Lebanon County residents Olivia Gerhart and Alexis Shirk have been recognized as the distinguished recipients of the 2023 Alletta Schadler Community Service/Engagement Award.

The award, granted annually by Penn State Extension, honors remarkable service and leadership of students in the field of family and consumer sciences, as well as within their local communities. Gerhart and Shirk will both receive $500 to further their education in the field.

The scholarships were presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, June 21, at the Penn State Extension Lebanon County office.
From left to right: Lori Klein, Extension Educator; Alexis Shirk, awardee; Letie Schadler, committee member and endowment sponsor; Olivia Gerhart, awardee; and Carol Checket, committee member and Master Gardener. Not pictured: Doris Bergman, committee member.
(Photo provided by Dyan Risser)

The scholarship is named after Alletta “Letie” Schadler, the first female County Extension Director in Pennsylvania. Schadler served with the Penn State Extension in Lebanon County from 1969 to 1999, championing programs focused on food, nutrition, food safety, food preservation, leadership development, textiles, clothing, and home management.

Olivia Gerhart, a Cedar Crest High School graduate, plans to attend West Chester University to major in Nutrition and Dietetics. Alexis Shirk, a Northern Lebanon High School graduate, has chosen Indiana University of Pennsylvania for her higher studies, majoring in Family and Consumer Science.

The awards were presented on Wednesday, June 21, at the Penn State Extension Lebanon County office (2120 Cornwall Road).

The application process for the annual Alletta Schadler Community Service Award is open to all Lebanon County residents pursuing further education in Family and Consumer Sciences-related fields. The selection process emphasizes outstanding volunteer service in Lebanon County, not financial need, and individuals may only receive this award once.

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