Portage Foundation Awards $44,000 in Scholarships to Area Students

The Portage Foundation has awarded $44,000 in scholarships for 2024. The scholarships were awarded in a wide range of areas, including a scholarship for students entering trades.

The Anna Wang Roe Women in Science Scholarship, created by the 1979 Roosevelt High School graduate, is aimed at helping young women at RHS who want to make a difference in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Wang Roe has a longstanding interest in supporting women working in the sciences, motivated by her struggles to make a consuming research program compatible with family and personal goals. The 2024 Anna Wang Roe Women in Science Scholarship recipient is Arabella Fried.

The Bailey Simons – Frank Family Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created to honor the life of Bailey Simons, a Rootstown student who died in a car accident in 2015. Known for her caring nature, outgoing personality, and community involvement, Bailey will continue to inspire and lead Rootstown High School students for many years to come, thanks to the scholarship that her family established in her memory. The 2024 Bailey Simons- Frank Family Memorial Endowed Scholarship recipients are Taylor Banks, Audrey Francis, Dominic Siglow, Porter Smith

Bernie J. Kosar, former professional football player who was raised in Boardman and maintains his interest in N.E. Ohio, specifically in assisting students as the work to achieve their academic goals. Mr. Kosar is particularly interested in students at Crestwood High School and his Bernie J. Kosar Crestwood Endowed Scholarship benefits a student demonstrating leadership, strength, compassion, mentoring, community involvement and volunteerism. The 2024 recipient is Roxy Bretz.

Bill White, previous owner of Twin Star Lanes, was instrumental in the development of the first high school bowling league in the greater Portage County area. With 4 of the 10 PTC bowling teams using his lanes as their home, White developed mentoring relationships with nearly every high school bowler in the area over many years. In 2010, Bill and his wife, Eddye, further proved their commitment to area youth and education by creating the Bill and Eddye White Bowling Endowed Scholarship for high school seniors who are members of their varsity bowling teams. The 2024 recipients and their schools are:  Ryleigh Balan, Abby Smith

In 1959, at the age of 29, Boyd Wallbrown Jr. and his wife Joan purchased a 93-acre farm in Deerfield, Ohio. Starting with nothing but the land and youthful ambition, Boyd and Joan began their journey by raising hogs and corn. Wallbrown was innovative, willing to take risks, and willing to sail into the uncharted waters of cutting-edge agricultural methods and technologies. He embraced progressive concepts such as no-till planting, liquid fertilizers, and steel bins for grain storage. In the 1960’s, he took the next step by founding Deerfield Farms Service Inc., which has continued to thrive and became Deerfield Ag Services in 2017 with more than 70 employees in four locations. The Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship was established by their children and awarded to students in Ohio or North Dakota choosing to pursue their education leading to a career in agricultural production, crop production or livestock/farm animals. The 2024 Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship recipients are:   Jackson Brossart, Cami Keller, Matthew Mazzaro, Taylor Pritschet, Savannah Ruthrauff, Bryce Schott.

Cheryl Casper (nee, Brown) had a long and successful career at Kent State University, starting as an Assistant Professor of Economics in 1973. She subsequently served in the College of Administration, the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management, and the office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Cheryl was also very active in the Kent State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, becoming the KSU AAUP Chapter President, serving on the Ohio AAUP Board, and the National Council of AAUP in Washington. She retired from Kent State in 2008. Cheryl’s love of animals – cats in particular – led to the creation of the Casper Wenninger Fund, and subsequent Casper Wenninger Scholarship for Veterinary Studies. Recipients for this newly created scholarship are Ryleigh Balan, Oneal Cardinal, and Allison Miller.

