The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association has awarded its 2022 Thomas R. and Laura Ridge Scholarships to 27 students. Recipients are chosen by a panel of judges who review each applicant’s academic record, school and community involvement, recommendations and a submitted essay.
Individual scholarship amounts increased this year, awarding every student with a $2,500 scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year. In total, $67,500 in scholarships were awarded, an increase of $22,500 from 2021. Scholarship funds come from PFMA’s Education Trust as well as sponsoring PFMA member companies: The Giant Company, Karns Foods, Rutter’s, Sheetz and Wawa.
“Kudos to this year’s Ridge Scholars, who represent some of our brightest young adults,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “They have amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, service and leadership both academically and professionally. We are happy to recognize their efforts and help them reach their academic goals.”
This year’s recipients are Aiden Anderson, Helayna Baer, Ethan J. Cramer, Maizie Ecker, Sydney Eckhardt, Christian Herbster, Francis Iuvara, Katherine Kimmel, Meredith Lucey, Peter Murnane, George Papoutsis, Riya Patel, Hayden Perrone, Jamie Pottman, Mark Pottman, McKenna Shaffer, Kaitlyn Sheriff, Caleb Shoemaker, Dylan Spangler, Dominic Spatola, Sandya Subramanian, Nadija Sulcaj, Caitlyn Sweet, Simon Szalla, Ryan Wilson, Cayden Wright and Donald Yealy.
“It is an honor to be selected as a recipient of the Ridge Scholarship from the many deserving applicants,” Eckhardt said. “As a Wawa employee for the last two years, my co-workers have shown me how the food industry supports our communities by providing convenient access to food and services. The scholarship will help me in continuing my education at Boston College where I plan to study history and economics while engaging in community service activities.”
Established in 1996, the Ridge Scholarship honors the parents of former Gov. Tom Ridge. He was a member of the food industry for 25 years, and his wife, Laura, was a great advocate of education for their three children: Tom, David and Vikki. To date, 627 students have earned Ridge Scholarships, and $1.2 million has been awarded.
For more information, visit pfma.org.