The Vira I. Heinz Program, an initiative of The Heinz Endowments, is intended to empower young women to address global issues by offering opportunities for international education, leadership development and community service.
Waynesburg scholarship recipients this year include sophomore Anna Bartman and juniors Marla Holland, Chelsea Tessitore and Ashley Young, who will study overseas this summer.
Typically, each Pennsylvania college or university that participates in the program is granted scholarships for three students. This year, as has been the case for several previous years, Waynesburg was granted more than its share of spots.
According to Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and coordinator of the Vira I. Heinz Program at the University, the tendency to be granted more than three spots is due to the quality of Waynesburg students.
“We have exceptional female students who really present themselves well and represent both the institution and the U.S. well,” said Bristor.
The program provides scholarships of at least $5,000 for women who have never been out of the United States to study abroad for the summer, and Waynesburg is one of only 15 higher education institutions to participate in the program. The four Waynesburg women selected will collectively receive nearly $30,000 for their trips.
Students were selected after applying for the program by creating a proposal outlining their intended plans for studying and engaging in a foreign community, followed by interviews in front of a committee. They will participate in a year-long program which includes spring and fall retreats at the University of Pittsburgh, a summer of travel, an experience report and a community engagement experience.
Bartman, a biology pre-med major from Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, plans to travel to Maynooth, Ireland. She will work to raise awareness of the health care struggles families face in other parts of the world, which will further her career aims of providing medical care to those in need.
Holland, a psychology major from Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania, will study at the University of Sydney in Australia. There, she plans to learn about how women perform and are treated, specifically in sports, in Australian culture and subsequently help to empower all women.
Tessitore, a nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will travel to New Delhi, India, as part of the Traditional Medicine and Health Care Practices Program. Her ultimate goal is to provide health care to as many people as possible, especially those who don’t usually have access to it.
Young, a sociology major from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, plans to spend the summer in Prague, Czech Republic, where she will take classes and work with the Children, Youth and Families Program to further her goal of working with children and families in the foster and adoption systems.
The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to their work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.
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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or email@example.com