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The 2024 Chandler Barnes Scholarship Recipients 

Each year, Communities in Schools of Eastern PA presents the Chandler Barnes Scholarship to some of its exceptional high school graduates with plans to attend an accredited college or university, business school, trade school, or training program. Two students received this $1,500 scholarship this year: Ayana Beals of Easton Area High School and Emma Irizarry of Emmaus High School.  


Ayana plans to attend Northampton Community College this fall to become an ultrasound technician. Reflecting on her high school journey and the achievement of her graduation, she attributes her success to her unwavering determination.


During her time as a CIS of Eastern PA student, Ayana's potential flourished in a nurturing learning environment. She deeply appreciated how CIS fostered a safe haven in her school community, ensuring every student felt respected and supported. 


“When I feel safe, I can fully focus on my studies and my personal growth,” Ayana said. “This safe place allows me to take risks, explore new ideas, and participate actively in my education. It also fosters positive relationships with my teachers and peers, creating a supportive community that encourages collaboration and learning. CIS has provided me with this safe space, and I’m grateful for the opportunities it has given me to learn, grow, and achieve my goals.”

The second recipient, Emma, will attend West Chester University this fall to study social work. She is particularly proud of her graduation achievement because it marks how much she has overcome. Throughout her high school career, she was determined to build a future not defined by her past. 


Emma learned about CIS of Eastern PA while experiencing a rough time. She was homeless, frustrated, and scared when her English teacher suggested working with CIS. Site Coordinator Amy Williams reached out to lend a hand. Mrs. Williams became an important mentor and trusted adult and introduced Emma to numerous resources. This helped her understand that help, success, and support were not far from her reach. 


“Knowing I had someone there for me, ready and willing to help, to talk to me, and to want the best for me completely changed my mindset. I realized I didn’t have to face life alone,” Emma said. 

The staff at CIS of Eastern PA is so proud of Ayana and Emma. Congratulations on your graduation and your scholarship, and best of luck in your next endeavors! 

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