Graduation season is an especially celebratory time at Crossroads Foundation, kicked off annually by our Scholar Achievement Awards. The 2017 Awards attracted a packed house of scholars, families, staff, board members, and supporters to Synod Hall in Oakland, where our 128 scholars were honored in 15 categories, each representing a key attribute needed for overall high school, college and life success.
An impressive 72% of our scholars were recognized for making the stringent Crossroads Honor Roll, which is determined by calculating an unweighted GPA in core academic courses. Other key awards recognized excellence in leadership, humanitarianism, resiliency, dedication, attendance, improvement, service, and academics. In addition, as a result of a robust Alumni Relations Program initiated by a two-year grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Crossroads presented its first Distinguished Alumni Award this year as well.
See below for full details on all the awards, and stay tuned for graduation and college transition news on the Class of 2017 coming soon!
Academic Achievement Award (Crossroads Honor Roll)
Gold Honor Roll: GPA 3.5 – 4.0
Sydney Barlow, Tyler Bornschlegel, Rodney Burgwin, Tey Davus, Lionel Deanes, Sierra DeAngelo, Taylor Denham, Dontae’ Ellis, Jayda Farr, Bria Goldsmith, Timothy Green, Ivie Harris, James Hill, Van-Toan Ho, Kelli Johnson, Katelyn Kovalsky, Talaiah Matthews, Jaiden Mazefsky, David Mitchell, Anicet Mundundu, Cecilia Murrell, Chloe Noah, Kassandra Opfar, Angeline Pho, Nicholas Pho, Kristina Rajakovich, Gabriel Rosario, Vinicius Santos, Sydney Serena, Robert Sullivan, Sequoia Tate, Anwara Tayloradams and Sydney Thomas.
Silver Honor Roll: GPA 3.2 – 3.5
David Adams, Nicholas Anglin, Te’lza Brown, Antonio Cheatom, Tamaiah Cutler, Roseandre Donatien, Daniela Dryer, Keimon Dupree, Seth Fabry, Joseph Fetzko, Cristal Flores, Alexander Fuchs, Kyra Fuller, Anna Gestiehr, Nathanial Greenlee, Kellen Haywood, Bentley Hicks, Jr., Jackson Kaib, Katie Knecht, Sanaa Langford, Alexandra Law, Promise Maloya, Ryan Martin, Sarah Milcarek, Abigail Pechin, Breona Pippens, Terrell Pollard, Alexys Riley, Lance Robertson, Kali Scanlon, Sarah Shandor, Zachary Straub, Aivy Tran, Rosslin Watson, Rian Watson, Erikka Williams, Anthony Young, Jr. and Charles Zahir.
Bronze Honor Roll: GPA 3.0 – 3.2
Diahja Allen, Brionna Allen, Jeffrey Bridgett, Jr., Mackenzie Butler, Gabriella Capozzolo, Javon Clark, Eric Gidel, Kendall Gomez, Nicaela Greenlee, Shamir Harris, Alexander Hill, Isabella Igims, JaQuae Jackson, Miranda Keefe, Terran Moore, Grace Osborne, Amari Smith, Daimere Stewart, Joseph Tumulty, and Hannah Wilson.
Recognition for taking 3+ Advanced Courses
Sydney Barlow, Rodney Burgwin, Gabriella Capozzolo, Sierra Cruz, Abigail Cutruzzula, Teya Davus, Sierra DeAngelo, Taylor Denham, Seth Fabry, Kyra Fuller, Anna Gestiehr, Bria Goldsmith, Kendall Gomez, Timothy Green, Kelli Johnson, Jackson Kaib, Katie Knecht, Katelyn Kovalsky, Jaiden Mazefsky, Sarah Milcarek, Anicet Mundundu, Cloe Noah, Kassandra Opfar, Grace Osborne, Abigail Pechin, Emma Peoples, Angeline Pho, Kristina Rajakovich, Alexys Riley, Kaizen Rodriguez, Vinicius Santos, Robert Sullivan, Sequoia Tate, Rosslin Watson, Hannah Wilson, and Anthony Young, Jr.
Bestowed on students who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to both their responsibilities as high school students and as Crossroads scholars.
Freshman: Sarah Shandor of Seton La Salle
Sophomore: Amari Smith of Oakland Catholic
Junior: Shane Davis of Central Catholic
Senior: Bobby Sullivan of Central Catholic
Most Improved Award
Bestowed on scholars who most dramatically improved their GPAs from last year.
Junior scholar Joe Tumulty, Junior scholar Terran Moore, and Senior scholar, David Mitchell, all of Central Catholic.
Freshman Scholars of the Year
Chloe Noah from Serra Catholic and Gabriel Rosario from Seton LaSalle
Perfect Attendance Award
Taylor Denham, Amari Smith , Kellen Heywood, Kaizen Rodriguez and Teya Davis
Outstanding Scholars Award
Bestowed on students earning the highest Crossroads GPA in their grade.
