Soroptimist Worldwide of Somerset County awards scholarships

Soroptimist International of Somerset County presented three $500 scholarships this spring to seniors who plan to attend college, junior college, a trade or technical school.

This year’s winners were Korina Pebley Conemaugh Township High School, Julie Mitchell, Shanksville-Stonycreek High School, and Sydney Hersch, Berlin Brothersvalley High School.

The Soroptimist International of Somerset County is a service club of business and professional women. The name “Soroptimist” means “best for women” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. The service club members are business and professional women working to help other women to be their best. The local organization has been awarding scholarships to deserving high school students for more than 25 years. 

Scholarship applications

The scholarship applications received were judged on various criteria including well-rounded students, financial need, grades, extracurricular activities, references and a short essay.   

“My committee and I read all the applications received,” Wendy Stemple, president of Soroptimist International of Somerset County, said. “We all came back with the same three girls as our top candidates. These three girls have achieved many things and have focused goals for the future.”

Korina Pebley

Korina Pebley, Davidsville, is a 2021 graduate of Conemaugh Township High School. She is the daughter of Judy Pebley. She will be attending the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to major in secondary education: chemistry. She is employed at Dunkin’ Donuts. 

At Conemaugh Township she played saxophone in the marching band, and jazz band, was a stage crew member of the musical, and participated on the Forensics team. She is in the Somerset County Community Band and was on the Math Works Modeling Challenge Team which participated in the M3 Math Challenge last year.

Pebley hopes to inspire students to learn not only about chemistry, but also about themselves. She hopes to be a inspiration for the students because teachers in this field tend to be male. 

Julie Mitchell

Julie Mitchell, Berlin, is a 2021 graduate of Shanksville-Stonycreek High School. She is the daughter of Jamie and Tina Mitchell. She is attending Penn Highlands Community College and majoring in social work. She plans to transfer to Millersville University where she will have an opportunity to earn both her bachelor and Masters degrees. She eventually would like to open a private practice in Somerset County where she can incorporate Christian beliefs and agricultural practices, as well as therapeutic techniques into services for community members. 

Mitchell has owned Picturesque on her family farm for six years. 

She is in 4-H, on the 4-H County Council, participates in FFA, rifle, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, reading competition, student council, and a High School Highlights writer for the Daily American. She is the National Honor Society president, the Class of 2021 secretary, past 4-H president, FFA president, student council secretary, and reading competition vice president.

Sydney Hersch

Sydney Hersch, Berlin, is a 2021 graduate at Berlin Brothersvalley High School. She is the daughter of William and Kerry Hersch. She plans to attend Lancaster Bible College where she will major in musical theater and Bible theology. She is employed at Chill Out. 

Hersch participated in the Berlin musical, concert choir, show choir, A Cappella, National Honor Society, Tri-M, yearbook, county chorus, district chorus and auditioned for state chorus. She was the chorus president and the Tri-M vice president. She is on the Berlin Brethren Church Praise Team, media team, assistant beginners Sunday school teacher, Alive Student Ministries and the Guatemala Missions Team.

Hersch hopes to give back to the community by helping out at local theaters and small productions during the summer, and possibly give workshops to those interested in theater before pursuing a career in the theater herself.  

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