By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Nine students, one from each of the Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville, were recently honored at the 23rd annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni held March 20 at the Galt House Hotel & Suites.
Leisa Schulz, Superintendent of Schools, acknowledged the students as recipients of Father John Morgan Charitable Trust Scholarships.
The Father Morgan Charitable Trust was established in 1998 to award collegiate scholarships to one graduate from each of the Catholic high schools in the archdiocese.
Each student receives $7,000 to be applied toward their college education, Schulz said.
The award is based on several criteria. First, the student must be interested in pursuing a career in law, medicine, religion or education. Second, the student must have achieved a high level of academic success. The student must also demonstrate a commitment to service in their extracurricular and community activities.
Eric Mackin, a senior at Holy Cross High School, said he was honored to have been selected as a Father Morgan scholarship recipient.
“Knowing that I am one of the nine recipients makes me proud of myself, but also proud of the schools I have attended and teachers who have helped me to mature,” he said in a recent interview. “It motivates me to keep excelling in greater ways than I ever have and to change as many lives as I can, in as many ways as I can.”
Mackin plans to study chemistry at the University of Kentucky and hopes to become a community pharmacist or a veterinary pharmacist in the future.
Meredith Degner, a Presentation Academy senior, said she was in a state of “total shock” when she found out she had won.
Degner credits her Catholic education with her drive to succeed as well as for her preparation for the world beyond high school.
“Catholic education is about more than the education itself, it is about the atmosphere of growth on a spiritual level and a personal level that one experiences in a Catholic community,” she said.
Degner added that she would not be the person she is today without the instruction she received at Holy Spirit School and Presentation Academy.
During her time at Presentation, Degner has been involved in a host of volunteer activities including the Exploited Children’s Help Organization, Dare to Care and the Teens Keeping
Kids Safe program. She plans to attend the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering where she will major in bioengineering.
Jacqueline Williams, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy, said awards such as the scholarship make all the hard work worth it.
“More than anything this award encourages me to work hard to maintain the emphasis on service and academics in my life in the future,” she said.
Williams is unsure where she will attend school in the fall but is considering Vanderbilt University or the University of Notre Dame.
The winners, listed below, are:
Katia Villasenor Vela, Assumption High School.
Andrew Christopher Jones, Bethlehem High School.
Matthew Owen Boyd, DeSales High School.
Eric Anthony Mackin, Holy Cross High School.
Courtney Ann Ryan, Mercy Academy.
Meredith Ann Degner, Presentation Academy.
Jacqueline Nicole Williams, Sacred Heart Academy.
Nicholas John Sehlinger, St. Xavier High School.
Grant Kenneth Rohleder, Trinity High School.