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  • A group of students from the Pasadena community was recently presented with scholarship funds from the PBA during a ceremony held at Maryland Yacht Club.
    Photo by Dylan Roche
    A group of students from the Pasadena community was recently presented with scholarship funds from the PBA during a ceremony held at Maryland Yacht Club.

PBA’s Annual Scholarships Help Advance The Opportunities Of Pasadena Graduates

Dylan Roche
View Bio
June 12, 2018

With their lengthy list of accomplishments — academic honors, volunteerism, club leadership, sports victories and so forth — it’s easy to forget that the recipients of the Pasadena Business Association’s scholarships are only recent high school graduates.

A possible future educator, engineer, NASA scientist, physical therapist and other professionals all received a financial boost toward their futures in early June from the Pasadena Business Association, which managed to raise $15,400 for its annual scholarship presentation this year. The group comprised eight high school graduates and three eighth-graders, all of whom hailed from the Chesapeake and Northeast cluster area.


Gussie Goldman
Chesapeake High School

With plans to attend the University of Delaware to pursue a teaching degree in special education, Gussie Goldman started working on developing her teaching skills through her volunteer work as a high schooler. She became a Girl Talk mentor at Chesapeake Bay Middle School, where she encouraged girls to make connections and build friendships while tackling tough topics such as bullying and internet safety. She was a recipient of the Capital’s Outstanding High School Achiever Award for the positive impact she made through educating adults as well as her peers.

“Radiating kindness to the world regardless of personal circumstances is a belief that I have always held,” she explained.

The PBA presented Goldman with the Isabel Shipley Cunningham Scholarship, which is named for the Annapolis author and former teacher who spent years writing the PBA’s history books, “Between Two Rivers” and “The Pasadena Peninsula.”

Garrett Cauffman
Northeast High School

A soon-to-be engineering major at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Garrett Cauffman not only was a member of the National Honors Society but also was in Northeast High’s scholars program, an elite group of students who perform in the top 10 percent of their class and have been selected by Principal Jason Williams for their academic achievements. On top of his academics, Cauffman balanced a busy schedule of playing sports, being a church youth peer mentor and working at the Department of Defense. His years in Boy Scouts recently culminated with his achievement of Eagle Scout status by completing a food pantry project for St. Jane Frances. “I was taught from a young age to help others from my time in the Boy Scouts of America,” he said.

The PBA presented Cauffman with the Ed Lauer Scholarship in memory of the founder of Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakery, who was also a founding member and first president of the PBA 31 years ago.

Taylor Paul
Chesapeake High School

As a member of the top 2 percent of Chesapeake’s class of 2018, Taylor Paul earned college credits for six Advanced Placement courses, meanwhile holding a job at a kids gym and still performing in theater productions. She also maintained standing as an AP Scholar, National Honor Society member, International Thespian Society member and a Girl Scout. “I take immense pride in volunteering around my community,” she said. Her dedication to academics earned her acceptance into the University of Maryland, College Park, where she hopes to study the universe and work at NASA someday.

Paul received the Debi Smigovsky Grim Scholarship in memory of the PBA member who founded the education committee and A Child’s Christmas gift drive.

Alison Clark
Northeast High School

An aspiring physical therapist bound for University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Alison Clark graduated from Northeast a year early. She even scored in the top 1 percent nationwide on the SAT. Her volunteer activities have included work at the National Aquarium and Animal Control, and reading to elementary students. In her spare time, she kept busy with sports and serving as vice president of her class and treasurer of the student government. She is most proud of a recent project she and a friend completed at Solley Elementary, where they painted anti-bullying and positive self-esteem inspiring murals on the bathroom walls. “Having faced one of the most difficult challenges for a teenager — bullies — I was ready to leave my struggles in the past,” she said of the project.

Michael Cybert
Chesapeake High School

Michael Cybert, who was ranked ninth in his class of 334 at Northeast High School, excelled in both academics and athletics, being a member of the National Honor Society, on the principal’s honor roll, and selected for the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Futures All-Star Team. He used his skills to pay it forward by working with special needs athletes and mentoring students in algebra. Next year, Cybert will attend the University of Maryland, where he will study engineering. “Teamwork, ingenuity, service, technology,” he listed, saying, “When I think about a career where I can combine all of them, I think about supporting our national defense as an engineer.”

Jordan DeGruchy
Northeast High School

“I have always worked hard because I have always had an internal drive that pushes me to do my best in a way that makes me want to strive for perfection,” Jordan DeGruchy said of her achievements in high school. She was one of the elite to graduate from the scholars program at Northeast High School, where she was also a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, captain of the school swim team, a member of the dance company, and a volunteer through the Interact Club. She works at an aquatics center and earned principal’s honor roll throughout her senior year. She hopes to do a college internship in Disney World while attending Salisbury University to start a career in hospitality.

Alyssa Orefice
Old Mill High School

Alyssa Orefice ranked in the top 5 percent of her class and earned membership to the Spanish Honor Society and Math Honor Society. Along with maintaining excellent grades throughout high school, Orefice held a job and managed to play high school sports while volunteering on community projects. She plans to attend McDaniel College in the fall and pursue a degree in cybersecurity. “I hope one day I can reach the level to where I can help fight terrorism for the government,” she said.

Nichole Fish
Northeast High School

During her time in high school, Nichole Fish served as vice president of the student government association and treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society, and was a member of the National Honor Society, SADD, the Captain’s Club and the scholars program. She volunteered with the Happy Helpers Food Bank for the Homeless, Special Olympics, Relay for Life and Operation Welcome Home. She worked with her close friend Alison Clark (see above) to paint inspirational murals at Solley Elementary, and she was selected to represent her school at the MPSSAA Student Athletic Leadership Conference. She credits her grandmother as being an inspiration for all she pursued, saying, “My grandmother and I had a very close relationship and she was a highly influential individual in my life.” Fish plans to attend High Point University, where she will explore her career options.


In addition to the high school graduates, a group of eighth-graders from Pasadena middle schools was presented with scholarships to acclimate them to the application process. Those accomplished youngsters were Taurus Green of George Fox Middle School, Keenan Kopf of Chesapeake Bay Middle, and Heather Suesse of Chesapeake Bay Middle.

Congratulations to all these Pasadena scholars!

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