Art scholarship

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Judy Neely announces that three Mt. Lebanon High School seniors have been awarded scholarships. From left are Hannah Jones, Natalie Callahan and Madeline Kelly.

Again, there are three.

Last year, Mt. Lebanon Partnership awarded its art scholarship to a trio of high school students, with those who made the selections figuring that represented a one-shot deal.

Judy Neely

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Judy Neely discusses the difficulty of selecting just one scholarship recipient.

But history repeats itself for 2019, with Mt. Lebanon High School seniors Natalie Callahan, Hannah Jones and Madeline Kelly receiving $1,000 each toward the cost of studying art at their respective institutions of higher learning.

“When it comes to this, we have a terrible time making a decision about who is going to get the scholarship,” said Judy Neely, who is on the scholarship committee, during the May 28 presentation of the awards at the high school. “After we considered everything, and listened to everything they had to say and saw their wonderful artwork, it came down to this.”

The scholarship fund builds from money raised during the annual Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market, which this year is scheduled for Sept. 21 and 22.

“Our artists are extremely generous,” Neely said. “They donate pieces of their artwork so that we can put them into a raffle, and then from there, the proceeds from the raffle allow us to offer a scholarship.”

Natalie, Hannah and Madeline applied for the scholarship at the encouragement of teacher Jennifer Rodriguez, who chairs the secondary fine arts department in Mt. Lebanon School District. They sat for interviews with Neely, Anne Frederickson and Jim Mellett.

“These three young ladies dazzled us in every possible way,” Neely said. “I’m not an artist, so I have this wonderful appreciation for all of the things that they do. And the things they do in their art classes are just amazing.”

She stressed awarding three scholarships was not the original intention this year.

“We didn’t want you to think we just decided, ‘oh, let’s do it again,’” she told the students. “You all brought such a unique viewpoint of your artwork, and you did an excellent job of explaining what makes your artwork so special.”

The mission of Mt. Lebanon Partnership is to create a vibrant community by promoting economic growth and preventing or correcting deterioration through the implementation of economic restructuring, design, promotions and organizational plans.

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Scholarship winners and teacher

Harry Funk/The Almanac

From left are scholarship winners Hannah Jones, Natalie Callahan and Madeline Kelly, with their art teacher, Jennifer Rodriguez.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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