Stephanie Baringer, a senior at Newton Falls High School, recently entered the Tom Holden Memorial Scholarship competition. More than 150 students from all across our Valley entered PSA scripts written about local organizations. A team of judges from WKBN and Caring for Our Community sponsor partners (Huntington Bank, Window World and Dunkin’ Donuts) judged the entries and Stephanie’s PSA, written about Mill Creek MetroParks, was the first runner up!
MCMP Community Engagement Director Samantha and MCMP Marketing Manager Leslie recently met Stephanie, her parents, and her guidance counselor at the Tom Holden Memorial Scholarship Awards Luncheon and had a wonderful afternoon getting to know each other. Thanks, Stephanie! You make us proud!
LC: How did you hear about the Tom Holden Memorial Scholarship Competition?
SB: It was on my school’s website, and I just happened to be looking for something else when I saw it.
LC: What made you want to enter?
SB: I figured, why not? College is expensive and I don’t want to be in debt for the rest of life. You can’t get money if you don’t try. I’ve been doing scholarship applications like crazy for the past couple months.
LC: Why did you choose to write a PSA about Mill Creek MetroParks? Where did you get the idea for the PSA?
SB: When I read through the list of organizations, I got instantly inspired to do Mill Creek MetroParks. It came to me as soon as I saw the name. It automatically came to me, however I think my experience with the park shaped my idea.
LC: How did you feel when you found out you were first runner up?
SB: I was actually really surprised! I didn’t spend that long writing it and I wasn’t expecting to win after I clicked the submit button. It’s nice to know that my idea was good enough to be the first runner up. It definitely boosted some of my confidence.
LC: What’s your best memory of Mill Creek MetroParks?
SB: My best memory of Mill Creek MetroParks is when I had my senior pictures taken there. I had a Newton Falls alumni, aspiring photographer, and friend Bern Talanca take them. It was amazing to see the park in full bloom in June. She had me sit in flower beds, go under trees, and even stand on rock ledges! At one point while we were in the flower garden, she wanted pictures by the fountain. I sat down, and the water stopped flowing. I jokingly raised my hands as if I were trying to raise the water, and it worked! It started to shoot out of the pipes again and I couldn’t stop laughing. Bern was snapping pictures like crazy the entire time.
LC: What are your college plans?
SB: I will be attending the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut to major in forensic psychology in the fall. I will complete my master’s degree there as well. Go Chargers!