by Harriet Freidenreich
Two exceptional young women were chosen from a very competitive pool of applicants to receive our Makefield Area AAUW Branch Scholarships for 2019. As you are undoubtedly aware, each year we invite applications from four public high schools in our area: Council Rock South, Morrisville, Neshaminy, and Pennsbury. Applicants are nominated by their guidance counselors and must be in the top 10% of their class. We are looking for young women who not only excel in their studies, but who are active, who give to others, and who we think have the potential to make important contributions to their chosen profession and to their community in the future.
Our first scholarship winner is Mackenzie Lawson from Neshaminy High School. In addition to her outstanding academic record, Mackenzie played in Neshaminy’s Jazz Band and Marching Band throughout her four years of high school, was associate editor of the Howler Literary Magazine and Vice-President of the Gender Equality Club. She was also a member of the World Affairs Club and the National Honors Society. She participated in a variety of volunteer projects with the Interact Volunteer Club and was a summer hospital volunteer at St. Mary’s Medical Center, along with working at a dining server at Pennswood Village for the past two years.
Mackenzie plans to go to medical school after completing university as a biology major and a public health or women’s studies minor. She hopes to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, focusing on women’s health and reproductive health issues, and would love to work with Doctors Without Borders to help provide medical care for people in distress. Mackenzie will be attending Rutgers University in the fall.
Maia Kessler from Pennsbury High School received the Amy Lowenstein Memorial Scholarship this year. Throughout high school, Maia has been actively involved in the Pennsbury Drama Club and Musical and the Falconers Audition Choir, as well as taking weekly dance and voice lessons. She has been member and is now chair of the Prom Committee and belongs of the Thespian Honors Society as well as the National Honors Society. She has participated in a week-long Appalachian Service Project and the annual Abington Memorial Hospital Christmas Adopt-a-Family program. For the past three summers she has worked as a Face Painter at Sesame Place.
Maia is very concerned about protecting the environment and plans to major is landscape architecture. She hopes to focus on ecological landscape design and ecological restoration. She wants to re-incorporate nature in people’s lives as a cure to what she describes as the “nature-deficit disorder that has recently befallen the population.” Maia will be attending the University of Maryland in the fall.
We wish both young women success in their further studies and hope that they will be able to achieve their dreams.
The members of the Scholarship Committee this year were Eileen Heitman, Beth Gentile, Francine Block, Angie Felver, and Alice Snare.