Giving back is teen's hallmark
Emma Anselmo believes in being of service to those in need.
The Oakland Catholic High School senior participated in a mission trip to Guatemala last summer and co-founded a fundraiser, “Dancing with the Vikings,” to benefit a Guatemalan orphanage.
She tutors students, volunteers as an assistant coach at Little Dribblers basketball and works as a summer camp counselor at the Shadyside Boys & Girls Club.
“Many of the children come from difficult backgrounds and broken families, but the club became a place where they could come to feel safe and comfortable. I got satisfaction knowing I helped create an environment they could call home,” Anselmo, 17, of Shadyside, wrote in an essay about her volunteer experiences.
With that essay, Anselmo won a $5,000 college scholarship from Trib Total Media's Outstanding Young Citizen Program on Thursday during a banquet at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Monroeville.
“I always went there when I was little, so when I entered high school I felt like I should start giving back,” said Anselmo, clutching a large $5,000 promotional check. “I thought I had a shot (at winning), but I was surprised by the end of the night that I had beaten out all those other kids. I have to give credit to Oakland Catholic for teaching me how to write.”
About 200 people attended, including 50 high-achieving juniors and seniors who received certificates to honor them as Outstanding Young Citizens based on academic achievements, school activities, leadership roles and volunteerism.
Of those 50 students, the Top 10 were announced as gold medal winners.
In its 21st year, the Outstanding Young Citizen program recognizes 50 exceptional high school students from four regions. the banquet honored students from Pittsburgh's eastern neighborhoods and suburbs.
“It's important for the Trib to recognize these students because there are so many stories on television and in the newspaper about kids that have done things that we wish they hadn't. This is one opportunity that we have to recognize the hundreds and hundreds of kids who do so many things that really benefit the communities that they live in,” said Ralph J. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Trib Total Media.
The scholarship portion of the program awards a $5,000 scholarship to a senior in each of Pittsburgh's four regions.
In the east, 34 high school seniors submitted essays to compete for the scholarship and 172 juniors and seniors submitted biographies to be considered for the Outstanding Young Citizens award.
Anselmo is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, for which she plays the violin. She plans to attend Penn State University to study finance and Spanish.
The 10 gold medal winners, all seniors, are:
• McKenzie Gordon; Burrell High School; distinguished honor roll, varsity swim team and drama club president; plans to pursue a master's degree at Chatham University to become a physician assistant.
• Douglas Hough, West Shamokin Junior Senior High School; distinguished honor roll, varsity soccer captain and youth basketball coach; plans to study elementary education at Grove City College.
• Cody Kazousky, Kittanning Senior High School; National Honor Society, president of Kittanning Performing Arts Center and member of Armstrong County Water Rescue Task Force; plans to study nuclear medicine technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
• Mary Komandt, Franklin Regional Senior High School; National Honor Society, Student Council and Future Business Leaders of America secretary; plans to study pharmacy at Ohio Northern University.
• John Matthews, Franklin Regional Senior High School; National Honor Society, class president and Forbes Hospital emergency department volunteer; plans to double major in biological sciences and government.
• Rachel Pastor, Elizabeth Forward High School; National Honor Society, class of 2014 president and food bank collection volunteer; plans to study international business in college.
• Joseph Rogers, Central Catholic High School; National Honor Society, My Brother's Keeper student mentor and Eagle Scout; plans to study secondary English education at La Salle University.
• Shannon Stirling, Lenape Tech; National Honor Society, Student Government officer and SkillsUSA Operation Troop Appreciation area organizer; plans to study biochemistry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
• Jennifer Urban, South Allegheny High School; National Honor Society president, class president and Future Medical Careers Club vice president; plans to study environmental science and engineering at St. Vincent College.
• Hannah Winchell, Penn-Trafford High School; National Honor Society, Spanish Club president and Vacation Bible School teacher; plans to major in biology at Grove City College.
Tory N. Parrish and Bobby Kerlik are staff writers for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Forbes Avenue jeweler’s embedded sidewalk sign safely slides out to make way for Pittsburgh Playhouse project
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- Senior at Pittsburgh’s CAPA school focuses spotlight on homeless students
- Poor infrastructure may hinder aid efforts in Nepal after earthquake
- Allegheny County Council will have new look
- District 7 candidates for Pittsburgh council vow to protect poorer communities
- Newsmakers: Danielle and Patrik McKain
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh
- Trade Institute of Pittsburgh helps rebuild lives of ex-convicts
- Body found on North Side
- Healthy Ride, Pittsburgh’s bike share program, won’t require helmets