The McCandless Democratic Committee awarded two $1,000 scholarships to civic-minded North Allegheny Seniors and a $500.00 Honorarium, to students planning to further their education in the fall. Scholarships recognize students who have excelled academically, are engaged in the community, and exemplify the values that we as Democrats hold dear.
Madi Eschenbach will attend the University of Akron to study Political Science and Psychology at William’s Honors College. During high school, she has been a leader of Project Water, regularly volunteers in the community, and is very passionate about disability justice. She connected with Progress PA last summer and began helping with social media whenever she can and hopes to do more work in local politics this summer before moving to school. Madi hopes to help make the world better for disabled people like her. She is very thankful that the committee selected her as one of the 2023 scholarship recipients.
Benjamin Quint will study Global Development at Cornell University in the fall, following a full-time research fellowship with the USDA. He has a deep interest in diplomacy, education, and public policy, which he explored through three years of involvement with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Politically, Ben has volunteered for Emily Skopov’s campaign for PA House and spoke at school board meetings to preserve the strength of North Allegheny’s libraries. Ben is very grateful for the committee’s generosity and is proud to be a first-time voter this May.
Sierra O'Neil is starting at the University of Pittsburgh this fall and will be studying Digital Narrative and Interactive Design. During her nearly 13 years at North Allegheny, O'Neil has participated in a range of clubs and volunteer activities that have changed her life. In her senior year, she began writing for her school's newspaper—The Uproar. She has written 19 articles and won a Best of Show for her opinion piece regarding reselling of thrifted items. O'Neil is also an active member of the Interact Club and received distinguished membership this year. Last summer, O'Neil worked on a grassroots camp for a city council candidate located in Maryland, and she was a part of the Social Media department. In addition, O'Neil was a Grandview mentor. She worked with the Grandview students at the Pittsburgh Public School on math and reading and was able to take them to the Carnegie Science Center. She would like to thank the committee for granting her this honorarium to help her continue her education.
The Scholarship Committee
Peggy Amatangelo, Chairperson
Quinn Volpe is headed to American University in the fall to study audio production and journalism.
Coleman Walsh is a North Allegheny student graduating in the class of 2022, after which he will study Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware.
Claire Majerac - Honorarium Claire will be a freshman at Case Western reserve university in the fall.
Campbell Schweninger received a $1,000.00 (One Thousand Dollar) Scholarship and she will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
Ashna Patel received a $1,000.00 (One Thousand Dollar) Scholarship and she has chosen the University of Pennsylvania for her future matriculation.
This year marked a first for the Committee Judges, as they conducted all candidate interviews via Zoom due to the Stay Home orders. In addition to sharing their perspective on their goals, and civic engagement, the students also shared with the Committee Judges how they are managing isolation from friends, teachers and school during their senior year. As seniors around the country grapple with the loss of key milestones such as prom, and traditional graduation ceremonies, these scholarships offer some encouragement to the recipients.
We are pleased to announce that Kendel Barber is the recipient of the 2020 McCandless Democratic Committee Scholarship. In the fall, Kendel will be attending Georgetown University studying in the School of Foreign Service. Her essay deals with improving economic mobility and the barriers to economic equality in the U.S. At North Allegheny, Kendel is a member of National Honor Society, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the NASH Uproar, a member of DECA and Key Club. Outside of school, she has volunteered with Animal Friends and Olive Branch Non-Profit Organization. Kendel is the daughter of Mick and Shelly Barber.
We are also pleased to announce that Vincent Raitt is the recipient of one of the 2020 McCandless Democratic Committee Scholarship. Although Vincent hasn’t determined where he will be going to college, he will be studying economics and political science. His essay was on addressing systemic racism and economic inequality in America. Vincent has completed all of the requirements for Eagle Scout, pending his board of review. He has been a member of North Allegheny’s forensics team for four years, and was in NASH’s productions of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Titanic. Vincent is the son of David Raitt and Valerie Tardif.
The McCandless Democratic Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 awards of $1,000.00 scholarships to Nina Ruffolo and Roshie Xing and a $500.00 Honorarium to Kacey Yip. The awards were presented Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Town Hall.
Nina Ruffolo will attend NYU Shanghai in the fall to study International Relations. Her essay discussed the importance of a continued fight for civil rights and actual equality. During the 2018 elections, Nina had a fellowship with the Conor Lamb Campaign for Reelection before working for Emily Skopov. Within school, Nina co-leads Save the Children Action Network, a club that works to provide all children with a quality early childhood education. She also is a co-leader to Kids of America, a group that works to create peaceful and educational dialogue on current events. Outside of school, Nina is on the Leadership Committee for GirGov. There, she leads the Racial Justice Committee in the fight for improved police and community relations. Nina is the daughter of Cris and Tony Ruffolo of McCandless.
