Local Student Receives Scholarship Award

Al Croyle (left) presents a check for $500 from the Al Croyle Scholarship Fund to Armstrong High School senior Josh Hepler. William Hodak, right, is the Chairman of the Board of the Worthington-West Franklin Parks and Recreation Authority.

An Armstrong High School senior is this year’s recipient of the Al Croyle Scholarship.

Josh Hepler, 18, from Worthington received the $500 scholarship check on Wednesday night at the Worthington-West Franklin Civic Center.

Al Croyle, for whom the scholarship bears his name, said the annual bequest is made to a deserving student from either West Franklin Township or Worthington Borough.

“It was an anonymous donor who started the scholarship in my name five years ago. We still don’t know who it was,” Croyle said.  “It is a continuing thing, and we are trying to preserve it and prolong it for the good of the students and the community.”

William Hodak, Chairman of the Board of the Worthington-West Franklin Parks and Recreation Authority, said the scholarship was named after Al Croyle because of the years he has spent in the area volunteering and his lifelong commitment to the community.

“Josh was here all the time helping us out with stuff – events and fundraisers. And, that’s part of the emphasis. The main emphasis is on community service which is the reason this anonymous person started the scholarship in my name because of my many years of community service,” Croyle said.

“I wrote on how I had community service hours and also about my community – why my community is so special to me. I have grown up here in Worthington. It was a large deal to me,” Hepler said.  “It is such a close community. Everyone’s always helping each other out. I’ve always loved to be a part of it. It’s always a wonderful time.”

Hepler said he plans to attend Penn State Behrend campus near Erie in the fall. He wants to become an architectural engineer.

“This helps me out a lot. This will help me pay for by books in school.”

Hodak said the scholarship brings together all ages of community life.

“The Civic Center is here for Worthington-West Franklin people. This is also going down clear to the college and high school people in getting a scholarship, which is really nice.

Croyle said Hepler also submitted letters of testimony from his teachers, grades, and QPA standing.

Hodak said he hopes the scholarship fund will be a perpetual endowment.

“The businesses here in town donate to the scholarship fund and that is where most of the money comes from,” Hodak said.