Typically, four to seven students are awarded the Judge Sidney Rigelhaupt and Bert Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Scholarship. This year wasn’t typical.
An unprecedented 15 Youngstown State University students were selected for the prestigious award, which will cover undergraduate tuition costs for students who intend to go to law school.
Paul Sracic, chairman of the political science department, said more students received money this year because of fewer individuals’ needs.
“A lot of students are already getting money from other grants,” Sracic said. “We try to make the money go as far as possible.”Sracic said this year’s scholarships totaled more than $40,000.
The annual scholarship is made available to YSU students from Mahoning and Trumbull counties who intend to take undergraduate courses in pre-law at YSU and go on to law school.
Sracic said the selections are mostly based on academic performance and the number of credit hours each student has completed.
“Each student writes an essay about why they want to go to law school, and that’s taken into great consideration,” Sracic said.
The 2012 recipients were Chelsea Baker, Jesse Huber, Patrick Kiraly, Bonnie Laska, Devon Marbuary, Bryce Miner, Shawnna Moore, Michael Podolsky, Gina Ponzio, Joshua Prest, Rachel Roberts, Sean Varsho, Zachary White, Melanie Womer and Zachary Zarzycki.
Prest, who is focusing on political science and criminal justice, said he is honored to receive the award.
“It’s a true honor that the scholarship committee picked me, and I am very grateful for their generosity,” Prest said. “It will be a huge help next year.”
He said that involvement in various activities, such as the YSU Moot Court team, and his grades earned him the scholarship.
“[The idea of going to law school] has always interested me,” Prest said.
He said he plans to earn a juris doctorate and a master’s degree in political science after graduating from YSU.
“I am sure this scholarship will help me achieve that goal,” Prest said.
For the second year in a row, White was awarded the scholarship.
“It means a lot on a personal level,” White said. “It feels great to have all of my hard work pay off.”
White said he will apply to law schools in the fall.
“I hope to gain admission into a law school that will not only further my educational journey, but one that will also provide great opportunities after graduation,” White said.
White was part of the YSU Moot Court team with Prest. He said he thinks his participation helped him to receive the award.
Once White completes his education, he said he hopes to continue to give back to YSU.
“The university has helped to shape the man I’ve become,” White said.