Justin Shondeck, of State College, has plans to pursue a musical theater degree at Ithaca College.
But he won’t have to foot the entire tuition bill himself.
Shondeck was among 138 Centre County students this year to be awarded a scholarship through the Centre Foundation.
Justin Shondeck awarded the Clare Fund Award for Performance Arts: Drama, Musical Theatre or Dance scholarship
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His particular scholarship, the Clare Fund Award for Performance Arts: Drama, Musical Theatre or Dance, was named in memory of Clare Dahlia Snetsinger — a State College-area teen who died of cancer after a three-year battle, who was passionate about artistic expression.
“I want to use theater as a social platform where I can talk about current issues such as the stigma facing people with special needs, as well as racism in the performing arts industry,” Shondeck said.
His goal, Shondeck said, is to work as a professional actor in New York City and internationally, with particular interest in the West End of London theater, and also create fusion performance-blending arts as a singer, dancer and circus performer. He also hopes to obtain a master’s degree.
A report from the Centre Foundation said the 138 students were awarded $255,135 in scholarships through the organization this year.
We are thrilled to be able to facilitate so many students furthering their educations. Donors and community members understand the value of education, whether that is at a two-year college, four-year university, or at a trade school
Molly Kunkel, executive director
“We are thrilled to be able to facilitate so many students furthering their educations,” Executive Director Molly Kunkel said in a statement. “Donors and community members understand the value of education, whether that is at a two-year college, four-year university, or at a trade school. They have established more than 140 scholarship funds with us, and have entrusted Centre Foundation to administer applications and awards to deserving students every year.”
This year, a newly established scholarship, the Catherine C. Ye Memorial Scholarship, was created, and its first recipient was Hanna Yu, a State College Area High School graduate, who is attending New York University.
High school seniors wishing to apply for scholarships through the Centre Foundation are encouraged to work with their respective school districts in the spring, when the application period opens.
“Scholarship season is one of my favorite times of the year,” Grants and Scholarship Coordinator Ashley Pipe said. “We get to learn about the stories and incredible accomplishments of our county’s best and brightest. I’m always honored to work with the school districts and scholarship fund holders to facilitate the annual scholarship process.”