The local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BPW) awarded a Cabondale student with a scholarship.
The student, Robert Morgan of the class of 2017, earned the honor based on philanthropy, academia, and character.
Morgan consulted his school guidance counselor while still weighing his options for continuing his education, and it is then that he learned of the club's scholarship for students pursuing a degree in a medical field.
He submitted his grades and a personal essay for consideration, and the club determined that he was the remarkable sort of candidate that they look for.
Since the age of seven Morgan has participated passionately in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and achieved their highest honor, the title of Eagle Scout.
To earn this, he not only performed community service extensively, but also organized several efforts himself.
One such activity involved placing flags on the graves of fallen soldiers in local cemeteries for Memorial Day; he began this practice yearly when he was about eleven years old and has continued it up through this past year.
For these noble acts and many others, the BPW did not think twice about selecting his as the winning submission.
Debbie Longacre and Joann Jordan, who lead the local chapter, described Morgan as "the perfect candidate" and "exactly what [they] look for."
The club's values align with Morgan's exactly: academia, work ethic, patriotism, and spirituality. They found Morgan to be exceptionally well-rounded and, upon meeting him, discovered that he was also well-spoken and -mannered.
The club has been active in the area for nearly a century, and, as their name would suggest, encourages women to pursue careers and fulfillment on their own terms with the help of their supportive network.
The organization is nationwide, and works with legislators on local, state, and federal levels to further the rights of working women. Membership is open to any woman, whether she is an employer or employee.
"Any working person is considered a professional," said Longacre.
The district officials convene twice a year to discuss the bigger picture, but the local ladies in Carbondale meet once a month to organize their many charitable works. They donate to the library, food pantries, the local rotary club, and the historical society, just to name a few. They also sponsor a local missionary group that travels to Haiti each summer.
The June meeting of the chapter is traditionally when their annual elections take effect, with the previous officers of the club passing the reins to the newly elected ones. It also is usually when they invite the winner of the scholarship to join them for dinner to celebrate the student's commencement.
While previously a scholarship geared towards young women pursuing nursing degrees, the award is now open to candidates of any gender and can be for any medical program. Morgan is using the money to attend the University of Pittsburgh this fall.
He hopes to remain there through his post-graduate studies and earn his doctorate through that institution, but is open to the flow of the future. When all is said and done, he hopes to enter the field of oncology.
Having spent his entire life thus far in rural bosom of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Morgan is keen to experience a new city and expand his horizons. Most exciting to him is the prospect of meeting new people and engaging with new ideas, but maintains that nothing can truly replace the community of Carbondale in his heart.
Brimming with potential and the urge to do good, Morgan looks to the fall and the future with a hopeful and eager eye.
"I just want to see what's going on," said Morgan.
The BPW is always accepting new members; if interested, contact Debbie Longacre at 570-254-6465 or Joann Jordan at 570-282-3884 for more information.