Purchase Line graduates

Purchase Line alumni Lauren Boring and Nicole Shaffer posed for their photo after their graduation in 2019. Boring had the honor of being class salutatorian. (Submitted photo)

Both girls are a part of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Upward Bound Math and Science program. By being in this program, they were able to be in the running for the TRIO scholarship this year.

Boring attended UBMS for all four years of her high school career. Shaffer started attending UBMS her sophomore year through graduation.

Boring is attending Chatham University in Pittsburgh as an architectural interior design major. Shaffer is attending Wilkes University in Scranton as a PharmD major.

The Pennsylvania Association of TRIO Programs (PA TRIO) represents member institutions that include universities, colleges and community education centers hosting TRIO programs.

Scholarship winners are selected from a pool of graduating high school seniors participating in each pre-college TRIO program (Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Centers) based on an essay submission addressing the question, “What have you overcome in your life to begin your college journey at your institution?”

Boring and Shaffer are the seventh and eighth scholars in the UBMS program to receive the PA TRIO scholarship. There are only six Upward Bound Math and Science programs throughout the commonwealth and two awards given.

 “Jacque (Benhart) had all of the seniors apply for the scholarship,” said Boring. “We had to write an essay that met the standard of the prompt given to us. I thought that it was really surprising that Nicole and I were the only two recipients considering we went to the same school. The scholarship really helped me out with buying my supplies for my classes as well,” added Boring.

A few requirements to become a UBMS scholar are: first generation to attend college and/or low

income household, and maintaining a 2.5 or higher grade-point average.

In order to get in contact with or show interest in enrolling in an Upward Bound program, students can get in touch with the guidance office.

“It was an honor to receive the PA TRIO scholarship. I was grateful to be one of the two recipients,” Shaffer said.

“I am always surprised to hear that my students were awarded scholarship money at the state level, so when two seniors from PLHS both were chosen, I’m grateful beyond measure,” said Benhart, academic counselor of UBMS at IUP.

“Two years ago we had both winners from IUP, and five scholarship recipients as well over the last 13 years,” Benhart added.