The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association has announced that 22 college students have received 2020 Thomas R. and Laura Ridge Scholarship awards totaling $44,500.
The annual scholarships are named to honor Thomas R. and Laura Ridge, the parents of former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Thomas R. Ridge was a member of the Pennsylvania food industry for 25 years. His wife Laura was a strong advocate of education for their children Tom, David and Vikki. This scholarship fund was created to honor their memory.
“We are thrilled to recognize these students who have worked hard on their educational journeys, showed extraordinary leadership and positively contributed to their communities,” said PFMA President and CEO Alex Baloga. “At the same time, we are grateful for the PFMA member companies, organizations, and individuals who generously contribute to the fund each year to make the program a success.”
Scholarship recipients and their sponsoring organizations include:
- Kiersten Barr of Havertown, Pennsylvania, attending Clemson University – Wawa;
- Rebecca Ditmar of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, attending DeSales University – Wawa;
- Emma Evans of Erie, Pennsylvania, attending Penn State University – Northwestern Pennsylvania Food Council (NWPFC);
- Morgan George of Heilwood, Pennsylvania, attending Saint Francis University – Sheetz;
- Angela Jones of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, attending California University of Pennsylvania – PFMA (Named for past president Dave McCorkle);
- Julia Kennedy of Edgewater, New Jersey, attending Stockton University – PFMA;
- Thaddeus Kraucz of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania, attending Penn State Altoona – PFMA;
- Kayli Krohmer of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, attending Widener University – Wawa;
- Cole Lutcavage of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, attending Northeastern University – GIANT / Martin’s;
- Ryan McNeill of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, attending Penn State University – Wawa;
- Nicholas Ransom of Prince Frederick, Maryland, attending Salisbury University – PFMA;
- Anessa Reid of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, attending Liberty University – PFMA;
- Brendan Reichart of Durham, North Carolina, attending Duke Law School – Wawa;
- Audrey Ritchie of Conestoga, Pennsylvania, attending Drexel University – GIANT / Martin’s;
- Camryn Rogers of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, attending University of Pittsburgh – GIANT / Martin’s;
- Keera Scholl of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, attending Liberty University – PFMA;
- Nathan Sheriff of Landisburg, Pennsylvania, attending Temple University – Karns Quality Foods;
- Jonathan Skee of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, attending Grove City College – PFMA;
- Vivian Smith of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, attending Kutztown University – GIANT / Martin’s;
- John Soyka of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, attending Dickinson College – Sheetz;
- Kaylee Wilson of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, attending Drexel University – GIANT / Martin’s; and
- Donald Yealy of New Oxford, Pennsylvania, attending Penn State Mont Alto – PFMA.
An independent judging panel selected the winners based on academic success, overall excellence of character and potential for community contributions and leadership. PFMA member company owners, their children and employees were eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Since 1996, 578 students have received the Ridge Scholarships, totaling more than $1.1 million.