The Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine received a $45,000 grant from the PPL Foundation to support the school’s successful Regional Academy for Careers in Health — Higher Education Initiative.
“We are grateful to the PPL Foundation for supporting our efforts to build a stable pipeline for the region’s future health care workforce,” said Ida Castro, GCSM’s vice president for community engagement and chief diversity officer. “By investing in the region’s youth, the foundation’s grant not only enriches the lives of youngsters, it ensures the entire community will be well cared for in the years to come.”
Castro received the grant alongside current REACH-HEI students including: Syon Bennett, Anastasia Flores, Alexandria Webster and Giselle Rojas.
The community engagement program provides disadvantaged and underrepresented in medicine students with academic enrichment, mentoring and guidance to encourage them to choose health care careers, according to the school.
The PPL Foundation funds will help add a year-long “Girls in Science” initiative that will target girls who are in grades seven and eight and are either economically disadvantaged or diverse, according to the school.
During the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Emerald Gala, William J. Browning, executive director of the Lackawanna County Department of Human Services; Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, acting commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police; and Michelle L. Olshefski, attorney, assistant United States attorney, Middle District of Pennsylvania, were honored with Distinguished Service Awards.
Julianna Bottaro and Laura Webb were the Emerald Gala honorees.
Attorney John P. Moses served as honorary chair of the gala, which celebrated 20 years of the advocacy center’s services to child victims of abuse; Julie Sidoni, of WNEP, was mistress of ceremonies.
Mary Ann LaPorta is executive director of the center.
Local middle school students who won honorary scholarships to Scranton Prep for attaining the highest scores on this year’s exam include: Amir Akach, Michael Allardyce, Madeline Bormes, Sam Millett, Theodore Novak, Emma Ratchford and Benjamin Rothwell, all Our Lady of Peace School; Brianna Carrozza, Chase Krawchuk, Caidyn O’Malley and Anthony Ranieli, all Pittston Area; Caroline Grace Gaughan and Aiden McCoy, both All Saints Academ; Raniya Khan, Wyoming Seminary; Ava Forgione, Dunmore Middle School; Gloria Tabone, Holy Rosary School; Anderson Zou, West Scranton Intermediate; and Christopher Adonizio, Abington Heights.
The students were celebrated during a reception in early December.