Six students earn free two years at HACC


Four York County residents are among the scholarship recipients

Four York County students will be attending HACC at no cost for two years.

For the first time in its 51-year history, the community college awarded six students full-ride merit scholarships.

Recipients from York County are Maria Camila Ruiz Rojas of York, Nathan Tasker of Hanover, Amanda Tran of Etters and Matthew Williams of Red Lion, and they are joined by Timothy Delp of Kirkwood, Lancaster County, and Alexander Jonovich of Myerstown, Lebanon County.

The full-ride merit scholarship was created by the HACC Foundation to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors enrolled full time at Harrisburg Area Community College. Each scholarship covers tuition, books and fees, making the value of the scholarship up to $25,000 per student for both years.

Requirements: More than 60 students applied for the scholarships through an online application process that included an essay.

They also were required to reside in one of the 10 counties in HACC's service region and be enrolled in 12 to 15 credits each term. Students were required to have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 and are expected to maintain that average while at HACC as well as participate in at least two student organizations. Students also had to meet several test score requirements for reading and writing.

Their plans: Rojas, who will be a virtual learning student, intends to major in communications with a focus on human resources and to complete her associate degree online. After that, she hopes to move on to a four-year university and earn her bachelor's degree.

Tasker plans to complete his two-year degree in HACC's math and computer science program at the Gettysburg campus and later transfer to a local university.

"I hope to graduate from college without debt," he wrote in his application essay. "This is not simply for the financial freedom personally, but to lay the groundwork for a home where my children will not be burdened by the same financial difficulties by which others have been bound. My pursuit of this scholarship is multigenerational, reaching not only to my children but to all those whom I am able to serve in my career."

Tran, the daughter of immigrants, watched how hard her parents worked to support her and the rest of their family.

"My goal is to earn the education that my father encouraged me to gain and continue to work hard, so I can tell my parents that all of their teachings and encouragement has paid off — and that because of them, I was able to become as successful as I am," she wrote. "It's for them that I am, and will, continue to work insatiably hard in school and life. The scholarship will push away the mountains of stress and anxiety I have about being able to afford my tuition."

Tran has enrolled in HACC's Harrisburg campus for the upcoming school year.

Williams, a music lover and the oldest of seven children, is enrolled at HACC's York campus and hopes to compose, produce and market his music or write music for film and television.