A graduating senior from Northern Lebanon High School is the 2024 winner of a $1,000 Lebanon County Diversity Scholarship from the Lebanon County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The NAACP announced the winner in a press release this month from Pat Steely, a member of the NAACP branch’s executive committee and chair of the education committee.

The winner is Ariel Ksana Kayli McIntosh of Jonestown. She plans to attend Penn State University at University Park this fall to major in biobehavioral health.

McIntosh will receive her scholarship check at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 15, during the NAACP’s 2024 Juneteenth celebration at Monument Park, where she plans to speak about her transition to Northern Lebanon from Jamaica after Hurricane Maria.

Read More: Lebanon NAACP hosts local Juneteenth celebration June 15 in Monument Park

In the essay that accompanied her scholarship application, McIntosh recalled feeling like an outsider when she first arrived in the United States.

“After almost 8 years here, I strongly believe that there’s nothing wrong with being different,” she wrote in the essay. “It is okay to stand alone but there is beauty in finding a community that can stand with you. Life should be spent with people who love and cherish you. Independence is a wonderful thing but cooperation builds character.”

Charity E. Stohler, McIntosh’s civics and government teacher at Northern Lebanon, said in her recommendation letter that the student “is a well-rounded individual who excels in al aspects of her life.”

“I have been genuinely impressed by Ariel’s intelligence, maturity, work ethic, personality, and outlook on life,” Stohler wrote in the recommendation, further noting that McIntosh has been an active member of the school’s volleyball team and has participated in the Student-Principal Advisory Council, Spanish Club, Student Council, and Volunteer Club … all while earning a weighted GPA of 3.8828. She has been on the honor roll throughout her high school career, was inducted into the National Honor Society during her junior year, and has been a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society, since her sophomore year.

McIntosh also has found time to volunteer at a men’s homeless shelter through the Northern Lebanon Volunteer Club and has served at two homeless ministries in New York City over the past two years.

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