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Local scholars excel in the classroom

The Northeast Times would like to congratulate the following college graduates, students who were named to their school’s dean’s list, and area residents who recently received special honors.

Widener University,, in partnership with WCAU-TV NBC10, recognized the winners of the 2018 Widener University High School Leadership Awards. In its seventh year, the program is recognizing 175 students from high schools throughout the region for their abilities to stand up for what is right, address a wrong and make a difference in their communities or schools.

The recipients include: Jordyn Colville, who attends Franklin Towne Charter High School and tutors students at school, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House and helps with local park clean-up initiatives; Yuliana Rengifo, who attends Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School and has worked as a peer mediator to assist when her peers are having problems and helped to encourage a positive school atmosphere; Jada Rivera, who attends Little Flower and is an officer of her school’s community service organization, “Las Flores,” and has a willingness to learn, listen and lead; Meaghan Gould, who attends Nazareth Academy High School and is active in Nazathon, her school’s large fundraising dance-a-thon to raise money for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Precious Nwankwo, who attends New Foundations Charter High School and leads his peers in projects and causes; Pranav Chivukula, who attends Pennsbury and created an app as part of his Eagle Scout project to help alleviate hunger by connecting restaurants with charities and food pantries, allowing them to offer their excess food; Taylor Teal, who attends Philadelphia Academy Charter High School and is a leader on and off the soccer field and tremendously dedicated to her academics; Mikhala Frankunas, who attends Saint Basil Academy and serves as an example to her classmates for her drive, love of learning and unending optimism; and Julia Welsh, who attends The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush and is serving as the class president for three years and who helped organize a fundraiser for Puerto Rico.

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Winners were invited to a celebratory breakfast at the National Constitution Center on March 13 and will attend a leadership conference at Widener in the fall. They will receive a scholarship of $20,000 over four years, should they enroll at Widener University for undergraduate studies.


Scott Cressman is a member of Marietta College’s men’s rowing program. Cressman, a graduate of Father Judge High School, is scheduled to graduate in 2020. Marietta, in Ohio, started men’s rowing in 1871 and is considered one of the nation’s best small-school programs.


Gabriella Zornek was one of nearly 60 Widener University students who took part in the national Alternative Spring Break program. Zornek traveled to Durham, North Carolina for a Habitat for Humanity project.


Julie Krecko, a master of occupational therapy student, was one of 59 occupational therapy students at University of the Sciences who took part in the 14th annual OT pinning ceremony. The master’s students will soon be going out into clinics, schools, community centers, hospitals, and homes to practice under skilled therapists in order to perfect their skills as entry-level occupational therapists or to conduct research for their capstone projects. The doctoral students will be working on their research for their capstones and will be completing their clinical rotations in a year.


Kirsten Banach, of Bustleton, was among 30 University of Scranton students inducted into Chi Delta Rho, the university’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for counseling. The international honor society was established in 1985 to recognize outstanding achievement and service within the profession of counseling. Banach is a graduate student at Scranton.


Seton Hall University announced that Gabriella Bryce and Sarah Thermilus qualified for the dean’s list.

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