McCandless Democratic Committee Scholarship Awardees

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.

Peggy Malloy Amatangelo, Chair
McCandless Democratic Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee
Peggy Amatangelo, Chairperson
Joyceann Ditka
Jennifer Rapach

Melody Hannegan 

2019 Awardees - Kacey Yip, Nina Ruffolo and Roshie Xing - Click on the picture for more pictures!
2019 Awardees - Kacey Yip, Nina Ruffolo and Roshie Xing - Click on the picture for more pictures!


In Memory of Laura Ditka, former Committee Member

Peggy and Vince Amatangelo

Gina Anetakis

Joyceann Ditka

Reverend Don Green

Jack Goodrich

Melody Hannegan

Shirley Novak

Mike and Mimi Pasternak

Jennifer Rapach

Mark and Joann Wainwright

Other Donors

Paul Heckman & Marcia Caliendo

Irene Caliendo

Steven B. Larchuk

Rita Martin

David Raitt

Pavara Ranatunga

Debbie Sagan

Bill Tjader

Joy Maxberry Woodruff

Recent Awardees

2018 -Two outstanding recipients this year - Jordan Farrell and Matt Como


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.

2017 - Julia C. M. Maruca

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.