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Antoinette Casino Petrella Memorial Scholarship

2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Dec 18, 2021
Winners Announced
Jan 18, 2022
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Must be a high school senior
Must be a first-generation student
Must be from Pennsylvania

Antoinette Casino Petrella believed that post-secondary study is the great equalizer for individuals of diverse backgrounds. To her, dreams could be realized from a quality education that provided students both a degree and the skills and knowledge to compete in an increasingly global environment. Antoinette also recognized that such a pathway was challenging and was steadfast in offering encouragement to those willing to embark and persevere on such a worthwhile journey.

This scholarship seeks to honor Antoinette's legacy by encouraging two high school seniors from Pennsylvania who desire to fulfill their dreams by pursuing advanced study. Because Antoinette was consistently aware of those who may have been reluctant to navigate a future carved from the advantages that a post-secondary degree can provide, the scholarships are dedicated to first-generation college students.

Therefore, any high school senior from Pennsylvania who will be a first-generation college student is eligible to apply for either of the two scholarships being offered to honor Antoinette Casino Petrella's legacy.

To apply for one of the scholarships, please respond to the following prompt (300 words or less). Individuals react differently when faced with adversity. How do you overcome adversity and ensure the best possible outcome when faced with a challenging situation?

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 18, 2021
Essay Topic

Individuals react differently when faced with adversity. How do you overcome adversity and ensure the best possible outcome when faced with a challenging situation?

250–350 words

Winning Applications

Matthew Hall
Saint Francis UniversityNew Enterprise, PA
Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you.” This has been the reality of my life. I was born a premature twin at thirty-three weeks. Up to this point, I have had sixteen surgeries and multiple hospital stays. Some of these surgeries included a bowel obstruction, finger Z-plasty, and insertion of a G-tube. A few reasons for non-surgical hospital stays included a chiari malformation and acute pancreatitis. This condensed list doesn’t even touch on my extensive dental issues or travelling 2.5 hours for doctor's appointments throughout the year. These issues have caused me to not be able to do certain things. However, these restrictions have made me into the person I am today. As a senior in high school, I participate in band, chorus, National Honor Society, golf, Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, Boy Scouts, and keep stats for the girls’ basketball and baseball team. Joining these organizations has been the result of my issues. I keep stats and golf because I have a difficult time competing athletically. I’m in band to be in the football season. Some of my school organizations have been affected by my medical history as well. I can’t give blood for Student Council and can’t participate in certain activities in Boy Scouts. Despite what might seem like restrictions, I’ve overcome them and not let them define who I am as a person. These obstacles have taught me a lot about perseverance, resilience, and faith. I was told that I wouldn't live a normal life. However, my life is a testament to God watching over me. God had a plan for me here. As of right now, His plan for me looks to be headed in the Sports Management realm. Although I can’t play sports, God gave me a passion for them. With this passion, I realized I can pursue it with this field and major. A quote from an unknown author perfectly sums this up: “God’s plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful, and hard. But don’t forget that when God is silent, He’s doing something for you.”
Maggie Hughes
Delone Catholic High SchoolNew Oxford, PA
I overcome adversity and ensure the best possible outcome when faced with a challenging situation by remaining positive and keeping a positive mindset. Life is full of challenges. Many times I find myself wanting to give up, but then I remind myself how capable I am of overcoming any obstacle thrown my way. As long as I try my best, that is all I can ask of myself. As someone who struggles with anxiety, my mind is constantly telling me to panic or worry once faced with hardship. I am thankful to have a very reliable support system in my life that has helped me overcome this mental block. I have now realized that whatever I am worried about has not even happened yet, and that worrying will not change the outcome of an event. I still have yet to master this concept, but I am very proud of how far I have come in overcoming this obstacle. How someone responds to adversity says a lot about their character. Do they remain positive when faced with adversity or do they resort to fear and despair instead? Especially through playing sports, I have noticed that the people who remain together and mentally strong are almost always capable of getting through any difficult situation, and people who start to collapse and lose hope are almost always incapable of overcoming adversity. I always strive to be the person who keeps composure and never loses faith. It is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is always rewarding in the end.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Dec 18, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jan 18, 2022.

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