Shaler teens earn Seton Hill University scholarships
When Shaler Area High School seniors Clint McElheny and Brandon McNeill were called out of class earlier this month, neither had any idea the result would decide their future.
McElheny and McNeill walked into a classroom filled with high school administrators, their families and Jon Gibson, admissions counselor at Seton Hill University, who named them Seton Scholars and presented them with large commemorative checks symbolic of the awarded scholarship that will cover their full tuition for four years at Seton Hill.
Seton Scholars are awarded to incoming freshmen who excel academically and submit a letter of recommendation and essay on why they will succeed at the school. McElheny and McNeill are two of 12 scholarship recipients named each year, two in each of the university's academic divisions, based on the students' selected majors.
This is the first year since the Seton Scholars program started that more than one Seton Scholar was named from the same high school, according to Gibson.
McElheny, 17, is an honors student and a defender on the Shaler Area Titan soccer team.
Seton Hill was the first college he visited during his junior year of high school, but it wasn't until January that he started to look at it closely after staying with the university soccer team on campus.
McElheny had been accepted to the honors college and applied for the Seton Scholars program but hadn't given it a second thought until he saw the check presented to him for more than $116,000.
“I was really shocked,” McElheny said about the scholarship award. “I didn't expect to get it because I'm not the best writer.”
“It's an honor. I never expected it to be me, but I'm glad it is.”
The week turned out to be a defining turn of events that solidified McElheny's plans for the next four years. Just days before receiving the scholarship check, McElheny officially signed with the Seton Hill Griffins soccer team.
“It's been an exciting week,” he said.
McElheny plans to study criminal justice with the hopes of pursuing a career in homeland security, a police K9 unit or narcotics investigation following graduation.
McNeill, 18, had all but resigned himself to the fact that he wasn't accepted to the Seton Scholars program after not hearing from the university by the end-of-February deadline until he walked in to the room full of family, high school administrators and the Seton Hill admissions counselor holding a check with his name on it.
“I was pretty shocked,” McNeill said. “It took a little to sink in.”
The AP student carries a cumulative grade-point average of more than 4.0 and plays on the Titan boys tennis team. McNeill plans to study history and might pursue a teaching position or law school after graduation and said the Seton Scholar program will help him achieve his goals.
“It's definitely an honor and a blessing, and I feel extremely lucky,” McNeill said of the scholarship. “I feel I put in a lot of hard work these last 12 years, and I feel it has paid off. I hope to continue to work hard in college and in the rest I do.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gateway edges Knoch after deflected pass goes for TD
- West Greene outlasts Serra Catholic in 4 overtimes
- Clairton allows 2 scores but still sprints past Springdale
- No. 5 Highlands uses turnovers to beat No. 7 Kittanning
- Martin’s homer rescues Pirates in 4-2 victory over Brewers
- Late FG again wins it for Valley
- No. 8 Greensburg Central Catholic outlasts Riverview
- Ringgold rolls over West Mifflin
- BVA falls to Hollidaysburg in OT
- City’s plan for Strip flummoxes vendors
- Freeport holds on for 28-26 victory over West Shamokin