Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation (PMHF) is proud to announce the recipient of its 2023 Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship was created to honor the memory of Jamie Ellenberger, an individual served by Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services (PMHFOS) who was an active member in the community. The principle of community is central to PMHFOS’s mission, to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, and behavioral health needs to live successfully in the community.
PMHF aimed to award this scholarship to a student in the region who brings that same understanding of the value of community service, and this was found in Mr. Jonathan Smith of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.
As an active member of his church and school, Mr. Smith has a very impressive resume, featuring countless hours community service. At his church, he serves as a Children’s Church assistant where he helps in presenting Bible lessons to the young children of his congregation. Mr. Smith also serves as an usher, participates in Christmas Caroling where he performs for shut-in church members as well as nursing home residents, and serves as a guide each year at Vacation Bible School.
At school, he was a Student Leader for the Spanish Club, an IMPACT tutor in both math and science, a presenter for the History and Science Clubs, a member of the Student Council, and part of the Youth Ambassador Club, where he participated in monthly community outreach activities.
Outside of church and school, Mr. Smith was a senior member of his local Boy Scouts of America troop. As a boy scout, he has participated in placing flags at graves of veterans, was involved with the Scouting for Food program, and had assisted other troop members in completing their Eagle Scout projects. He also taught youth in his community how to play chess at his local library.
Mr. Smith was a member of the National Honor Society where he was a guest speaker for the Western Pennsylvania National Honor Society Induction Ceremony that was held in Pittsburgh. He was also a member of the Spanish Honor Society, and he was also selected to participate in the Governor’s School for Global and International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned three college credits during this four-week program. He was a straight-A student, carrying a 4.0 GPA, and had never missed a day of school.
Mr. Smith is attending Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, this fall, where he is studying psychology. His goal is to earn a PhD in psychology and begin assisting people with mental health needs. He wants to dedicate his life to serving others in need as a way to show his appreciation for the efforts of the numerous people who have helped him.
This year, PMHF received 76 applications across 13 counties in western Pennsylvania.