Rivka Leah Horwitz is grateful that she’s received the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s scholarship not once, but twice.
Horwitz used the initial scholarship to study for a year in Israel. She described the time spent abroad as a “life-changing learning experience.”
In Israel, she experienced the culture, taught second-graders about safety and was involved in a homework-help program for young people impacted by cancer.
This year, she is studying at Touro College in Manhattan. She’s majoring in biology and hopes to work in the healthcare field. Next semester, she’ll work as an intern at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
As the oldest of six children, Horwitz said the scholarship money has gone a long way toward paying her tuition. Her brother Aaron is also a recipient.
Last Friday, she attended a luncheon and silent auction at Knowlton Mansion, at Rhawn Street and Verree Road in Fox Chase, hosted by WomenForward, a group that raises money for the foundation. She thanked the 120-plus women who “selflessly give” to assist Northeast college students.
The scholarships are about more than money, in her view.
“I also acquired a network of women who are cheering me on,” she said.
WomenForward, directed by Collette McBratney, has held nine gatherings. The group has helped fund 35 scholarships since 2007. Another 10 scholarships will be distributed next year.
The event featured beautiful Christmas music by Teresa Desiato.
Tracy Davidson, an NBC 10 news anchorwoman and consumer reporter, was the keynote speaker. She recently earned a religious studies certificate from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood and is pursuing a degree in pastoral counseling at Chestnut Hill College.
“I’m a big advocate for education,” she said.
Rosemarie McMenamin is chairwoman of the foundation, and Al Taubenberger is president of its board.
Money is raised at the luncheon, the silent auction and a “Hail to the Chefs” culinary event in the spring.
Applicants must live in the Northeast and are judged on their grades and references.
“It’s really an opportunity to help them accomplish their goals and dreams,” said Taubenberger, who is also president of the local Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s scholarships are worth $1,100 apiece.
The current scholarship winners are Christine Marie Benner (East Stroudsburg University), Aaron Horwitz (Yeshiva University in Israel), Christine Kirlin (Widener University School of Law), Kelly Kirlin (Peirce College), William J. Lawrence (Temple University), Aron Litostanski (Temple University), Megan Montgomery (University of Delaware), Nicholas Pables (King’s College), Rivka Leah Horwitz (Touro College in New York) and Joseph F. McHugh (Temple University’s Fox School of Business).
The students were honored at a dinner in June at Torresdale’s Glen Foerd on the Delaware mansion.
To download a scholarship application or for more information, go to www.gnpccfoundation.org and click “WomenForward.” ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org