Comments from previous Scholarship Award Recipients

We receive feedback from many of our previous Student Scholarship Recipients who share how they are doing. Please take some time to read these responses. You’ll find that our Solanco grads are off to a great start and we are glad SEF could provide some of the initial higher education funding because of the donations provided by our community and business support.

Jamie Burkhart (Class of 2013)

Choosing a college was stressful for me. It was overwhelming to take into account all the different aspects such as in-state versus out of state schools, private school versus state university, on campus living versus off campus, and extracurricular activities offered. It was hard to know at the age of 17 what the perfect match for me would be. In the end, I had to take all things into consideration but the number one issue I had to address was tuition costs. Receiving the SEF scholarship was a huge blessing for me as I am paying my way through college. It felt good to know that all of the hard work I put into my high school career paid off with being considered for this scholarship.

I graduated from Millersville in December 2016 completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish in 3 ½ years. I work full-time for The Amish Farm and House as a Spanish tour guide as well as Social Media and Events Coordinator. I tutor adults, college and high school students in Spanish when my schedule allows. I love to travel and I am planning yet another trip to Spain in October!

Chelsea Crandall (Class of 2012)

The scholarship provided to me by Solanco Education Foundation has aided me in gaining a college education at a reasonable price. I have been able to attend a college that I love and gain the knowledge to be a teacher, which has been a dream of mine since I was a child. Having a scholarship not only helped me attend the best college option for me but it also gave me assistance so that I could focus on my work without as much worry about finances.

I am currently teaching 8th grade reading at Cambria Heights Middle School. In class we discuss many different ELA topics and read novels like “The Outsiders.” What I love most about teaching reading is that it allows me to be animated, dramatic, and bring literature to life. I think this is very important because it helps students find reading interesting which is uncommon in the world of technology. I love not only teaching this topic, but also teaching it to middle school students. Eighth grade students have so much energy and ability even though they are working through a difficult phase in life. It is amazing to watch how much they mature each year and be part of the team that helps them in their growth.

In addition to teaching 8th grade, I am also the director for the fall plays and spring musicals at our district’s high school. This is such a rewarding experience for me to see the students grow on the stage. I have found that their experiences being involved in theater has helped them develop skills they need in everyday life including confidence, awareness of emotions, and ability to talk to others. I love being able to help create the shows and experiences that allow each child who participates to have a place they can call home and an area where they can grow into young adults.

Andrew Ausel (Class of 2010)

The SEF scholarship played an important role in my journey to where I am today. Awarded to me in the spring of my senior year of high school, the scholarship served as affirmation, not only that I had performed well, but that I could do much more than perhaps I thought I could at the time. Graduation from high school serves as a crossroad in every student’s life. The SEF scholarship represented a goal achieved and a challenge overcome, which encouraged me to set my goals high and believe that I could reach them.

Today I work as the Associate Director of Advocacy for the Design-Build Institute of America, which is a national trade-association of design and construction firms based in Washington D.C. My work takes me to state capitols across the country to educate legislators on the work of our member and the advantages of design-build project delivery. I foster relationships, formulate strategy and monitor state legislation to advocate on behalf of membership and the association. My undergraduate degree is in Political Science from Messiah College and I am pursuing a master’s degree at Virginia Tech in Urban and Regional Planning. The Solanco Education Foundation Scholarship helped me to study politics and land numerous jobs and internships that preceded my role in Washington D.C.

Liesl Nafziger (Class of 2009)

With the help of the scholarship, I was able to attend a school I would not have been able to afford otherwise. I made life-long friends, as well as professional connections, in my time at Messiah College that have shaped the rest of my life. I took many classes that have been put me at a tremendous advantage in my work since graduation.

I am currently working at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm as the Entertainment & Creativity Supervisor. I oversee all the entertainment on the farm (both in hiring outside entertainment and in developing shows internally), as well as the sign design and the painting for the whole property. In my “spare time” I volunteer as the Box Office Manager at PRiMA Theatre in Lancaster city.

Heather Eisenberger Brickner (Class of 2008)

This scholarship helped me get an education that helped shape my worldview and calling.

Previously I was the Community Life pastor at The Meeting House – a multi-site church in the greater Harrisburg, Pa area, but my husband and I have now returned to Lancaster city to start a new church.

Elizabeth Linde (Class of 2007)

The SEF scholarship made Juniata College a possibility. I wanted to attend Juniata, a small liberal arts college, where I could create my own major and without SEF, it wouldn’t have been feasible.

After graduation, I spent 22 months abroad doing Peace Corps/Kenya where I taught at Sipili School for the Deaf.

I am currently working as the front Office Associate at Miracle-Ear in Akron, PA. I also have an Etsy site where I sell my handmade items. I am living in Lancaster with my husband and loving life!

Bethany Rineer Alfonso (Class of 2006)

The SEF scholarship provided some of the finances needed to help me attend a university that was a little out of my price range. I wanted to attend a Christian college that excelled in biblical scholarship and education and through scholarships like the one I received from SEF, I was able to attend the school of my choice.

I am a third grade teacher and elementary Spanish teacher at Lancaster County Christian School.

Nikki Overly Bender (Class of 2006)

A SEF scholarship made it possible for me to attend my dream school, Cedarville University. Because of this, I was able to be a part of an exceptional nursing program (BSN), as well as deepening my faith in Jesus Christ and forming some of the best friendships of my life. I’m incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that I was blessed with!

Today I am happy to be working as a head nurse for the Solanco School District. I enjoy overseeing Swift Middle School, Bart/Coleraine Elementary, and Clermont Elementary School. I’m thrilled to be putting my education and passion to use to build back in the community that raised me! I definitely feel that my education at Cedarville prepared me well for this career, and also for the grad work I completed through Slippery Rock University to obtain my school nurse certification.

Ian Henderson (Class of 2006)

This scholarship helped allow me to attend Belmont University pursue a career in the music industry.

Now I am an entertainment business manager for recording artists in Nashville, TN.