Foundation Awards Two Scholarships to 2011 Springfield High School Seniors
The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation awarded two $1500 scholarships to Springfield High School (SHS) graduating seniors, Hayden Dahmm and Kelly O’Hara. The awards were presented by SHS teacher John Gildea and Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman at the SHS Senior Awards Ceremony. Both students were recommended by SHS faculty members. Mr. Dahmm will be attending Swarthmore College in the fall with a dual major in Engineering and Public Policy. Ms. O’Hara will be attending Drexel University where she will major in Graphic Design.
In nominating Mr. Dahmm for the scholarship, Dr. William Harley stated that, “Hayden is very mature and has learned to budget his time among extensive academic, community service, and leadership activities.” He has achieved a class rank in the ninety-eighth percentile of the SHS Class of 2011. Hayden is a member of the SHS chapter of the National Honor Society and was president of the SHS chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) during his Junior year. This past spring, he earned first place in the FBLA Regional Competition for Emerging Business Issues. In 2009, Hayden achieved sixth place State-Wide in the FBLA Public Speaking competition.
Each year at SHS, Hayden has been recognized for his entries in the Delaware County Science Fair (DCSF), the Delaware Valley Science Fair (DVSF), and the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS). In 2010, Hayden’s entry, “A Study of the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and an Examination of Their Presence in the Environment” earned a perfect score at the PJAS Regional and state levels, first place in the DCSF environmental category, and honorable mention in the same category for the DVSF. This was Mr. Dahmm’s second consecutive first-place finish in the DCSF environmental category.
Hayden has also twice been re-elected in school-wide elections as a Student Intern to the Springfield School Board. Last spring, Hayden also participated in the Stephen P. Stefani Dance-A-Thon to raise money for childhood cancer research. Outside of school, Hayden dealt with the sudden and devastating loss of his father by establishing a scholarship in his memory at the University of Illinois.
According to Dr. Harley, “Hayden is an exemplary representative of his family and our high school. He has inspired his peers throughout SHS with the way he has dealt with the daily challenge of a 20/800 sight disability. His work ethic, perseverance, and optimism are unmatched.”
Hayden will be attending a camp this summer for the blind and visually impaired to prepare for independent college living in the fall.
The second outstanding recipient, Kelly O’Hara, has shown a passion for public service and has been involved in activities that show compassion and empathy for others.
Kelly has been a Peer Facilitator at SHS, offering her time to help students in need. According to SHS teacher Dawn McDonnel, Kelly “is friendly and quick to help those who are having difficulties.” Ms. O’Hara applied for and was selected to be a Peer Facilitator. She participated in extensive training in conflict resolution and met weekly thereafter with peers to discuss strategies for helping students in need. Kelly met in an impromptu fashion individually with students whenever the need arose. Many of the students seeking counseling were young people who felt marginalized, a group that Casey embraced as well.
Ms. O’Hara was also active in the Dance Marathon (Thon) during her four years at SHS, a fundraiser for pediatric cancer, emulating an event on the Penn State main campus. The past two years Kelly served as a committee chairperson, meeting weekly throughout the year with other students to plan and carry out fundraising and organize activities involved with the THON. Through the hard work and dedication of Kelly and others, this past year’s marathon was the most successful high school Dance-A-Thon ever in Pennsylvania, raising over $150,000 for pediatric cancer.
Ms. O’Hara’s service has extended beyond SHS. Kelly also earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by providing assistance to a local church.
According to Kelly however, “My favorite activity is the Appalachian Service Project”. Kelly leaves for West Virginia this July for her third summer of performing much needed repair work on the homes of those less fortunate. Stated Kelly, “I love meeting and working and with the people!!”
– Christy Kobasa Awarded the First Springfield High School Casey Feldman Memorial Scholarship