As oppressive heat sits heavily over Pennsylvania, and much of the rest of the country, I can’t help but think back to the beautiful weather during Community Weekend. Gettysburg College provided a wonderful space for fellowship, laughter, serious contemplation, sharing ideas and sharing experiences. We were delighted to see your faces, hear about your research, listen to stories of the work you are doing, and get you ready for an exciting year of new adventures, whether that’s starting classes in your last year of high school or getting ready to tackle the first year of college. Further, we were grateful for your feedback on the event and if you have more to share, we invite you to do so.
This edition of the newsletter looks back at Community Weekend through pictures while also looking forward to the coming year with excitement!
While for the most part, the Lenfest Scholars Foundation personnel is steady this year, we do have a couple of comings and goings to share. We want to take a moment to bid a fond farewell to associate director Dana Matassino, who is moving on to a new journey at the Ranney School in New Jersey. We also want to officially welcome Joe Gordon to the LSF board, which we do in the pages of the newsletter! You’ll read an interview I had with Joe this summer, where we talked about his admiration for all Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest have done as well as “how you start to make the big claim” in literature, and what excites him most about the LSF board. As any of you who have already had the pleasure of speaking with Joe know, he’s a fascinating person with a multitude of interests (and just wait until you see the many roles he held at Yale!) - our hour-long conversation passed quickly and effortlessly, and the chance to chat with Joe at length was one of the pleasures of my summer.
Speaking of people we’re pleased have joined the Lenfest community: we are so excited about the 36 new Lenfest Scholars that were chosen in the spring! You may have had the chance to meet many of them at Community Weekend, but we are delighted to welcome our largest class of Scholars ever, coming from the following partner high schools: Bermudian Springs, Big Spring, Biglerville, Chambersburg Area Career Magnet, Chambersburg Area Senior, Donegal, Fairfield, Greencastle-Antrim, Halifax, Huntingdon Area Senior, James Buchanan, Mount Union, Octorara, Pequea Valley, Shippensburg Area Senior, Solanco, South Western, Spring Grove, Upper Perkiomen, and Waynesboro Area Senior. Among this group of intellectuals, we have athletes, entertainers, scientists, writers, and historians. There are future doctors, civic leaders and special education teachers in this cohort, as well as many who are waiting to see what is revealed to them about their career paths as their education unfolds, and even one whose teacher made the bold claim that “he will run for president one day!”
We hope that potentially-presidential Scholar will read the article about the Lenfest Mentor Program, written by Ashley Green Gautam, and will take advantage of the opportunity to work with a member of the Lenfest community - and we hope you will do the same! This program has continued to grow since it was implemented last year, and our Scholars find it truly worthwhile.
Meanwhile, the LSF staff has been hard at work since Community Weekend, counseling the newest Scholars, strategizing on the upcoming year to offer the most effective support possible to Scholars, Lenfest partner high schools, and alumni, and implementing some of the new programs for which the board has provided funding. Also new this year: our website, which Susie Choitz has redesigned using her impeccable artistic skill. We have some more changes related to the website that will be coming, and once they are in place, we will let you know!
Looking for Career Conversations Corner? After presenting to and counseling many Scholars and alums at CW and in the weeks after, Eileen Kohan is taking a well-deserved break from her cornerstone column in July, but she’ll be back next edition. In the meantime, you can check out her posts on the LSF Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or email her directly at email@example.com if you have questions or are looking for some advice.
The proverbial dog days may be upon us, but we are not letting that slow us down - and we hope you are enjoying a fruitful summer! Please enjoy the summer edition of the Lenfest Scholars newsletter.