Roshie Xing will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to study Mathematical Economics. Her essay discussed voter disenfranchisement and the importance of voting rights access in the United States to fulfill America's promise as a representative democracy. In the fall of 2018, Roshie worked with Emily Skopov's PA House campaign on data and opposition research, which was a valuable experience behind the scenes of a political campaign. At North Allegheny, she is president of the school's Model United Nations team, a past captain and current coach for the NA Euro Challenge team, and a student ambassador for Save the Children Action Network. In her free time, she has done community service work through National Honor Society with World Vision and Vincentian Home, plays flute for the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra, and writes a politics/current events column for the NASH Uproar. Roshie is the daughter of Ruiling Zhang and Jianhua Xing.
Kacey Yip will be attending Washington University in St. Louis to pursue her interest in Psychological and Brain Sciences with a minor in Speech and Hearing as a pre-physical therapy student. Her essay highlighted the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how integral providing accommodations and ensuring clear communication are to establishing equality and a barrier-free world. Over the past four years, Kacey has been actively involved in the American Sign Language club, National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America, and service-based clubs including Interact Rotary and Key Club. Outside of North Allegheny, she has advocated for Save the Children Action Network and created the Emergency Medical Sign Language booklet to help bridge the communication gap between Deaf patients and hearing healthcare professionals. Kacey also volunteers at the Woodlands, Riding for the Handicapped of Western PA, UPMC Passavant, ALIVE Ministry, Animal Friends, and World Vision.
We are pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2018 McCandless Democratic Committee Scholarship, Jordan Farrell and Matt Como. The two will receive their awards at a Scholarship Presentation at McCandless Town Hall on Wednesday, June 6.
Jordan will be attending The Catholic University of America located in Washington DC in the fall to study political science. Her essay discussed the importance of dialogue between differing political opinions in the US, and explored the value of youth involvement in our politics. Jordan is currently working with Congressman Conor Lamb’s Congressional Campaign, and has volunteered with several other organizations, including The First Tee of Pittsburgh, UPMC Passavant Hospital, and Soles4Souls. This past year, Jordan was the captain of the North Allegheny Girls Golf team, who went on to be Pennsylvania State Champions. She will be continuing her golf career in college next year. Jordan is the daughter of Richard and Kathleen Farrell.
Matt Como will be attending Penn State University in the fall to study engineering. His essay was about the importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, and why it is a valuable opportunity for qualified immigrants to benefit from educational opportunities and contribute to our economy. At North Allegheny, Matt is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and has been playing football for NA since 6th grade. He is a committed volunteer who has done community service work with the North Hills Community Outreach, Animal Friends, and the Woodlands Foundation. Matt is the son of John and Anita Como of McCandless.
We are pleased to announce that Julia C. M. Maruca is the recipient of the 2017 McCandless Democratic Committee Scholarship. She is an aspiring journalist who will be attending Boston University Kilachand Honors College in the fall. Her essay deals with the importance of speaking on environmental issues and climate change, what we stand to lose from pollution and environmental damage, and the cooperation and teamwork it will take to make a difference. As a writer, she hopes to use her skills to spread awareness and facts about climate change. This year Julia is the Co-Editor in Chief of the North Allegheny North Star Magazine. She is looking forward to improving and building upon her strengths as a writer and environmental advocate. Julia is a committed volunteer with the NASH Key Club, the National Honors Society, the Marshall Elementary School Newspaper Club, and the Carnegie Library Hill District Reading Buddies program. She is also a musician in the North Allegheny Tiger Marching Band, Honors Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Bands. Julia is the daughter of William H. Maruca and Susan M. Morris of McCandless.
Mike and Mimi Pasternak
Nora & Arnie Peace
Peggy and Vince Amatangelo
Reverend Don Green
Allyson M. Minton
Danny Thomas, Jr.
Deb Eisenberg & Ray Linsenmayer
Elect Emily 4 PA
Elizabeth R. Coyne
Friends of Chelsa Wagner
Glenn & Ramona Nelson
Joseph L. Farrell
Linda K. Myers
Marcia Caliendo and Paul Heckman
Mary Ann Love
Nancy & Charlie Deible
Steven B. Larchuk
Thomas F. Allen