Three 2022 graduates of Roosevelt High School can take some extra book money with them to college this fall, thanks to each winning a Kent Lions Club John Ferlito Memorial Scholarship.
The three new scholars are Sydnie Leavery, Benjamin Pazderak and Zaleah Wright.
The Ferlito award — each $500 — recognizes Roosevelt seniors who have “demonstrated outstanding service in the community and volunteering.” They honor longtime Kent Lion John Ferlito, who was the city’s health commissioner for a quarter-century until his death in 2017. The scholarship was established by his widow, Linda.
Sydnie, daughter of Shannon and Troy Leavery, has volunteered with the Rotary’s Key Club, at Miller House, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Parish of Streetsboro, and with several school groups, including as Student Council president and an officer in DECA, the business group. She will attend La Salle University of Philadelphia, studying finance and, as she has since middle school, playing golf, as a scholarship athlete on the Explorers women’s team.
Ben, the son of Matthew Pazderak and Susan Louis (both Kent City Schools teachers), will attend Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., where he plans to study mathematics or math education. Ben spent countless hours in community volunteer projects with the United Christian Church’s United Youth Force, serving as its president this past year. He also was a saxophonist on Roosevelt’s marching band.
Zaleah, the daughter of Melissa Cameron, wants to study nursing and allied health fields at Kent State University. No wonder, after she has volunteered all four high school years with the Health Career Program at Roosevelt, serving as its secretary. Zaleah has volunteered at Hattie Larlham in Mantua, and when she wasn’t goaltending on Roosevelt’s field hockey team, she was handling duties as an employee at UH Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.
The Kent Lions perform about 2,500 annual vision screenings for Kent’s K-to-12 students, provide vouchers for eye exams and glasses for those who cannot afford them, sponsor guide dogs and contribute to Type-1 diabetes and leukemia research.