When Carl E. Stotz founded Little League in 1939, he did so on the basis of character, courage and loyalty.
These words are still found on the Little League Baseball and Softball insignia, and they are also the basis for the Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarship.
Beginning in 1993, the Stotz Scholarship recognizes high school seniors from Lycoming County school districts who excel in academics and citizenship. These young men and women exemplify Mr. Stotz's vision of creating an organization to help shape the lives of children and mold them into productive adults through sports. Since the Little League International Board of Directors established this scholarship program 20 years ago, more than $124,000 has been awarded to 152 students, including this year's honorees.
The 10 recipients of the Stotz Scholarship, five male and five female, were honored at the annual luncheon held today at Little League International in South Williamsport.
These students received a total of $8,000 in scholarship funds to provide financial assistance as they continue their education. One male student and one female student each receive a $2,000 scholarship, with the eight other finalists receiving $500. The scholarships perpetuate the memory of Little League's founder, recognizing his commitment to the development of youth in Lycoming County.
From the 52 scholarship applicants this year, the recipients of the $2,000 scholarships are Hannah Merrifield, Hughesville High School and Daniel Ma, Williamsport High School.
Miss Merrifield will be attending Gannon University and Mr. Ma will continue his education at Princeton University.
The other eight finalists receiving $500 scholarships include: Kyle D. Bomboy, Hughesville High School; Rebekah Fries, South Williamsport High School; Charity Good, Muncy High School; Ryan Orgitano, South Williamsport High School; Danielle Rozenberg, Jersey Shore High School; Steven Saladino, Hughesville High School; Lauren Taylor, Williamsport High School; and Paul Warner, South Williamsport.
"For the past 20 years, this has been one of the most special events and honors to take place at Little League International," Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. "When Mr. Stotz founded Little League, he set out to improve the lives of area youths. There is not a better way to remember Mr. Stotz than through these scholarships, which showcase some of the best and brightest young men and women that call Lycoming County home. We are happy to honor these students and remember the legacy of Carl Stotz."
In order to be considered for the Stotz Scholarship, a graduating senior must be in the top 25 percent of their class at one of the nine Lycoming County high schools. In addition to academics, the applications are reviewed on merits of good citizenship and whose spirit exemplifies effort, determination and persistence in attaining the goal of higher education. Each interested senior submits two letters of recommendation and an essay on what they hope to achieve through higher education.
Applications for the scholarship are generally accepted between December and March.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world's largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.
For more information, visit www.littleleagu e.org, follow the Little League on Facebook www.facebook.com /LittleLeagueBase ballAndSoftball and also on Twitter, www.twitter .com/LittleLeague.