Freshmen: Timothy Green
Sophomore: TIE between Teya Davis (for the second consecutive year) and Kristina Rajakovich
Junior: Kelli Johnson (for the second consecutive year)
Senior: Dontae’ Ellis
LEAD stands for Learn, Empower, Advocate, and Discover and is a group of outstanding upperclassmen who applied and were selected to represent their peers as the voice of Crossroads Scholars.
From Oakland Catholic: Sydney Barlow, Taylor Denham, Bria Goldsmith, Angeline Pho, Sequoia Tate, Roseandre Donatien, Kellen Haywood, Katie Knecht, Anwara Tayloradams, and Kelli Johnson.
From Central Catholic: Antonio Cheatom, Anthony Young, Jalen Cruz, and Robert Sullivan. From Seton LaSalle: Vinicius Santos
From Serra Catholic: Emma Peoples, Rosslin Watson
From OLSH: Miranda Keefe
From Bishop Canevin: Anna Gestiehr
Excellence in Scholar Leadership Award
Bestowed on a LEAD member(s) who has gone above and beyond in advancing the group’s mission through scholar leadership, positive role modeling, and effective advocacy.
Junior scholars Sydney Barlow, Katie Knecht, and Angeline Pho of Oakland Catholic
Recognizes a scholar who has overcome significant challenges in the pursuit of their education.
Junior scholar Joe Fetzko of Serra Catholic
Recognizes a scholar who has made significant contributions to both his/her school and Crossroads Foundation.
Junior scholar Sydney Barlow of Oakland Catholic.
Recognizes the scholar(s) who best exemplify all we aim to accomplish through our scholarships.
Sequoia Tate of Oakland Catholic and Antonio Cheatom of Central.
Sequoia Tate has been a LEAD scholar both her junior and senior years and was elected by her peers this year to serve as our first president of the LEAD program. During her time with Crossroads, she has accompanied staff to many development events, and has also volunteered throughout her school and Crossroads communities. She takes several AP and advanced courses and is on the Crossroads Gold Honor Roll. She has been accepted to a number of competitive universities including Howard, Duquesne University and Temple and plans to major in pre-med.
Antonio Cheatom has also been a LEAD scholar since junior year and is a Silver Honor Roll student. Last summer, he served as a Leader for the annual freshman scavenger hunt through Oakland, and was voted Most Enthusiastic Team Captain. Last summer, Antonio also served as the pilot intern for our new Corporate Sponsorship Program. This school year, Antonio has graciously volunteered his time to help Crossroads in a number of capacities, including as the pilot scholar for a potential promotional video series. Antonio is headed to Kent State University where he plans to major in accounting.
Outstanding Parent Partnership Award
Bestowed on the parent(s) or guardian(s) who has shown tremendous dedication and commitment to Crossroads.
Charles and Bridget Welsch, grandparents of James Hunter, a senior scholar at Seton LaSalle.
Sister Sandy Kiefer Educational Excellence Award
The Sr. Sandy Kiefer Educational Excellence Award is a 3-year scholarship recognizing an extraordinary freshman scholar who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement, school attendance, and participation in community service, extracurricular activities and Crossroads programs.
Tim Green, of Seton LaSalle.
A Paul G. Benedum, Jr. Foundation Scholar for the 2016-17 school year, Tim has a career interest in bioengineering; is a straight-A student, has taken four Honors courses this year, and holds the second highest Crossroads GPA of 3.88 unweighted in core academic subjects. In addition, Tim volunteers at his former elementary school, St. John Bosco in Brookline, and is involved in soccer and in several school clubs.
School with the Highest GPA
This award is presented annually to the high school where our scholars have achieved the highest average GPA. For the second consecutive year, the award goes to our scholars attending Serra Catholic, who have earned a collective average GPA of 3.30. The average unweighted GPA in core subjects for ALL of our scholars this year is an amazing 3.11.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Established this year to recognize a Crossroads alum whose achievements and commitment to “giving back” continue to advance our mission. The Award and our many new alumni re-engagement initiatives are a direct result of a formative two-year grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to establish a robust Alumni Relations Program for our 500+ scholars.
Our inaugural winner is Mr. Ryan McCarthy, class of 1999.
With the help of a Crossroads scholarship, Ryan graduated from Central Catholic and Penn State, and earned his law degree from Georgetown University. In 2014, he returned to Pittsburgh to join Reed Smith Law Firm as an associate in the Corporate and Securities Group.
Ryan became Crossroads’ youngest Board member in 2015, and since that time, has graciously expanded his commitment by sponsoring a highly successful friend-raiser last October, and serving on three key committees: Crossroads’ capacity-building grant team; Strategic Planning team; and Corporate Sponsorship Committee.
Ryan sets an excellent example for all of our current scholars and alumni, and truly embodies the very high standards we have set in establishing the Distinguished Alumni Award.