Namedropper 3/17/2019

March 17, 2019

Super student

Dunmore High School Senior Kaitlin Ahern was one of two students to represent Pennsylvania at the 57th United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C.

Kaitlin was among 104 high school juniors and seniors from around the country who spent the week in the nation’s capital experiencing government in action.

Kaitlin heard major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies. She also met with Senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey and participated in meetings with the president and Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kaitlin was awarded $10,000 towards her college education for attending the USSYP. She plans to study political science and become a civil rights attorney. She hopes to have a career in politics and public service.

High notes

St. Joseph’s Center’s Michele Mandaranno, Sean Greguske and Terry Weber were recognized as Direct Support Professionals of the Year by Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, IHM, president and CEO of the center, and Patricia Tetreault, president of the center’s board of directors, for their dedication to the mission of St. Joe’s. Mandaranno, of Scranton, has worked as a coach for Community Support Services for more than three years. She was nominated and given the award for her respect and great insight to those she serves. Mandaranno finds her job very rewarding and has helped many through difficult times. She completely focuses on each person she is supporting.

Greguske, of Blakely, is a DSP working for five years in the Community Living Arrangement homes. He was awarded for his demonstration of the center’s core values in his interactions with the men he serves and with his co-workers. He seeks opportunities outside the home that enrich the lives of those he serves and the community.

Weber, of Olyphant, has worked as a DSP of 12 years at the Main Center (Intermediate Care Facility). She was chosen for the award for opening up the world to one young man and actively looking for new occasions to help them feel safe, connected and successful. Weber cares for non-verbal center residents who are almost completely dependent on her to meet their every need — physically and emotionally.

Hannah Ruby, of Lake Ariel, an Adult Day Services Assistant at St. Joseph’s Center in Luzerne County, was also honored. She has worked in this position for more than 2 years and offers direct support including personal care, developmental programming and sincere encouragement to each of the 20 people who receive services. She recently accepted a position at the center’s Hughestown Intermediate Care home where 5 Day Services participants live.

They were all honored during a recent Center Board Meeting at the IHM Center and each received a framed artwork created by St. Joe’s residents.

Farmer turned teacher

Local farmer Matt Shaffer recently spoke to North Pocono Intermediate School fourth graders about agriculture as a business and an established profession.

Shaffer elaborated on the positives and negatives of Bt corn, a variant of maize that has been genetically altered, and allowed students to see first-hand the effects of Bt corn verses NON Bt corn.

The assembly was in conjunction with a story from the fourth graders’ reading series that centers on Bt corn and other genetically modified food.

Students understand the importance of listening to both sides of a topic in order to form their own opinion.