Crafton Hills College honors scholarship recipients

Anthony Abate, (far right) winner of the Betty Jo Wood Memorial scholarship, meets Wood’s family, Harvey Ricketts and Wendy Michnowicz.

During a moving ceremony on Aug. 29, recipients and donors of Crafton Hills College scholarships met at the annual CHC Foundation reception at Crafton Hall. CHC President Kevin Horan welcomed attendees to the event.

Scholarship Chair Donna Ferracone said the CHC Foundation gave $126,950 to 130 deserving students during the 2019-20 academic school year. The recipient reflection was given by Hanh Tran, who earned the Beaver Medical Clinic Foundation Scholarship.

Tran shared her emotional journey with attendees.

“I want to thank all the donors here in this room,” she said. “Us recipients would not be here if it wasn’t for you.”

Tran said she was a first generation Vietnamese student and shared her journey from Hong Kong to the United States. She said what got her through was “the hope that somebody believes in you.” Her mother and her “rock” was diagnosed with stage four cancer and passed away during Tran’s finals week at CHC. Still, she didn’t give up and graduated with honors.

“I was so blessed with the scholarship,” said Tran, who received standing applause from guests in the room.

Anthony Abate won the college’s most recent new scholarship, the Betty Jo Wood Memorial. Abate also earned the Presidents Award Scholarship in May.

“It is humbling and also validating (to receive the scholarship),” said Abate. “For myself and many others, beginning college was overwhelming and accompanied with self doubt and insecurities. Being blessed with such recognition is much more then just a check, it’s validation that others appreciate and believe in the goals we have to better ourselves and the world around us. I had a 10th grade education when I started at Crafton and it was the amazing faculty, staff, and students who really gave me the tools to break down the obstacles in my way and do as much as I could to be involved.”

Guests enjoyed a  recipient performance by Cody Cunningham, who performed a jazz number with Adam McBride and Jacob McBride. Donors were encouraged to mingle and enjoy snacks provided by CHC Foundation.

“This gave me an opportunity to say thank you in addition to hearing more about the incredible woman Betty Jo was,” said Abate. “The stories I have heard about her have inspired me and the impact she managed to have on so many is something I hope to one day have. For me, these scholarships aren’t a gift, but a loan, and I plan on reinvesting in the school and other students futures to the furthest extent I can.”

For more information about the Crafton Hills College Foundation, establishing a scholarship, or supplementing existing scholarships, contact Michelle Riggs, director of institutional advancement at 389-3391.

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