Announcing 2017 Scholarship Winners

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy is pleased to announce that two graduating high
school seniors and one college student were awarded scholarships in June, 2017. Our high school winners are Emily Ritter of Honesdale High School and Olivia Troiano of Western Wayne High School, and our college winner is John Sloane of Penn State University.

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.”

Sloane, John 2John Sloane is the 2017 winner of the Conservancy scholarship for college students. John graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School in 2016 and is currently attending Pennsylvania State University. He is studying architectural engineering with an emphasis on the use of environmentally friendly design and materials. John received his scholarship award of $500 at a luncheon with members of the Conservancy on August 12.

John credits his growing up in Northeast Pennsylvania with giving him the opportunity to enjoy an active life in the beauty and wonder of nature. His appreciation for his environment has also led to concerns. He is concerned about the dangers of hazardous run-off and the use of building materials incompatible with protection of our environment. He believes that the use of green design and sustainable materials can address these concerns and support the protection of our waterways, land and forests.

“Over the past year, my views of the importance of keeping our environment intact have been strengthened,” John reports. For one of his projects, he was tasked with designing a history museum and kayak center for a town in Pennsylvania. His plan included the use of sustainable materials such as locally sourced timber and brick. The project enabled him to see that the green architectural principals he is learning about in class are in use today and having an impact on building practices. John has also become involved with Habitat for Humanity. He applauds not only making homes accessible to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them, but also the establishment of “Restores” that accept donated building materials and sell them back to the public. John sees a bright future for the role of architectural engineering in the protection of the Earth. “The views that I have on keeping our environment safe are being strengthened even further through coursework and real life application in the community every day.”

TLRC Awards two Scholarships in 2016

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy (TLRC) has awarded two scholarships in 2016. John Sloane of Wallenpaupack Area High School is TLRC’s high school scholarship winner, and Carmen Francesco of Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona is the winner of TLRC’s college scholarship. John received his award at Wallenpaupack Area High School’s Award Assembly on June 17 th . Carmen’s award was presented at a luncheon with members of the Conservancy on July 10.

sloane-john-1John is looking forward to a career in architecture and engineering. He is planning to attend Penn State University where he looks forward to studying the principles of green architecture, engineering and construction. Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania has given John the opportunity to enjoy an active life in the beauty and wonder of nature. He has enjoyed hiking and kayaking. His experiences in the appreciation of his environment have also raised some concerns. He feels that hazardous runoff from fertilizers and other chemicals is a serious danger to our water, and he is also concerned about building practices and materials that are not protective of the environment. He is hoping that his education at Penn State in architectural engineering will give him the tools to develop systems, techniques and materials that will address these concerns and lead to the protection and preservation of our environment for the coming generations.

Carmen Francesco Carmen is entering her senior year at Prescott College. She has actively pursued her passion for the environment since entering college. Last summer Carmen was an intern in a rural area of India. She worked at a girls’ school where she helped the girls create a garden where they learned sustainable farming practices. She was also able to document some of the local stories regarding the extraction of local resources by outside industries that resulted in water contamination, soil erosion, and toxin exposure. This past year, Carmen attended school remotely while living in New York City where she worked in the Plaza of the United Nations for the United Methodist Women in the Office of Environmental Justice. This summer she is working in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on an urban farm. This AmeriCorps program provides healthy foods in urban areas where access to fresh vegetables is very limited. The vegetable farms are established on lots in the city, and organic farming practices are implemented. Carmen is entering her final year at Prescott, where she is pursuing a double major in Environmental and Social Justice and Secondary History Education. Although she is sad that her college years are drawing to a close, Carmen is looking forward to starting her career and gaining further expertise in the protection of the environment.

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 H.S., Wallenpaupack Area H.S., Western Wayne H. S. and the Canaan Christian Academy. The scholarship is open as well to college students who have graduated from a high school in the Lackawaxen Watershed and are pursuing an environmental career.

“Day By the River” on July 23

Beverages, hot dogs and burgers will be provided. Guests are requested to bring a dish to share (eg., salad or dessert), and their own chairs! Those planning to attend are requested to inform or (570)685-7204 by July 16.

Hope to see you there!

Date & Time: Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 12-5pm

Location: Glen Johnson’s, 206 Towpath, Rowland, PA (get directions)