Students encouraged to participate in community service during their high school years can look to two recent North Hills’ high school graduates for inspiration. Norah Carter of Pine-Richland High School and Christian Cropper from Eden Christian Academy have both been awarded scholarships from Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation.
This year, Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation’s 2022 Community Service Scholarship awarded $15,000 in scholarship funds. The organization received 118 scholarship applications from students across 19 counties in Pennsylvania. One $10,000 recipient and two $2,500 recipients were recognized for their outstanding commitment to community service. Two of the students are from the North Hills region while the other is from Mount Pleasant.
Since its founding in 1895, the mission of Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services (PMHFOS) is to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism and behavioral health needs to live successfully in their communities. This has led to an innovative service organization that consistently exceeds the expectations of individuals, families and the community.
The Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation Community Service Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Jamie Ellenberger, an individual served by PMHFOS who was an active member in the community. PMHF aims to award this scholarship to area students who demonstrate an understanding of the value of community service.
One of this year’s recipients, Norah Carter of Pine-Richland High School, was presented with a $10,000 check to be applied to her college tuition. Carter had the opportunity to visit the PMHFOS corporate office in Warrendale, PA and convey to the PMHFOS executive management team her passion for serving others and her commitment to pursuing a career where she can influence change in order to facilitate opportunities for individuals with disabilities. She will be attending Denison University, in Granville, OH, in the fall, where she will be double majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Global Health.
Carter’s extensive community service record includes serving as the community service chair for a local organization where she led initiatives to support Operation Christmas Child, collected over 800 canned goods and more than 150 coats for local charities, and raised over $5,000 for Riding for the Handicapped of Western PA.
Using her ability to make a difference in the community by using her passion for mental health awareness to help other youth cope during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carter developed and facilitated five educational workshops for tweens and teens that focused on resilience, healthy behaviors, and adaptive coping using the 4-H Thoughts Matter and Health Rocks curriculums. As a result of the program, the youth participants articulated that they felt stronger, more confident, and in better control of their lives. Carter’s hope is that they take these skills back to their own communities where they can impact their peers.
Christian Cropper received one of the two $2,500 scholarships and will be attending Hope College this fall. “I am grateful to be a recipient of the Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation Scholarship,” he said. “Learning more about their program has helped me become more aware of those around me and the unique gifts that we each have.”
Cropper’s impressive list of community service includes working with Light of Life Rescue Mission to make and help deliver blankets to the homeless. He also worked with the Syrian Refugee Service delivering food and household items to refugees, organized and delivered meals through City View Church Meal Delivery, and prepared and served meals through the Orchard Hill Church Women’s Ministry.
Cropper also developed a program working with kids from Urban Impact through the Eden High School Development Program. In conjunction with his parents, Cropper helped develop Avonworth Young Life—a Christian-based program for the Avonworth School District.
“This scholarship provides an opportunity to recognize and support those serving others directly in our communities. The recipients identified this year, including Norah and Christian, actively contribute to and serve their communities,” said Michelle Capobianco, fund development director for Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation.
“We are privileged to invest in their educations so that they can further develop their skills and knowledge and continue serving their communities in even more profound ways,” she added. “The community service demonstrated by the scholarship recipients is deserving of recognition, and we are excited to support them in their educational efforts.“
Congratulations to these impressive graduates!