More Scholar Success Stories



As a first-grader at Wolfsville Elementary School, Sarah Burdette knew she wanted to be a teacher. Not only did she work hard to achieve straight “A’s” in her high school career at Middletown, but she started honing her teacher “skills” along the way by adopting behaviors that she observed in many of her teachers: early for class, participating in discussions, helping other students, and doing more than was expected of her.

Karen Crum is enthusiastic about agriculture. She has been involved in many aspects of agriculture throughout crum.smallher life, beginning with being raised on a dairy farm in Thurmont. From 4-H involvement as a youth to participating in Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Catoctin High School, and continuing that involvement into adulthood with the Frederick County Farm Bureau, National FFA, Maryland Agricultural Council and The Great Frederick Fair.

holter.smallOnly a few people in the world are lucky enough to earn a living doing what they are passionate about. Fewer still can support themselves with full-time careers in the arts. Colin Holter is living his dream, and living it well.

Two scholars, and also two sisters, are taking the investment made in them by generous donors of Community mccallam.smallFoundation scholarships and impacting the lives of many youth in Frederick County. This “sister act” from Brunswick, Elizabeth McCallum Forbes and Rebekah McCallum, consists of two women who have already helped many youth, and they each have very clear goals and aspirations.

Kate Meagher’s outgoing personality would benefit anyone who is hospitalized. Her cheerful smile and sunny meagher.smalldisposition are infectious, and those who have invested in her education are getting a great return.

urquhart.smallWriting is another form of creativity, and although Natalie Urquhart started her college career majoring in art, she graduated from Messiah College with a B.A. in English and a minor in studio art. She is successfully combining her writing and art skills as a professional resume writer.

Collaboration is part of everyone’s daily life, and every day, Janna Stup Barrick collaborates with seniors at Somerford Assisted Living of Frederick to help them maintain their independence. As an occupational therapist, Janna understands collaboration from a variety of different perspectives, and strives to improve a person’s quality of life by providing therapy services.

Ben Murphy may not be living and working in Frederick County since graduating from Ohio State University in 2011, but his highly collaborative work in the field of agriculture and crop development certainly will benefit and impact Frederick County farmers and those who raise crops for their livelihood.

The healthcare profession is one that demands collaboration by countless parties in order to provide the best possible care for patients. The industry is producing myriads of opportunities for those motivated to study and acquire skills, and the road to success can be challenging. Those who are successful and motivated learn to collaborate very early in the process.

Intubations, ventilators, inhalers, arterial blood sticks, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), rapid response team. The health care world has a language of its own, and Lisa Petronchak is very fluent in the language of respiratory therapy.

Imagine moving to a new country as an elementary age child and knowing only a few words of the native language. Lyuba Sidorova’s immersion into American life and culture has been a journey fueled by the collaborative efforts of many, and those efforts are creating a strong foundation for her success.


When Matt Strawsburg earned his business marketing and economics degree, the idea of cooking for a living was always in the back of his mind. His practical side told him to learn about business and have a degree to fall back on, but after graduation, his creative side won and Matt set about learning to cook professionally. He chose not to attend a formal culinary school, but to learn from his own research, practice, and on-the-job experience. Collaboration was a key ingredient leading to his current success.

“Patients give you patience,” according to Kristina Brakebill Houck. “I am blown away every day with the courage and perseverance that my patients show towards their difficult health situations.” Kristy, as she’s called by her family and friends, is a registered nurse working full time at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.  Just two years into her career after graduating from Messiah College in 2009, Kristy works on the trauma acute care floor, or the “drama” floor, as she and the trauma staff lovingly call it.

“Whatever you put your mind to, you can accomplish.” These are the words that P.W. Shaffer lives by and teaches his children, because he knows from personal experience these words are true.P.W., a 1988 graduate of Brunswick High School, received the Frederick Community College Student Scholarship. His father’s unexpected death right after his high school graduation changed his family’s life dramatically, and P.W. suddenly found himself the man of the family, helping his mother navigate the sale of his father’s dental practice, among other things. “I had to grow up very quickly,” said P.W. “I learned a lot about business, on the fly.”

Darren Remsburg is not your typical veterinarian. A 1996 Brunswick High School graduate and a 1999 Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) graduate, Darren earned his degree in veterinary medicine from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. In the short eight years since then, Darren’s professional experience includes private practice, research, teaching, veterinary product support in the corporate world, and entrepreneur. He’s also found time to marry and start a family that now includes three beautiful daughters. Not surprisingly, his wife, Carrie, is also a veterinarian.

Nathan Farlow did not let much grass grow under his feet during his time as a student at University of Maryland, College Park. Nor has he let any grass grow since he graduated magna cum laude in the spring of 2010 and was hired by ExxonMobil and relocated to Houston, TX. Nathan is a Cost Engineer at the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the United States, known as the ExxonMobil Baytown Area.

Heather Dapsauski is not just a math teacher. Heather is a math teacher who is successful because she strives, on a daily basis, to make a personal connection with every one of her students. “If I make the effort to form a relationship with my students, then they want to learn.”

It just gets in your blood. Growing up around a restaurant will either instill a passion for the field, or enable one to find out that it’s not for them. For Joe Baker, who during his youth spent a lot of time at his family’s restaurant, La Paz, the world of hospitality is definitely a passion.

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