12 Students Receive DeBartolo Scholarships

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Twelve high school seniors who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, resilience in overcoming challenges and a personal commitment to their communities comprise the largest group of recipients in the 19-year history of the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

The 12 were selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants, said Denise DeBartolo York, who announced the awards Wednesday during a luncheon at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center Wednesday.

“They might not be the straight-A students, but they are the students that are the most caring and also have a lot of obstacles that they have overcome,” DeBartolo York said. “They seem to have this theme running through. They look around after they’ve conquered their obstacles and help other people.”

Alyssa Sterle, a graduating senior at Lordstown High School, said she would use the money to help with tuition at Ohio State University, where she plans to study microbiology.

“It’s such a blessing for me and my family. It’s incredible,” she says. “I have very high aspirations, and there are so many great things that are going to come from my future because of these wonderful people.”

Sterle related that her parents lacked the money to pay for her college expenses, so she applied for various scholarships. “I’m fourth in my class, and I strive for the best that I can be, and thanks to my family I’m able to do so.”

Courtney Sanlo, a senior at United Local High School, said she will use her award to help pay for books and offset tuition at Ashland University, which she plans to attend in the fall.

“I’m going for a double major in pre-med and dietetics,” she noted. “Since my freshman year in high school, I’ve lost 100 pounds and this drove me to the field of nutrition. I love everything about medicine.”

Family members in the medical field suggested that Sanlo consider Ashland because of its pre-med programs. Other students who received scholarships were:

  • Emily Bluedorn, Boardman High School, who plans to study pre-veterinary medicine at the University of Findlay or Lake Erie College.
  • Tristen Brink of Sebring McKinley High School, who plans to study political science at Florida Gulf Coast or Hodges University.
  • Alexandra Eisenhart, a senior at Beaver Local High School, who wants to pursue mechanical engineering at the University of Akron or Grove City College.
  • Charles Latronico Jr., at Hubbard High School, who plans to study engineering at Youngstown State University.
  • Mikayla List, from Maplewood High School, who plans to pursue studies in early childhood education at Kent State University.
  • Haley Mink, of Howland High School, who wants to study pharmacy at the Ohio State University or Ohio Northern University.
  • Maggie Monahan, from Cardinal Mooney High School, who plans to study dentistry at Penn State University or Notre Dame College.
  • Julie Phillis, who has plans to study computer science at either Kent or YSU after graduating from West Branch High School.
  • Sierra Schneggenburger, from Liberty High School, who said she plans to study English at either YSU or Eastern Gateway Community College next fall.
  • Ashley Stasik of Boardman High School, and the recipient of the Donald P. Pipino Memorial Award, who plans to study art education and art therapy at Kent, YSU, or Bowling Green State University.

DeBartolo York praised all of the students not just for their hard work and dedication to academics, but for their persistence in giving back to the community as well. “Your character, hard work and determination have paid off,” she said. “You’re good scholars. You work hard. But you’re really good human beings. And that means a lot to all of us.”

Dr. John York told the recipients and their families that the transition to college opens doors to opportunities that many never dreamed existed.

“In high school, the number of things you see out there are somewhat limited,” York said. “There are unbelievable jobs that you have never thought about that many of you will fall into.”

York used his own experience as someone who became a physician but today is part owner of a National Football League franchise, the San Francisco 49ers, and doing things that he never envisioned.

“Always keep your mind open,” he advised. “There are going to be many, many opportunities that you never considered before, and those opportunities will all open up for you with your education.”

The DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation distributed $108,000 among the students, the largest disbursement in the history of the foundation, noted the emcee, Bob Hannon, who is president of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

Hannon said the scholarship foundation — established in honor of DeBartolo York’s father, Edward J. DeBartolo, and his close friend Donald Pipino – has awarded more than $750,000 over the last 19 years.

“His legacy is still felt years after his passing and will be for generations. Mr. DeBartolo loved the Mahoning Valley, loved Youngstown,” Hannon said. “That’s what Denise and John want to do as well.”

DeBartolo York said that she and her husband are honored to carry on this legacy.

“I’m very proud,” she said. “I’m proud that I had two parents who gave me the resources to be able to do this. Every year I think it’s a tribute to them.”

Pictured: Steve, Tracey and Courtney Sanlo.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.