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Penguins Award Scholarships to Local Athletes

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins Honor Meadville Area Senior with 2008 Bob Johnson Memorial Scholarship

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins have awarded the 2008 Bob Johnson Memorial Scholarship to Meadville Area High School senior Morgan Nickerson.  The scholarship, valued at $2,500, is co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Penguins Booster Club.

The Johnson scholarship was created in 1992 and is presented annually to a western Pennsylvania high school senior for academic excellence, community service and for providing leadership, sportsmanship and a positive attitude as a member of their school’s hockey program.  Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2 to qualify for the scholarship.  

Nickerson played forward for Meadville’s hockey team and served as team captain.  A 3-year PIHL All Star, he scored 72 goals this season and averaged 1.63 goals per game, shattering previous school records.  He was recognized with numerous honors including the Erie Times News Player of the Year, Meadville Tribune Player of the Year, First Selection MSA Sports All Icers Team and named to the Top 25 Players in Pennsylvania by PA Hockey.

He also excelled academically as a member of the National Honor Society and ranked second in a class of 246 students.  He was a member of the Junior Engineering Technical Society, Student Council, French Club, Key Club and served as a Peer Mentor.  He also participated in SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).

Active in the community, Nickerson participated in Make A Difference Day and served as a volunteer at church.  He worked as an organizer for Meadville’s blood drives and participated in Power Play for Prevention, raising funds for breast cancer awareness.

He is the son of Doug and Robin Nickerson of Meadville, PA.  He will attend Colgate University in the fall where he plans to major in biology or economics.  He has also accepted an invitation as a preferred recruit to tryout for Colgate’s Division 1 hockey team.


Penguins Award Scholarships To Three City Of Pittsburgh High School Graduates

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins have awarded three city of Pittsburgh high school students with higher education scholarships as part of the club’s continuing commitment to community service.  Each scholarship is valued at $1,000.

Recipients of the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins Continuing Education Scholarships are Mohana Ravindranath and Jacob Schiller of Taylor Allderdice High School and Gretchen Braun of Perry Traditional Academy.

The Penguins have awarded 52 scholarships to inner-city students since the inception of the program in 1993. 

- Ravindranath served as Editor-in-Chief for Allderdice’s school newspaper The Foreword.  She participated in the Academic World Quest competition sponsored by the World Affairs Council and participated in STAND (Students Taking Action Now Darfur) events.  She was also a member of Allderdice’s crew team.

She spent three weeks each of the past two summers volunteering in India with three different social service agencies.  Her work included interaction with HIV-positive children, teaching English and creating an informational documentary.  She also worked on Take Back the Night promotions, raising awareness for women’s rights and safety.  

She will attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall to pursue a career in bioengineering.

- Schiller was a member of the National Honor Society and the High Honor Roll.  He participated in the Junior Engineering Technical Society Competition, American Mathematics Competition, Hometown High Q, Traveling and Local Math Leagues and Mock Trial, a statewide law competition.

He was a member of Allderdice’s varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.  He volunteered with TOP Soccer, a program developing soccer skills in mentally and physically handicapped youths.  He also donated time to the Student Hunger Action Coalition and the Temple Sinai Youth Group for food and clothing drives.

He will attend Tuft’s University this fall.

- Braun was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Math League.  She served as captain for Perry’s marching and jazz bands.  She played violin with the Western Pennsylvania District Orchestra and also participated in her school’s annual spring musical productions.

She served as captain of Perry’s cross-country team and was also a member of the track team.

She was a volunteer with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and CHANGES Program at school.  In addition, she volunteered each week for the Boys & Girls Club at Sarah Heinz House.

Braun will attend Penn State University this fall to study Information Sciences and Technology.


Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Honor McDowell High School Graduate with Alumni Scholarship

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Association has awarded its fourth annual scholarship to McDowell High School graduate Chris Michalak.  The scholarship, valued at $2,000.00, is co-sponsored by the NHL Alumni Association.

The Alumni scholarship program was created in 2005 and is presented annually to a western Pennsylvania high school senior for academic excellence and for providing leadership, sportsmanship and a positive attitude as a member of their school’s hockey program.  Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2 to qualify for the scholarship.  

Michalak, a forward, led his team with 32 goals and finished second in points with 55 through 47 games this season.  A 3-year varsity letterman, he served as team captain in 2007-08 and was named to the PIHL AAA All-Star Team and the Gilmour Academy Invitational Tournament All-Tournament Team.  He was also a tryout invitee at the Erie Otters (OHL) training camp this year.    

He excelled academically as a member of the National Honor Society and was awarded the McDowell High School Scholar-Athlete Award the past three years.  He was also named to the Honors College Science and Math, Honors College Language Arts and Social Studies and was a member of the Junior Engineering and Technical Society.

Michalak is an active member of his community.  Through St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Erie, PA where he served as a worship service assistant, he also participated in Group Work Camps, a national organization that sponsors faith-based resident work camps throughout disadvantaged areas of the country.  In addition, he volunteered time to Relay for Life, Earth Day Clean-Up and Toys for Tots events.   

He is the son of Dennis and Rebecca Michalak of Erie, PA.  He plans to attend Penn State University in the fall with a major in science or mathematics.

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