Two Penn Manor High School juniors have been selected to attend the prestigious Pennsylvania School for Excellence in the Agricultural Sciences.
Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman and Rylee Mellott were named PSEAS Scholars and will attend the four-week program in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University. Only about 40 students from across Pennsylvania are selected each year to participate.
They will live on campus and attend college-level courses, exploring the fields of agricultural science and natural resources while experiencing life on a college campus. The program, which covers the cost of tuition, housing, food, books and other materials, runs from July 8 to Aug. 3.
Arilyn said she cried when she found out she had gotten into the program.
“I feel great about it because it’s so selective, and knowing that I was picked makes me think all that work, those late nights, the stress from your classes and the research, is paying off. It’s gratifying,” she said.
Rylee said she’s looking forward to experiencing Penn State. “I want to attend Penn State when I get older, and spending four weeks learning exactly what I want to be learning is what I want to be doing.”
The students had to submit their resumes, along with a recommendation from a counselor. They also had to write two essays – one explaining who they are and why they wanted to attend the program, the other about an agricultural issue affecting another country.
Arilyn wrote about malnutrition in Sudan; Rylee’s essay was on agricultural instability in Haiti.
During the program, the scholars will be challenged to come up with solutions to such problems as lack of access to clean water, malnutrition and social injustice faced by those living in developing countries.
In addition to attending classes, laboratories and workshops, participants will work on group research projects and participate in evening activities.
“I’m so proud and thrilled to have two students involved with this program,” said Penn Manor agricultural education teacher Diane Glock-Cornman.
“It is a tremendous opportunity and can really pave the way for amazing opportunities in the future.”
Congratulations, Rylee and Arilyn!