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Book Scholarships


Each year our high school graduates have the opportunity to be awarded scholarship money to help with college book purchases.  Money is set aside each year from the Fall Faire for this purpose. 

This year a scholarship award will go to Abby Soule who is graduating from high school this spring.  Please be sure to congratulate Abby and wish her well in her future endeavors. 

Here is Abby's Scholarship Essay:

What are your college plans, course of study, and future vocational plans?

Overall, my current plans for my future involve going to the Penn State University main campus as an engineering pre-major, then declaring as either civil engineering major or chemical engineering major, and eventually starting a career in one of those fields. To elaborate, I decided to choose Penn State as my college because I have always loved the environment on campus. My dad went to Penn State, so I have grown up going to football games and spending a lot of time seeing all the different activities, sports, restaurants, and communities available. I have always felt extremely comfortable and safe at Penn State, so it has always been the college I was most interested in. I have seen the community that the students have built where everyone can come together and work or cheer each other towards a common goal, and that student experience of being a small piece of a larger whole is something I cannot wait to be a part of.

I chose engineering as my major because growing up I have always really enjoyed my math and science courses. Based on that, I decided to also begin taking some high school engineering classes, which focus on the general basics of engineering, and begin to teach us about each different field that we could possibly choose. I am torn between chemical and civil engineering because of a couple of factors. I absolutely love my chemistry classes, and I think I would enjoy the work that chemical engineers do, but having a career in the chemical engineering field would most likely involve me relocating to a city for work. This is where civil engineering also has its appeal. I like and mostly understand the concepts and ideas that go into civil engineering, and I believe that I can succeed in that career and be able to remain in the central Pennsylvania area, which right now I would prefer. Because of my indecision, starting as an undecided engineering major gives me the greatest amount of opportunities to experience the different fields that are available for me to go into. I am really excited to go more in-depth with engineering classes, and with that finally, decide and declare what type of field I will be excited to go into as a career.


What has Silver Spring Presbyterian Church meant to you and how have you remained active in your high school years at SSPC?

Silver Spring Presbyterian Church to me is a place that has always welcomed me and is there to support me. It has provided me with friends, mentors, and a community that is always there for me. To begin, the year I was confirmed, in late middle school through early high school, was a very stressful year for me, but having the support of so many members of the congregation was extremely comforting. I made so many great friends through my confirmation process, many of which I still talk to today. Communicating with so many peers all around my age showed me different ways to think about connecting with God. Through listening to my fellow confirmees, I learned about the multitude of ways to worship and to work religion into the everyday chaos of life. Bonding with so many amazing individuals was a truly enlightening experience and I will never forget it.

I have continued this bonding experience with the other young adults with my trips to Zeteo. The Zeteo weekend was one of the experiences where I most felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. The energy of everyone in the room coming together from all over Pennsylvania and experiencing the same songs, play, and sermons create a feeling that cannot be found anywhere else. Having an entire weekend to just focus on learning more about Christ and to discuss the power of the stories and sermons is an amazing experience that I would love to participate in again.

Over the years when the global pandemic was especially prominent, it was very difficult to connect with the church, and while everyone was quarantined in their homes, I felt very isolated. While I did not attend many of the Zoom sermons that were given, the ones I did watch and listen to were a great opportunity to interact with others who were experiencing the same crisis. Learning about how others were coping and dealing with being alone by focusing more on God in their lives was a great reminder that the isolation could be turned into a beneficial time to disconnect from the distractions of normal life and reconnect with God.

Since COVID-19 has become a less prominent societal issue, I have really enjoyed returning to in-person services again. Going to the gathering is a wonderful way to get to talk to others in the congregation and see how their lives have changed. I am going to miss being part of a strong church community at SSPC, and I hope to find a church that will support me just as well while at Penn State.




Last Published: April 17, 2023 11:06 AM