An Honor and A Blessing

Abigail Joseph poses with her family after receiving scholarship.  Pictured from left to right: Paul Joseph, Allison Joseph, Abby Joseph, Sherie Joseph, Faye Lobaugh.  (Photo by Lori Corbett)

Student contributors

On Dec. 19, 2019, Cranberry High School student Abigail Joseph was awarded a scholarship of $133,000 to attend Thiel College.

This scholarship was presented to her during the annual senior Christmas party, along with a surprise visit from her family.

Joseph had been invited by Thiel to attend a scholarship competition on Dec. 7. It consisted of a series of interviews with members of the Thiel staff and offered a variety of scholarships.

One hundred fifty students competed in this competition, with only five being offered this large of an amount.

Andrew Godnich, the high school guidance counselor, said about the surprise, “Thiel admissions contacted me and her parents last week to coordinate a time to come and surprise Abby with her award in a ‘prize patrol’ format. We decided that . . . during the Victorian Christmas Party would be ideal. I called Abby front and center, and then brought out her family and admissions counselor with flowers, balloons, and a big check while announcing her award. She was . . . moved to tears.”

Joseph had previously mentioned that she had hoped to get at least an $8,000 scholarship from this competition. Never would she have imagined to have gotten this big of an award.

Sonya Lapikas, the Director of Admissions at Thiel, stated, “What a pleasure it was to be able to present this wonderful accomplishment to Abby.  This is something that just needs to be celebrated!”

After the announcement, Joseph took a few minutes to enjoy this special moment with her family.

Joseph’s older sister, Allison, commented, “Abby is one of the most compassionate people I know. It is such an honor and blessing to be her big sister, and I cannot wait to watch her grow. Go Tomcats!”

Cranberry students and staff could not be more proud of Joseph for this outstanding accomplishment. It’s an honor to have her as a student.


Kristen Hogue and Dylan Lu are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.