Each spring, Little League Baseball and Softball rewards high school scholars in the area with the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarship. The 10 recipients exemplify the same ideals as the founder of the world's largest organized youth sports program: good citizenship, hard work, character, courage and loyalty.
Stotz's vision was of a game played by children that would help build and shape those who played it into productive adults. This is the 19th year of the scholarship program, established by the Little League International Board of Directors, which rewards academic excellence and citizenship with financial assistance for their higher education.
Including this year's recipients, more than $116,000 has been awarded to 140 Lycoming County students since the inception of the scholarship program. Each of the recipients was honored at the annual luncheon held today at Little League International in South Williamsport.
Recipients of the 2012 Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarships are shown with Stotz daughter Karen Stotz Myers, back left, and president Stephen D. Keener, back right. From front left are Rachel Cummings, Maria Cioffi, Lindsey Stopper, Sophia Reeder and Jillian Jackson; and back left, Colton Henry, Alexander Bellot, Aleksander Keller, John Goetz and Kimberly Kist for her son, Gregory.
Scholarships totaling $8,000 are awarded each year to five male and five female high school seniors. The scholarships perpetuate the memory of Little League's founder, recognizing his commitment to the development of youth in the county.
All graduating seniors in the top 25 percent of their class at the nine Lycoming County high schools, who have demonstrated good citizenship and whose spirit exemplifies effort, determination and persistence in attaining the goal of higher education, are eligible to apply. Each interested senior submits two letters of recommendation and an essay on what they hope to achieve through higher education.
From the 50 applicants for the scholarships this year, the recipients of the $2,000 scholarships were Sophia Reeder from Muncy High School and Aleksander Keller from South Williamsport High School.
They were chosen from a group of 10 finalists.
Reeder attend Bucknell University and Keller will attend the University of Pittsburgh.
The other eight finalists all receive $500 scholarships. They include Alexander Bellott (Loyalsock Township High School); Maria Cioffi (South Williamsport Area High School); Rachel Cummings (Jersey Shore Area High School); John Goetz (Montgomery Area High School); Colton Henry (Jersey Shore Area High School); Jillian Jackson (South Williamsport Area High School); Gregory Kist (St. John Neumann Regional Academy); and Lindsey Stopper (Loyalsock Township High School).
"This is a special annual event we look forward to because it gives us a chance to acknowledge the efforts of some of the top seniors in Lycoming County and help them make the next step in their life," Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. "Each of the young adults we recognized today possesses the traits and has the same vision Carl Stotz had when laying the foundation for Little League. We recognize the same selflessness, determination and inspiration that Mr. Stotz lived his life by with the presentation of these scholarships."
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world's largest organized youth sports program, with more than 2.4 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.