone of Camp Hill, Pa., plans to attend West Chester University of Pennsylvania and major in chemistry. ($2,000;PFMA)
Ethan Cramer of York, Pa, plans to attend Penn State York and major in architectural engineering. ($2,500; Rutter's)
Saidy Marisol Cruz Martinez of Elkin, N.C., plans to attend Appalachian State University and major in building sciences, architectural technology and design, with a minor in sustainable design. ($2,000; Sheetz)
Holly Deemer of DuBois, Pa., plans to attend Penn State University and major in supply chain and information systems, with a minor in information sciences and technology. ($2,000; PFMA)
Michael Engles of Sykesville, Md., plans to attend Salisbury University and major in marketing. ($2,000; PFMA)
Molly Gill of Lewisburg, Pa., plans to attend Penn State University and major in computer science, with a minor in mathematics. ($2,000; PFMA)
Kylee Harvey of Kennett Square, Pa., plans to attend Sacred Heart University and earn her master’s in criminal justice. ($2,000; Wawa)
Norah Kelly of Scranton, Pa., plans to attend the University of Notre Dame as an undecided student. ($2,000; PFMA)
Erin Kiple of Burlington, N.J., plans to attend Stockton University to major in nursing. ($2,000; Wawa)
Delia Morchesky of Carrolltown, Pa., plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design to major in animation. ($2,000; PFMA)
Peter Murnane of West Chester, Pa., plans to attend Penn State University and major in mechanical engineering. ($2,000; The GIANT Company).
Caroline Nagle of Altoona, Pa., plans to attend Lock Haven University to study as a pre-physician assistant and minor Spanish. ($2,000; Sheetz)
Shannon O'Malley of Fairless Hills, Pa., plans to attend The University of Alabama and major in anthropology, with a minor in liberal arts. ($2,000; Wawa)
Riya Patel of Coatesville, Pa., plans to attend Rutgers University and major in cognitive science, with minors in biological sciences and health and society. ($2,000; The GIANT Company)
Hayden Perrone of Phoenixville, Pa., plans to attend Penn State Berks and major in biology. ($2,000; The GIANT Company)
Mark Pottman of York, Pa., plans to attend Kutztown University and major in cinema, television and media production. ($2,500; Rutter's)
Nolan Pye of Doylestown, Pa., plans to attend Penn State University and major in chemical engineering. ($2,000; The GIANT Company)
Kaitlyn Sheriff of Landisburg, Pa., plans to attend Lycoming College and major in astrophysics, with minors in computer science and mathematics. ($2,000; Karns Quality Foods)
Sandya Subramanian of Bridgewater, N.J., plans to attend Boston University and major in medical science, with a minor in Latin. ($2,000; PFMA)
Garrit Witters of Elizabethtown, Pa., plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology and major in computing security. ($2,000; The GIANT Company)
Donald Yealy of New Oxford, Pa., plans to attend Penn State University and major in forest ecosystem management. ($2,000; PFMA)
Established in 1996, the Ridge Scholarship honors the parents of former Gov. Tom Ridge. Thomas R. Ridge was a member of the food industry for 25 years, and his wife, Laura, was a great advocate of education for their three children: Tom, David and Vikki. To date, 600 students have earned Ridge Scholarships, and more than $1.1 million has been awarded.
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Liz Kemmery, Director of Communications