Kristen is pursuing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Religion with a cognate in Biblical and Theological Studies and a minor in Christian Counseling through Liberty University. Her goals are to establish a Christian counseling practice, and form a non-profit to open a residential treatment center for single mothers and their children. Having grown up in foster care and group homes, Kristen has a passion for providing supportive services and healing processes that are designed to empower mothers to break generational cycles of trauma and keep families together. She says her own personal hardships are “the catalyst behind my educational and career goals” in order to “leave a lasting legacy” for her own children, rather than “becoming just another statistic doomed to repeat the cycle of dysfunction.” Kristen is focused and excited to follow her calling and begin this new journey.
Jahnia is attending Bucknell University pursuing a double major in Psychology and Spanish with a goal of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. She has been awarded Bucknell’s Community Engagement Merit Scholarship for her academic accomplishments and service to the community, and currently serves as Student Manager for the Weis Center for Performing Arts, as well as a Research Assistant for the Bucknell College of Management. While she sees herself contributing research to help address social injustices and implicit biases that perpetuate systemic discrimination, she intends to utilize her education to assist businesses, schools, police departments, and government agencies to become diverse, inclusive, and sustainable, Jahnia states that she will “contribute to society the most through my joy, kindness, faithfulness, and love.”
Tamia is attending the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she is pursing her Educational Specialist Masters’ Degree in School Psychology, after having graduated cum laude from Drexel University in 2021. She has previously been a Special Education Teacher, and is currently employed as a Behavioral Technician, while juggling the demands of being a full-time student and single mom raising three children. Tamia plans to utilize her education and experience to “advocate for children with special education needs and provide them with the resources they need in order to be successful in the classroom.” She desires to be the best example as possible to her children to “show them that with hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible and that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”
Following graduation from Liberty high School, Ebony will be entering Cedar Crest College this fall to major in Nuclear Medicine Technology. In 2023, she is carrying a 4.8 GPA with a rigorous schedule that includes Advanced Placement and honors classes, along with many medical-based classes in Project Lead the Way Biomedical Track. In addition to her academic success, Ebony contributes to her community through volunteer efforts including the Northeast Community Center Food Bank, the Center of Animal Health and Welfare, and the Historic Bethlehem Museum. Ebony’s teachers describe her as “a student of immense academic promise and personal ambition” with “a creative, inquisitive and optimistic mindset.” Cedar Crest College has recognized Ebony’s potential by offering her a Dean’s Scholarship of $20,000 per year.
As a graduating senior at Reading High School, Mia is looking forward to attending Temple University to study Tourism and Hospitality Management, with a goal of becoming a travel consultant or a related career that can combine her love of traveling with her desire to help others. Mia is a member of the Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center National Honor Society and has been recommended for membership in the National Society of High School Scholars. She has been involved with the Boys & Girls Olivet’s Club, and also volunteers with her church youth group to assist with fundraisers. Mia’s school counselor states that, “she is a determined and conscientious student” who has “compassion and integrity”. By working hard to prepare for future success, Mia hopes to “inspire others to take that big leap and reach for the stars.”
Following a formidable schedule of Honors and Advanced Placement classes, in addition to dual enrollment through the Community College of Beaver County, Zappula has been awarded the Moe Rubenstein Scholarship for athletics and academics. He plans to attend Westminster College in the fall with a goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. A true scholar / athlete, he has participated in Junior ROTC, the Young Life Program, served as Vice-President of the Black Student Union, band, football, track, and is a volunteer coach for the female flag football team. Zappula was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a member of their All-Peer team. These character and leadership attributes have led to his teachers describing Zappula as a person of “great internal motivation” with a “tremendous attitude and morale that uplifts others.”