BEST Scholar Stories

  • BEST Stories – Glenne Martinez To know Glenne Martinez is to understand why this young woman thinks sleep is overrated. In the three years she’s been attending college, she’s worked multiple jobs while balancing classes, squeezing in homework and projects during her lunch break and somehow finding time for laundry, housework and well, eating. “It’s really not hard for me,” the ...
  • BEST Stories – Katelyn Marinelli Katelyn Marinelli likes to say she was in “the muddy middle” of college applicants. She wasn’t at the top of her class, which would’ve opened up doors to academic scholarships, and her family wasn’t at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, which would’ve made her eligible for financial aid. So she was particularly pleased to hear ...
  • BEST Stories – Victoria Bauder Like many college freshmen, Victoria Bauder was second-thinking her major. For one thing, her fellow music majors came to Kutztown University way ahead of her in everything from theory to performance. For another, she just wasn’t happy. “I was getting tired of it,” she says of the music curriculum and time spent practicing something she no ...
  • BEST Stories – Kayla Toncik Kayla Toncik had the world by its tail. She breezed through high school and easily earned an associate’s degree in business administration from Northampton Area Community College, even becoming a bit of a celebrity as she excelled in the traditionally male art of auto refinishing. She earned a sizable scholarship to Moravian College to pursue ...
  • BEST Stories – Kirsten Gehm Kirsten Gehm knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. But the self-proclaimed spitfire didn’t know what type of teacher until she experienced the best and worst of educators in high school. Coincidentally, it was the same person. “I wanted to be the type of teacher he was when I was ...
  • BEST Stories – Albie Moran Albie Moran 2Albie Moran might never have known about BEST if not for his persistent mother. “When I was a senior in high school, my mother made me apply for all the scholarships I could,” Albie says. “After I received a BEST scholarship, I learned a lot more about the organization through Judy and Billy. They and everyone ...
  • BEST Stories – Jonathan Nivar Jonathan NivarWhen Jonathan Nivar was 6 years old, he watched his father get stabbed to death. Now 24, Jonathan is on his way to becoming a counselor to help children who’ve experienced their own trauma or are simply looking for a hand as they make their way through the world. Jonathan got a much-needed hand while in ...
  • BEST Stories – Corissa Farley It was second-semester freshman year, and Corissa Farley was ruing the day she registered for a public speaking course. She got jitters just thinking about making a speech, yet here she was, in front of an entire class, trying to command attention. Somehow she got through that oration, and all the others that semester. And a ...
  • BEST Stories – Samanta Diaz Samanta DiazIf not for the 11:00 p.m.—and 6:00 a.m., and oh yeah, Christmas Day—telephone conversations with her BEST mentor, Samanta Diaz might not have survived college. But survive she did, and with the maturity that only comes from hard work, determination and honest self-reflection. “When I was young, I was a drama queen,” she recalls with an ...