Dr. Connie Stopper, PhD, RN was a longtime active and dedicated member of the Summit and Portage District of the Ohio Nurses Association until their dissolution in 2023. Throughout her decades of membership, she served on many committees and completed numerous impactful projects. She has dedicated her life to the education and advancement of nursing and has held nursing faculty positions at several universities including Kent State University, Hiram College and the University of Mount Union. Dr. Stopper is passionate about nursing education, professional development, and leadership and has influenced and inspired nurses from novice to expert. It is with these values that the Dr. Connie Stopper Nursing Legacy Scholarship was created. This year’s recipients are Hannah Greczanik and Jessica Sparks.

The Darla Winnefeld Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established by her family and friends to honor a life filled with community service. Darla Ann (Bender) Winnefeld passed away in October 2020 but left a legacy of volunteerism in which her family and her community benefitted. With over 25 years spent volunteering and working within Rootstown Local Schools, plus additional time in healthcare and the Rootstown Volunteer Fire Company, Winnefeld touched many lives through her compassionate nature. It is in this spirit that the scholarship was created for Rootstown High School seniors. The 2024 Darla Winnefeld Memorial Endowed Scholarship recipients are Audrey Francis and Jasmine Stefancik.

Doug Cowell was a lifelong resident of Ravenna. During his scholastic career at Ravenna High School, Doug was a member of the track, football and wrestling teams. As a defensive tackle, he became “famous” for scoring a 68-yard touchdown and still holds the school record for the Orange relay discus. In 1965 Doug joined the Ravenna Police Department where he became Ravenna’s first African-American police officer. Doug implemented several forward-reaching children’s community intervention programs including: a detective bureau that worked closely with schools; the block-watch program for children’s safety; a drug task force; and a crime prevention program. Doug was an asset to the Ravenna community; a man who everyone respected and admired. He loved children, cherished the elderly, and served his community. The 2024 Douglas Cowell Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund has been awarded to Austin Marshall, Michael Myers, and Daniel Sanders.

Frances Patterson encouraged others to share in her love for horses. Frances participated for more than 45 years as a 4-H advisor and as a Pony Club D.C. She was also active in Farm Bureau council, volunteered on local township and school committees, and was a member of the Carousal Association. To honor her memory, her dear friends created the Frances A. Patterson Memorial Scholarship to benefit students who have been active members of an Ohio 4-H Horse Program. This year’s recipient is Ryleigh Balan.

The George L. and Genevieve D. Moore Family Trust has supported Aurora High School seniors since 2014. The scholarships are given to those demonstrating need, with students required to earn matching funds through gainful employment. The 2024 George L. and Genevieve D. Moore Family Scholarship recipients are: Reilly Curtis, Maxwell Devins, Emma Exline, Nathan Fletcher, Aniket Sen, Madeline Shanholtzer

The League of Women Voters of Kent established a scholarship in memory of Helen Dix. When Helen died in the Fall of 2013, she was the last surviving charter member. Helen was instrumental in furthering the League of Women Voter’s (LWV) mission in Portage County from LWV Kent’s initial organization meeting in 1953 throughout the rest of her life. Helen was passionate about the importance of education and its accessibility to an informed citizenry. This scholarship supports non-traditional female students at Hiram College and Kent State University, institutions which she supported in a variety of ways for many years. The 2024 recipient of the League of Women Voters – Helen Dix Endowed Scholarship is Ashley Ellis.

The J.D. Langguth Memorial Scholarship was created to honor the life and legacy of a Rootstown resident. After graduating from Southeast High School and receiving a degree in Landscape Design from Ohio State University, J.D. and his wife, Stephanie, created a family – and a life – Rootstown. When it became clear that his battle for his life would be coming to an end, J.D., Stephanie, and their children established the J.D. Langguth Memorial Scholarship Fund as a tangible way to continue J.D.’s legacy of giving back. J.D. provided a secure and fulfilling life for his family as a union tradesman and was proud that this scholarship will be available each year to graduating Rootstown wrestlers entering the honorable professions of the trades, thus combining his love for the sport and the profession. The inaugural recipient of the J.D. Langguth Memorial Scholarship is Tyler Paulus.

