Twelve Luzerne County Head Start (LCHS) alumni from six school districts in Luzerne County who will continue their education after high school were honored during LCHS’s 57th 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 a small indoor celebration 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, 12 scholarships totaling $18,100 were presented to students who will pursue higher education. From 1987 through 2022, scholarships totaling $311,350 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 its entirety 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 2021-2022 “Outstanding Community Partners,” including Chief Donald Leshko & the Hazleton Fire Department; Joe & Bedonna Mitchneck, founder of the “Toys from Heidi project;” Pastor David Walker and the Dallas United Methodist Church and Caitlin Styczen, Mondelez International. 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.