Scholarship welcomes three new recipients to Allegheny

Every year the Allegheny College Association presents the Nancy Sheridan ACA Continuing Education Scholarship to women belonging to the Meadville and surrounding communities.

This year there are three new recipients of the scholarship.

According to the Allegheny College Association’s website the scholarship was created in 1973 and is awarded to a limited number of women from Crawford County.

The scholarship includes part-time enrollment at Allegheny College for one year.  There are also ACA returning Scholar Scholarships offered.

The women choose which classes they take and take one class their first semester and two classes their second semester.

Lorri Drumm, a returning recipient of the scholarship, explained how different returning to school is now.

Drumm said when she took college classes after high school she was much more career driven.  She said she now has a different approach.

“It’s so much easier when you’re motivated and when you’re enjoying what you’re doing,” Drumm said. “You want to go to class and you want to learn.”

Many of the women felt the same way.

Katherine Wickert, a first year scholarship recipient said she felt she had more challenges when she went to college directly after attending high school.

“I went to school right out of high school and I almost wish that I hadn’t,” Wickert said.  “I knew what I enjoyed but I don’t think I was mature enough to actually handle it.  I went to school out of state, I was an hour away from home and I didn’t make good choices at all.  It impacted me more than you would think it would at 18 or 19.”

While most of the women went to school previously, a majority of their credits or classes taken when they first started college do not transfer.

Amy Marchetta, a second-year scholar, said she did not even try to see if previously taken credits would transfer to Allegheny.

“I just assumed that they wouldn’t transfer,” Marchette said. “I should try but it’s so outdated now even though it seems like yesterday.”

Jody Boratyn, first year recipient, said that the scholarship is just a fraction of the work she is doing in order to advance her career and support her family.

“I turn 40 in March so I wanted a career change,” Boratyn said.  “I have a three-year-old and a nine-month-old so I thought what better way than to go back to school and by the time my four years are up I’ll have them both in school and be able to support them and make some money.”

Boratyn will be enrolled as a full-time student at Edinboro University while also taking her scholarship classes at Allegheny College and raising a family.

        Amy Walsh, a new recipient of the scholarship, said she is focused on her education and will then find a jumping off point from there.

“I have to find a job that is willing to work around these classes,” Walsh said.  “I didn’t know how to go forward with a job because I want to do this first before I go looking for a job.”

The women are all honored to have received the opportunity to continue their education and reacted to the news of their scholarships in different ways.

Wickert said she was nervous at first.

“It was a little nerve-racking for me when I found out because I had just started my job at the county and I wasn’t sure if they were going to allow me the time away to take classes,” Wickert said.  “And Allegheny doesn’t really have any classes outside of the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. time slot, which is my working day.  So I was very excited, very honored but at the same time I had to approach my brand new boss.”

Boratyn said when she got the call she immediately started crying from excitement and happiness.

“That’s actually what got me wanting to pursue my career further…that’s why I then went to Edinboro,” Boratyn said.

All of the recipients of the scholarships, both new and returning, will begin classes with the rest of the Allegheny student body on Tuesday, Aug. 25.