PBA’s Scholarship Presentation Helps Make Dreams Come True For Rising Generation


Aspiring teachers, doctors, scientists and other admirable hopefuls gathered at the Maryland Yacht Club with their families and supporters on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1, for what Chesapeake High School signature program facilitator Melissa Bajadek describes as her favorite meeting of the year with the Pasadena Business Association: the annual presentation of scholarships.

“You will do fabulous things,” Bajadek told this year’s recipients during the presentation. “The future is yours. It is — it really is, so go make your dreams come true.”

This year’s graduates who received scholarships comprised Steven Lewis of Northeast High School, Damian Wirth of Northeast High School, Jillian Taylor of Northeast High School, Anthony Liberatori of Old Mill High School, Layla Tiberio of Northeast High School, and Raymond Kovacsics of Mount St. Joseph High School.

Each of the students selected this year had impressive academic and extracurricular backgrounds, but even more impressive were some of their plans for their futures.

Steven Lewis, a sergeant with Northeast’s Marine Corps JROTC, received the annual Isabel Shipley Cunningham Scholarship. Headed to Anne Arundel Community College next year with hopes of applying to Hood, Towson or Bowie State, he plans to be a special education teacher and work toward a master’s degree that would allow him to write and create curriculum for special needs students.

The recipient of the Ed Lauer Scholarship, Damian Wirth played on Northeast’s lacrosse team and wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree in either neuroscience or psychology and enter medical school. He will head to the University of Mount Union in the fall.

Jillian Taylor, who was honored with the Debi Smigovsky Grim Scholarship, was in the Scholars Program at Northeast and served as the vice president of the National Honor Society and as the president of the Spanish National Honor Society. She heads to UMBC this fall to double major in mechanical engineering and dance.

The former president of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, Anthony Liberatori also was a member of the Old Mill string orchestra, four honor societies and the superintendent’s teen advisory at the Board of Education. He plans to enter New York University or the University of Maryland to major in history or international relations/conflict resolution and international development.

During her high school days, Layla Tiberio demonstrated leadership skills through her participation in Best Buddies, swim team, Northeast MCJROTC, National Honor Society and concert band. She is headed to Salisbury University to double major in exercise science and physical therapy with the hopes of becoming a therapist for people with special needs.

Last but not least, Raymond Kovacsics — who was active with the National Honor Society, the National Math Honor Society, varsity volleyball, varsity tennis, the leadership club and the audio visual club — will pursue a mechanical engineering degree from Loyola University.

In addition to the 2019 graduates, the PBA presented scholarships to eighth-graders as a way of acclimating the younger teens to the application process: Navaya Taylor of George Fox Middle School, Ella Shannon of Chesapeake Bay Middle School and Aidan Durham of George Fox Middle School. Like their high school counterparts, these standout middle schoolers were chosen for their academic accomplishments, their athletic participation, their club involvement and their ardent volunteerism.

These scholarships are made possible every year through the efforts of the businesses involved in PBA, and Bajadek expressed thanks to all of the organization’s members on behalf of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. “We are incredibly grateful for the support that we get,” she told the PBA. “We know how valuable your time and money is, and we appreciate everything you do.”


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