By Steve Harmic, Penn State DuBois
DUBOIS – Penn State DuBois students who received scholarships this year had the opportunity to meet with and thank the people who help to make their education possible at the Annual Scholarship Luncheon.
The recent event, held at the DuBois Country Club, brought together the donors who have established or given to scholarship funds, with the students who benefit from them.
“This is the opportunity to put a face with the name or organization,” Chancellor Anita McDonald told scholarship recipients at the luncheon. “You can see there are real people who are responsible for providing the funding you received.”
Students and donors alike spoke during the luncheon and shared their experiences and perspectives on what scholarships mean to them.
“I was nervous about how I would pay for tuition,” said scholarship recipient and senior Cortney Yenzi of Reynoldsville, remembering when she was first accepted at Penn State DuBois.
“After I received my scholarships, I knew I could do it. It was amazing to me that people would invest in my future without even knowing me. It made me a better person, and I never would have made it this far if it were not for that generosity. I can’t thank you enough,” Yenzi said.
Scholarship recipient Cesar Salazar shared his unique story about overcoming both international and financial barriers, and how his father inspired him to chase his dreams.
He said, “My father came from, literally, the side of a mountain in Columbia and came to New York City. He started washing dishes in a restaurant. Now, nearly 25 years later, he is a manager at a New Jersey restaurant with two kids in college.”
Salazar said the kindness of others helped him, like his father, achieve his goals. “Thank you very much to all of you who give to scholarships to help us move forward. When I’m successful, I’m going to help people move forward, too,” he said.
Ed Nasuti, of DuBois spoke from the donor’s perspective. Nasuti, together with his wife and his engineering firm, Lee Simpson Associates just established a scholarship fund at the campus.
Nasuti remembered how a scholarship gave him a chance to pursue an education, when he was first starting out. It’s an experience that inspired him to pass on such generosity through the generations.
“That scholarship changed my life and the life of my family. Without the scholarship, I couldn’t have started my career. Hopefully our scholarship will help someone in the same way,” Nasuti said.
In 2010-2011 nearly $300,000 in scholarships were awarded to 241 Penn State DuBois students.