Twenty-two Area Students Receive J.L. Francis Scholarships


Twenty-two seniors throughout Mahoning County have been awarded the J.L. Francis Scholarship.

The scholarship, which provides $1,000 to each of its recipients, was established in honor of Mr. Jeffery Francis in 2006. The award is presented to one student in each of Mahoning County’s public high schools, chartered Christian schools, one student from Ursuline High School, one from Cardinal Mooney High School, and one vocational student from the MCCTC and Youngstown Choffin. 

Each school selects 10 students to apply for the scholarship. Students who maintained a 3.0 GPA and demonstrated a commitment to their communities through volunteer service are eligible for consideration. Each student then must submit a career essay, a letter of reference, and an application to be considered for the award. 

The information submitted is then reviewed by the online application program and essays and letters are reviewed by Teaching and Learning team members at the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio (ESCEO, formerly Mahoning County Educational Service Center). After thorough review, one student from each eligible district is awarded the J.L. Francis Scholarship.

The Class of 2021 recipients of the JL Francis award include:

  • Matthew Brown, Western Reserve Local Schools
  • Keila Cortes, Ursuline High School
  • Alayna Cuevas, Boardman Local Schools
  • Aebigayle D’Ostroph, Sebring Local Schools
  • Sarah DeLucia, Springfield Local Schools
  • Gia Diorio, Cardinal Mooney High School
  • Anahni Harris, Youngstown Rayen Early College
  • Alaya Kiser, West Branch Local Schools
  • Olivia Kitchen, Valley Christian Schools
  • Lawalyn Lewis, East High School
  • Grace Li, Canfield Local Schools
  • Emma Marek, Austintown Local Schools
  • Josh Marino, South Range Local Schools
  • Lily Marsco, Columbiana Exempted Village Schools
  • Nevaeh Neill, Chaney High School
  • Francisco Rivera-Ocasio, Lowellville Local Schools
  • Lauryn Steele, Struthers City Schools
  • Abigail Stephens, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center
  • Polixeni Svinos, Campbell City Schools
  • Anthony Terranova, Jackson-Milton Local Schools
  • Ga’taeja Warren, Choffin Career and Technical Center
  • Madison Wess, Poland Local Schools

The J.L. Francis Scholarship fund is part of the First Place Community Fund, which is a component of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. The scholarship is named after Mr. Jeffery Francis, a banker who led the FFY Financial Corporation prior to its merging into the First Place Bank. He served First Place Bank and First Place Financial Corporation prior to his death in February 2005 from complications of Lou Gherig’s Disease. He was also an ardent supporter of Youngstown State University.

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