Scholars’ Success Stories

Allex Granger, who was the recipient of the John J. Murphy Family and Pat McGee Nursing scholarships, was the student speaker at the Friends of the Foundation luncheon in 2011. Her words and poise made such an impact on the audience then and we had a feeling Allex was going to be successful. Checking back in with her this summer we learned our instincts were correct! Allex is just one reason (and there are many more equally talented students in our scholarship listing) that scholarships are so important – they are investments not only in an individual, but in the promise and future contributions that individual represents to our society. — Karen Niemic Buchheit, CRCF executive director

Receiving scholarships [the John J. Murphy Scholarship & the Pat McGee Nursing Scholarship] from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation has been such a blessing. As a student funding most of my college education, a great weight was lifted off my shoulders when I received the award. Instead of having to balance work and school to fund my education, I am able to focus entirely on my demanding nursing curriculum. Allex Granger 1

I have maintained a 4.0 GPA and was recently inducted into the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau International. I have been a part of Edinboro University’s Student Nurses Organization since I was a freshman, starting out as a member and working up to President. I have also been a member of the Circle K Club and have been involved in many on- and off-campus community service projects.

Currently, I am a student nurse intern at UPMC Hamot in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My goal after graduation is to work at Duke University Hospital as a registered nurse to gain experience before returning to graduate school.

I cannot thank the Community Foundation and the donors enough for this wonderful gift. Your contributions, coupled with my early desire, has exploded into a passion for caring for others. Your donations will exponentially grow as I touch patients’ lives and contribute to the well-being of healthcare.

— Allex N. Granger

James Andrew Scanlan of Bradford Area High School received the 2013 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship. He spoke on behalf of the scholarship students at the 2013 Friends of the Foundation Luncheon.

Many of the scholarship recipients, including myself, have given of ourselves and our time through community service, so we understand simply that “giving feels good.”  But I believe in the case of scholarships especially, there’s even greater cause for happiness in giving.

-Andrew Scanlan, John J. Murphy Family Scholarship recipient, delivers remarks on behalf of the scholarship students.

– Andrew Scanlan, John J. Murphy Family Scholarship recipient, delivers remarks on behalf of the scholarship students.

For some recipients, the scholarship award makes the difference between going to college or not.  In this situation, the good that’s cause for happiness is evident.

For others of us, we would still go to college, but the scholarship significantly eases the burden.  What this means is that we can spend less of the summer cutting grass, and less of the semester washing meals trays, and instead, we can spend more time expanding our educations by going to a guest lecture, or sitting and reading; it frees up time for us to volunteer at the school or its community; it makes taking an academic trip abroad to explore a new part of the world far more possible.  Through the scholarships, you enable us to learn, to serve, and to explore more than we could otherwise.

And even after we graduate – which seems like eons away now, but I’ve been told it’ll come quickly – the scholarships will still have an effect that should be cause for happiness.  When we graduate and go off or come back, we will be joining the community as teachers, nurses, businesspeople, engineers and others who will be making impactful contributions to our community through our professions.Personally, I hope to apply an education in engineering and entrepreneurship to developing living wage jobs in some community that’s typically overlooked.

Outside of our professions, we’ll take time to volunteer in community organizations, acting on those values that were affirmed by the scholarships years prior.And later on, if and when we’re in the position, we’ll remember the worth of the scholarships gifted to us by the generation before, and recognize the importance in our own lives of the community values – achievement, character, service -, and we’ll take the initiative to give, and turn that cycle of happiness anew.

Being rewarded for achievement and character; going to college; being given the opportunity to learn, serve, and explore; going out then and contributing, and giving back, and knowing we’re making an impact – that’s happiness.

And realizing you helped make all of that possible – that’s happiness, too.

Thank you all for your time, and, on behalf of all of the recipients, a heartfelt thank you to the donors and the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

— James “Andrew” Scanlan

Martha Ruether of Allegany-Limestone High School received the 2012 Jonathan Teuscher Scholarship and spoke at the Friends of the Foundation Luncheon on behalf of scholarship recipients. Martha swims competitively and holds several records. She recently competed at the 2013 Paralympic  Spring CanAm, taking home first and second place finishes.

I was born 16 weeks premature and as a result I am legally blind. When starting school, being a five year old you don’t Martha Ruetherreally think that there will be problems that the other kids wouldn’t face also. As I grew older I realized that I faced challenges that the other kids didn’t. It took me longer to complete assignments, I couldn’t read the board without assistance or special glasses, and kids … didn’t understand why I was different so I didn’t have many friends. As my schooling progressed to high school I had gained independence and a small circle of friends. I found swimming in first grade. When you get into the pool and swim a race, it doesn’t matter if you’re sighted, deaf, an amputee or have nothing physically wrong with you at all. Your goal is to get from point A to point B as fast as you can and if you beat the person next to you that’s just an added bonus.

I know that while attending college I will face a whole new set of challenges, but I know that I’m not alone in that, all the freshmen will be as unsure and confused as I am. With every step in life comes a new set of challenges we all have to face. I am honored to be receiving a scholarship that awards funding consecutively throughout my first four years. I value my opportunity to obtain a college education and plan to get my doctorate in Psychology and open my own practice. I would once again like to thank everyone involved with these scholarships and congratulate the other winners on their accomplishments. Thank you.

— Martha Ruether

Read more about Martha’s swimming successes

Melinda Drabant of Hinsdale received the Burt and Hinsdale Alumni Association Memorial Awards in 2012. Melinda was a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Student Council and her Varsity Volleyball team’s captain.

Thanks to your generous support, I am the first in my family to attend college.Melinda Drabant

My plans are to major in psychology and minor in biology. Niagara University offers one of the finest psychology programs in the state, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to attend. I plan to pursue a career in neuroscience upon graduating and one day hope to become a neuropsychologist, studying human behavior and working in clinical forensic settings treating patients with neuropsychological problems.

By awarding me these scholarships you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning. I appreciate your confidence in me and willingness to contribute to my future education. Thank you for investing in my future.

— Melinda Drabant