Fourteen Luzerne County Head Start (LCHS) alumni from 8 school districts in Luzerne County who will continue their education after high school were honored during LCHS’s 56th anniversary celebration. Scholarship recipients are usually recognized at the agency’s annual luncheon, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to celebrate their accomplishments, the agency sponsored an outdoor “meet and greet” at its Beekman Street location in Wilkes-Barre. Recipients were invited to attend the celebration, where they met with their scholarship sponsors.
The Luzerne County Head Start Alumni Scholarship program was established in 1987 to honor the achievements of former Head Start students graduating from high school and continuing their education. This year, 14 scholarships totaling $18,000 were presented to students who will pursue higher education. From 1987 through 2021, scholarships totaling $293,250 have been awarded to outstanding students who began their educational journey at a Head Start program. Recipients must submit an application and are selected based on academic performance, personal achievements, leadership, motivation and school and community involvement. The scholarship fund is supported in total by community organizations, individuals and businesses.
In addition to the scholarship awards, LCHS employees were honored at a virtual ceremony earlier in the day for their years of service and dedication to the nonprofit organization. Awards were also presented to the agency’s 2020-2021 “Outstanding Community Partners,” including Stacey Kile, Luzerne County Head Start Board of Directors; Christine Kiesinger, Ph.D., owner and founder of CEK Communication; Alan Klapat, Deputy Chief, City of Wilkes-Bare Fire Department and Lorna Veglia, Drums Lioness/Lions Club. LCHS’s Outstanding Community Partner award recognizes area businesses, organizations and individuals in the community who have made significant contributions to the Head Start program and who have made a difference in the lives of the children and families the agency serves.
Ariel Mitkowski from Hanover Township, who is a former Head Start student and senior at Hanover Area High School, receives the Fran Williams Scholarship in the amount of $4,000. Ariel is pictured with her scholarship sponsor, Gary Williams, who is a member of the Luzerne County Head Start Board of Directors.
St. Raphael Mosley-Boncy from Jenkins Township, who is a former Head Start student and senior at Pittston Area High School, receives the Benco Family Foundation scholarship in the amount of $2,000. St. Raphael is pictured with George Rable, who is the VP of Culture & People at Benco Dental and the president of the Luzerne County Head Start Board of Directors.
Faith Wargo from West Pittston, who is a former Head Start student and senior at Wyoming Area High School receives the Church of Christ Uniting Scholarship and the Coombs Family Memorial Scholarship for a total of $1,000. Faith is pictured with her scholarship sponsors, Pastor Jane Pykus from Church of Christ Uniting in Kingston and Michelle Coombs.