DeBartolo Foundation Awards $170,000 in Scholarships

POLAND, Ohio – They are the 25th class of the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation recipients, 17 commendable high school seniors who have worked and studied hard to secure their futures.

The students will each receive a $10,000 scholarship — bringing to $1.6 million the total awarded to worthy students over the last 25 years in memory of Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. and the value he placed on education.

The scholarships were presented Friday by Denise DeBartolo York and John York during a luncheon at The Lake Club attended by the students and their families.

“It’s a joy to be here and sponsor these scholarships each year in memory of my dad,” DeBartolo York said.

“My father, my mother, my family – we were people who loved Youngstown, who loved the inner city and tried to make a difference,” she said. “I honor his memory. I honor her memory … and I know that each of you will try to make a difference … because have a heart, you care about other people.”

In awarding the scholarships – there were more than 375 applications — community involvement is evaluated along with academic achievement and financial need. Many of the recipients overcame hardships, drawing strength and inspiration from those who helped them persevere.

“I’ve gone through a lot, so this really means a lot to me, and I’m very grateful for everything in my life,” said Sara Cornelius from Austintown Fitch High School.

With the grants and scholarships she has earned, Cornelius says she will be able to pay her way through graduation from Youngstown State University, where she plans to study early childhood education. Last week she was awarded the Wolves Club scholarship, where she met YSU President Jim Tressel. Next week she’s scheduled to meet with Tressel, who offered her the possibility of free housing.

Jazzlyn Flores, a senior at Campbell Memorial High School, plans to study social work at Youngstown State University. Her career inspiration came last year when she lost her mother to cancer. She says social workers at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital offered her and her family kindness and assistance that helped them endure.

“It was rough,” Flores says. “For a while I didn’t know if I would even go to school. But after I met the social workers, and saw way they helped not only my mom but my family as well, it really inspired me to hopefully one day be able to help another family the way that my family was helped.”

Jazzlyn Flores stands with her brother, Joel, and her father, Moses.

On Thursday night, Flores was one of two recipients of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield scholarships presented at the Athena Award ceremony. She, too, has earned enough grants and scholarships to pay for a full ride at YSU.

Other recipients and their schools are:

  • Cassidy Claypoole, Austintown;
  • Monica Cobbin, Columbiana;
  • Ryssa Coudriet, Niles McKinley;
  • Jenna Croy, Youngstown Rayen Early College;
  • Aiden Exline, Girard;
  • Lauren Haynie, Champion;
  • Catie Herberger, Hubbard;
  • Samantha Joki, Austintown;
  • Emily McKarns, United Local;
  • Ashely Nicholas, Champion;
  • Quentin Pew, South Range;
  • Cadence Pounds Austintown;
  • Evan Sahli, Austintown;
  • Brynna Schobel, Boardman;
  • Peyton Shorthouse,, Struthers.

All 17 DeBartolo Scholarship recipients were recognized individually by John York then stood with his wife for the presentation of memorial plaques and photographs.

“Have a great college life and be sure to let us know how you are progressing,” he told the group. “We always want to hear from you.”

Pictured at top: Denise and John York with scholarship recipient Sara Cornelius.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.