This summer, Kaitlyn Josephson, a 16-year-old junior at Forest Hills High School, traveled from Johnstown to Sante Fe, New Mexico by herself, toured the nation’s capital for the very first time, and made lifelong friends with teens from China, Belgium and Spain and other countries across the globe. Along the way, she and her new friends studied the works of Plato, Abraham Lincoln and others to better understand the tenets of democracy. They reviewed the Federalist Papers and even explored the influence that music can have on the masses. And when they needed a break, they climbed mountains in and around Sante Fe, toured a Civil War-era plantation in Virginia and shared perspectives on what it’s like to grow up in Sidman, Shanghai, Brugge and Madrid.
Clearly, not a typical summer for the average16-year-old.
That’s because Kaitlyn was the first recipient of the Resick Broad Horizons Award. The award was recently established at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies by 1999 Forest Hills graduate Jennifer Resick Williams. It provides a scholarship to a 9th or 10th grade Forest Hills student to attend a summer program, visit colleges or even cover college application costs. Kaitlyn chose to attend a two-part program at St. John’s Academy, spending one week in Sante Fe and another week in Annapolis, Maryland.
“It was an unbelievable, inspirational experience,” Kaitlyn said. “It gave me insight into college life, like living in a dorm and living away from home. I made incredible friends from all over the world, and learned a lot that I hope to bring back to school. I would never have had this kind of opportunity without the Resick scholarship. It really changed how I view the world now.”
That’s exactly the response Ms. Resick Williams was hoping to generate.
“I was very active in school,” she said. “My activities took me to Baltimore, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., which made up most of my travel experiences outside of Pennsylvania through age 18. A senior Spanish class trip to Mexico was the first time I left the country. All these experiences made a meaningful impact on my education and career path. They inspired curiosity in an urban lifestyle and caused me to seek and learn more through travel experiences. I wanted to provide Forest Hills students with a similar opportunity to enhance their personal growth through travel, and inspire them to find programs and opportunities that interest them individually. I’m so glad Kaitlyn had the chance to pursue this opportunity. I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes her and other recipients in the future.”
The Resick Broad Horizons Fund is one of dozens of scholarship funds at the Community Foundation. For 25 years, the Community Foundation has been connecting donors with the causes that matter most to them – like creating life-changing opportunities for local teens that inspire them to examine, explore and experience the world around them. Those who are interested in establishing a fund to support their passion can contact Nancy Marley at the Community Foundation (814-536-7741) for more information.
Photo above: Kaitlyn Josephson, far left, toured the Newseum in Washington, D.C. during a pre-college summer program that was funded through the Resick Broad Horizons Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.