Announcing 2017 Scholarship Winners

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy is pleased to announce that two graduating high school seniors were awarded scholarships in June, 2017. The winners are Emily Ritter of Honesdale High School and Olivia Troiano of Western Wayne High School.

Emily RitterEmily received her scholarship award at Awards Night at Honesdale High School on Wednesday, June 14 th . Emily plans to attend Millersville University of Pennsylvania In Millersville, Pennsylvania. She will major in biology with a specialization in animal behavior. Emily’s academic performance has been outstanding in an exceptionally rigorous program. Her enthusiasm for science has been evident throughout her high school career. She has participated in many scientific competitions including Envirothon and the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Emily earned recognition from PJAS for her research on color blindness in dogs in her junior year and in her senior year for her research on stress levels in shelter cats.

The endangerment of animals has been a driving concern for Emily. “Lack of empathy for the Earth and for animal life runs rampant in our society.” She cites loss of habitat, deforestation and poaching as examples of the human indifference and the callousness that is threatening the existence of many species of animals today. “If all people could realize that they are just lucky to live on our planet, maybe they would work at protecting the balance of nature and its organisms.”

Olivia TroianoOlivia Troiano received her scholarship award at Senior Night at Western Wayne High School on June 8 th . Olivia will attend LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is planning to major in environmental studies in preparation for a career in conservation and protection of the environment. In addition to her stellar academic performance, Olivia has led a busy extracurricular life. She was secretary of the National Honor Society, a reporter for the Technology Student Association, a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and a member of the Varsity Tennis Team. In
keeping with her serious environmental interest, Olivia worked as a junior counselor at the Lacawac Sanctuary’s Habitat Discoveries Camp.

Olivia points out that we have all heard of the Stone Age or the Bronze Age. She, however, is deeply concerned about the current age, which she calls “the Plastic Age.” Olivia states that much of the 288 million tons of plastic that is manufactured each year ends up in our oceans. In addition to adding tons of debris, the chemicals in plastic make their way into the diets of small fish, up the food chain and all the way to humans. Many people believe that we will have to change, but for Olivia, “The Plastic Age is not a scenario for the future. That time is now.”

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy Scholarship is open to graduating seniors who are attending high school in the Lackawaxen Watershed, and who intend to pursue a career in environmental conservation. The eligible high schools are Honesdale High School, Wallenpaupack Area High School, Western Wayne High School and the Canaan Christian Academy.

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