The CAN DO Community Foundation announced the selection of seven area students as recipients of the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award.

The Dessen award is a scholarship that allows community-minded juniors from high schools located in the CAN DO service area the opportunity to enroll in the Junior Leadership of Greater Hazleton program. The Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award is available to incoming juniors from Hazleton Area High School, Immanuel Christian School, Marian Catholic High School, MMI Preparatory School and Weatherly Area High School.

The winners are:

  • Angela LaRose, a junior at Hazleton Area High School, the daughter of John and Diane LaRose of Sugarloaf.
  • Jody Landis, a junior at Hazleton Area Academy of Science, the daughter of Yvonne and Jeff Landis of Sugarloaf.
  • Meghan Moon, a junior at Weatherly Area High School, the daughter of Cathy and Dave Moon of Weatherly.
  • Juliana Oberto, a junior at Marian Catholic High School, the daughter of Vince and Susan Oberto of Hazleton.
  • Justin Olander, a junior at Hazleton Area High School, the son of Lisa and Greg Olander of Sugarloaf.
  • Ana Ortiz, a junior at Hazleton Area Academy of Science, the daughter of Wis and Blanca Ortiz of Hazleton.
  • Lindsey Walko, a junior at MMI Preparatory School, the daughter of Debbie and Larry Walko of Drums.

Applicants are judged by a committee and are evaluated based on their interest and participation in community and school volunteering activities.

The CAN DO Community Foundation established the award named for Dr. Edgar L. Dessen to honor him as the founder of CAN DO. The award recognizes Dessen’s vision and leadership, his determination and dedication to community service, and his inspiration to future generations to be involved in giving back to their community and making a positive difference in Greater Hazleton.

Through Junior Leadership, the students get a firsthand look at how volunteer service can make their community a better place to live and work. With this knowledge and experience, the Dessen Scholars, as they are known, are better equipped to make a difference through community service. Junior Leadership is under the direction of Joe Clark.

This is the 13th year that the foundation is presenting the Dessen Community Service Award, reinforcing local graduates’ interest in community service through firsthand experience.

Founded in 1992, the CAN DO Community Foundation has been funded through the contributions of money, stock, real estate, memorial donations as well as investment income from individuals, businesses, foundations and CAN DO, Inc.

The CAN DO Community Foundation supports worthwhile community projects, making a difference and improving the greater Hazleton community. Its scholarship programs have become an objective of the foundation, augmenting projects that focus on improving the quality of life in the Greater Hazleton community through conservation, preservation and reclamation.