The Mark Klima Scholarship was established by Charles and Carol Klima to honor the memory of their son. A freshman at Rootstown High School when he died, Klima aspired to become a doctor. The award is given to Rootstown seniors who, like Klima, have a long-term life goal and were able to demonstrate tenacity. The 2024 Mark Klima Scholarship recipients are: Alaina Huebner, Porter Smith, and Jasmine Stefancik.

Phyllis Battaglia/CAC Memorial Scholarship was established in 2015 by the Community Action Council of Portage County, Inc. Given to a graduating senior, the scholarship recipient demonstrates leadership, strength, compassion, mentoring, and community involvement/volunteerism. This year’s recipients are Emily Grebb and Lillian Schofield.

The Roger J. DiPaolo Wick Poetry Scholarship was established by Roger’s family. Roger loved poetry and it is his family’s wish to encourage others in the writing and appreciation of poetry. The scholarship is awarded annually to a Kent State University student in any year of study who has an interest in writing poetry. The 2024 recipient is Lenore Kohl.

The Roger J. DiPaolo Bright Future Scholarship was established in Roger’s memory to be awarded to a Ravenna High School senior who lives in the Skeels or McElrath neighborhoods of Ravenna or is actively involved in the Skeels-Matthews or King-Kennedy Community Centers. The 2024 Bright Futures recipient is Daniel Sanders. The Summit & Portage Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship was established by registered nurses from the Summit and Portage counties who were members of the professional nursing organization.  It is to support pre-licensure junior or senior level nursing students, license practical nurses (L.P.N.) or registered nurses (R.N.) pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing at Hiram College, Kent State University, or The University of Akron. The 2024 recipient is Maria Mitchell.

The following award recipients were organized by school:

Aurora High School

George L. and Genevieve D. Moore Endowed Scholarship: Reilly Curtis, Maxwell Devins, Emma Exline, Nathan Fletcher, Aniket Sen, Madeline Shanholtzer

Bio-Med Science Academy

Phyllis Battaglia/CAC Memorial Scholarship: Lillian Schofield

Crestwood High School

Bernie J. Kosar Crestwood Endowed Scholarship: Roxy Bretz

Phyllis Battaglia/CAC Memorial Scholarship: Emily Grebb

Kent Roosevelt High School

Anna Wang Roe Women in Science Endowed Scholarship: Arabella Fried

Bill and Eddye White Bowling Endowed Scholarship: Ryleigh Balan

Casper Wenninger Scholarship for Veterinary Studies: Ryleigh Balan

Francis A. Patterson Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Ryleigh Balan

Kent State University

Roger J DiPaolo Wick Poetry Scholarship: Lenore Kohl

League of Women Voters – Helen Dix Endowed Scholarship: Ashley Ellis

Ohio State University

Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship: Matthew Mazzaro, Bryce Schott

Ravenna High School    

Douglas Cowell Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Austin Marshall, Michael Myers, Daniel Sanders

Roger J DiPaolo Bright Futures Scholarship: Daniel Sanders

Rootstown High School

Bailey Simons – Frank Family Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Taylor Banks, Audrey Francis, Dominic Siglow, Porter Smith

Darla Winnefeld Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Audrey Francis, Jasmine Stefancik         

J.D. Langguth Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Paulus

Mark Klima Scholarship: Alaina Huebner, Porter Smith, Jasmine Stefancik

Rugby Public School

Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship: Jackson Brossart, Taylor Pritschet

Southeast High School

Bill and Eddye White Bowling Endowed Scholarship:

Abby Smith

Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship: Cami Keller

University of Akron

Dr. Connie Stopper Nursing Legacy Scholarship: Hannah Greczanik, Jessica Sparks

Summit and Portage Nursing Scholarship: Maria Mitchell

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Casper Wenninger Scholarship for Veterinary Studies: Oneal Cardinal

Waterloo High School

Casper Wenninger Scholarship for Veterinary Studies: Allison Miller

West Branch High School Boyd and Joan Wallbrown Agricultural Innovation Endowed Scholarship: Savannah Ruthrauff