#PhilanthropyFriday: Bridging the Educational Gap through STEAM Stars Scholarships

Five female students from Riverside and Scranton school districts who have been awarded a STEAM Stars scholarship funded through Women in Philanthropy, a project of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, were honored this week at the Women in Philanthropy quarterly meeting and reception. The scholarship recipients participated in a panel discussion moderated by Kate Eary, Women in Philanthropy supporter and Corporate Counsel at Gentex Corporation, to share how this scholarship opportunity impacts their lives within the community.

Photo: From left to right: Kate Eary, Corporate Counsel at Gentex Corporation and Women in Philanthropy supporter; Dr. Erica Barone-Pricci, Lackawanna College Vice President for Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer; Mariah Kumor, STEAM Stars recipient; Bella McKeefery, STEAM Stars recipient; Aaliyah Jalil, STEAM Stars recipient; and Lexa Hunt, STEAM Stars recipient.

“We were all so moved by these inspiring, young women as they shared the impact of this opportunity,” said Maggie Martinelli, Director of Administration and Projects of the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

The STEAM Stars scholarship program provides a full scholarship to a limited number of female students in the Level Up Program at Lackawanna College. The Level Up Program, created by Lackawanna College, gives high-achieving students the opportunity to take college-level courses so that they can obtain their associate degree by the time they graduate high school. A STEAM Stars Scholarship covers the students’ entire time in the program at the total cost of $6,200 per student. 2018 STEAM Stars scholarship recipients include Lexa Hunt, Mariah Kumor, and Bella McKeefery, all 10th-grade students at Riverside Jr./Sr. High School, and Aaliyah Jalil and Priyal Patel, both 11th-grade students at Scranton High School.

The STEAM Stars Scholarship program is supported through Women in Philanthropy’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Education initiative which works to help bridge the educational gap by providing funding for STEAM education locally. More and more organizations nationally are encouraging young women to study STEAM fields in college as careers in STEAM fields are growing and the need for skilled employees is increasing continually. The STEAM Stars Scholarship program is made possible through the generosity of Women in Philanthropy supporters. Women in Philanthropy looks forward to supporting additional STEAM Stars Scholarships at West Scranton High School next year.

Photo: STEAM Stars recipients from left to right: Lexa Hunt, Aaliyah Jalil, Mariah Kumor, and Bella McKeefery with their family members. Missing from photo: Priyal Patel, STEAM Stars recipient.

For more information on the STEAM Stars Scholarship Program or the Women in Philanthropy STEAM Education initiative, please visit or contact us today.