Foundation Scholarship Recipient Fiona Wagner Is Optimistic Above All Else
Fiona Wagner was awarded one of two senior scholarships at Springfield High School (SHS) by the Casey Feldman Foundation. Fiona’s passion for writing and desire to reveal the truth in society through a career in journalism serve as a reflection of many of Casey Feldman’s aspirations. Casey Feldman, in whose honor and memory the Foundation was established, graduated from SHS in 2006 and was about to enter her senior year at Fordham University’s Fordham College Lincoln Center before embarking on a career in journalism.
At the senior awards ceremony, Casey’s father and co-founder of the Casey Feldman Foundation, Joel Feldman, gave an introduction about Casey, highlighting her legacy at SHS. Casey’s close friend from the class of 2006 and Foundation board member, Matt Thornton, presented the award to Fiona, again reflecting how personal the scholarship is for the SHS community.
Scholarship Essay Prompt
The scholarship prompt was, “Twenty years from now, where do you see yourself and what impact do you think your life will have had on others, your community or the world?” This encouraged Fiona to write about her optimistic desire to see and document the world through journalism. Catherine Hostetter, Fiona’s language arts teacher of many years, commented on “Fiona’s ability to read carefully, think critically, and write persuasively about a current controversial issue.”
Fiona’s love of writing and reporting mirrors that of Casey. Foundation co-founder and Casey’s mother, Dianne Anderson, shared, “It’s hard for any of us not to feel connected and inspired by reading about a young female with a journalistic career goal…Like Casey, Fiona wants to seek stories that give voice to those who might be overlooked, as well as live in NYC and work at the New York Times.”
Aside from her dream of working for The New York Times, Fiona said that perspective and an ability to appreciate elements of life outside of writing are key. Fiona wants to experience all that life has to offer, including a family, and simply desires to lead a happy life. She says that she does not find a life of simplicity and smaller-scale reporting to be a bad thing, despite how many perceive it.
Passions in Addition to Journalism
In addition to her dedication to journalism, Fiona has a passion for music and dance, having been an active member of the SHS choir for four years and a dancer at Paula Kearney Dance Studio for 15. She took honors and AP classes throughout high school and is a member of the National Honors Society, the National English Honors Society and the National Art Honors Society.
SHS choir director, Michael Zubert, described Fiona as “one of the kindest and most caring students I have had the pleasure of teaching throughout my educational career.” This kindness is reflected in Fiona’s service work, which includes volunteering with Delco Cares, the Community Service Club and Unicef. She was active with the Steve Stefani Dance Marathon all four years of high school and was captain of dancer relations her senior year, helping to raise money for childhood cancer. Fiona and her family are also involved with rescuing animals, something significant to the Casey Feldman Foundation and dear to the heart of Casey.
Fiona hopes to use her love of writing to study at Fairfield University this fall. She shared, “I am thankful to have been awarded this scholarship. Knowing that Casey was studying to be a journalist, just like me, makes me feel so grateful to be following in her footsteps. I only hope that I can honor Casey well.”
Fiona says that above all else, she hopes to still be looking at the world with optimism and positivity in 20 years.