Classroom all-stars

Personifying the values of Little League, 10 seniors from Lycoming County schools were recognized for their hard work in and outside the classroom recently with the Stotz Scholarship.

“We’re honoring some very special young people,” said Stephen D. Keener, CEO and president of Little League Baseball and Softball, at the annual scholarship luncheon.

Previously offering two scholarships – a top male and female recipient – the scholarship program has grown to allow 10 scholarships to be given to students. The biggest scholarships, $2,000 each, were given to Hannah Merrifield, a Hughesville High School senior, and Daniel Ma, a Williamsport Area High School senior. The remaining eight students received scholarships of $500 each.

“I’m so honored to be here and I’m so honored to receive this award,” Merrifield said upon receiving the scholarship.

Ma added that he was humbled and shocked by the announcement of his scholarship.

“To get here, the community and the school, and the people around me, my teachers and friends have been very supportive of me,” he said.

The scholarships will go towards the students as they take the next step into higher education.

Merrifield will attend Gannon University and Ma will be heading to Princeton University.

Keener reported that there are about 60 to 70 applicants each year for the scholarships, which are chosen by a selection board.

Seniors must be in the top 25 percent of their class to apply for the scholarships. The scholarship program was created to honor Carl E. Stotz, founder of Little League, and the values he stood for.

Students also were judged on an essay, which was done by censoring names to ensure there was no bias.

Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, chairwoman of Little League International Board of Directors, said although graduating seniors always receive great amounts of advice, she also would offer some.

“It’s very important you stay true to yourself and what you believe,” she said.

Using Walt Disney’s quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Gilmour also noted that students are now given an opportunity to create their dreams.

The Stotz Scholarship has awarded 152 graduating seniors with more than $124,000 in scholarships.

Along with Merrifield and Ma, the scholarships winners are: Kyle Bomboy, Hughesville High School; Rebekah Fries, South Williamsport High School; Charity Good, Muncy High School; Ryan Orgitano, South Williamsport High School; Danielle Rozenberg, Jersey Shore Area High School; Steven Saladino, Hughesville High School; Lauren Taylor, Williamsport Area High School; and Paul Warner, South Williamsport High School.