Posted by Pat Korb
“Johanel Perez, currently a student at the Hazleton Area Career Center, was selected as the recipient of the 2024 Arthur and Eileen Whitaker Memorial Trade Scholarship”, announces Committee Chair Kim McNulty. “Hazleton Rotary is excited to support Johanel’s educational journey with a $2,000 scholarship to aid him in achieving his future goals.”
Johanel is a Hazleton resident, and will attend Pennsylvania College of Technology this fall with a goal of earning an Associate’s Degree in Collision Repair.
Olga Papa, Hazleton Area Career Center School Counselor, wrote, “Johanel excels in the Collision Repair program and aspires to pursue a career as a collision repair technician. He remains determined to further his education in this field. His ambition is to open his own collision repair shop which reflects his strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Johanel plays basketball in a local youth league and is actively involved in volunteering at the Hazleton Integration Project Program Center with various activities including community cleanups, distributing food from the food bank and assisting younger students at the Center.
Johanel knows that, “Volunteering is a great force for good and it transforms lives. Volunteers make a great difference in the lives of others. Volunteering is a powerful force for positive change in the world. Whether it is helping at a local food handout or helping younger children in need, volunteering can foster connections, build empathy and create kindness and support.”
Hazleton Rotary President Michele Kushmeder comments, “We are happy to help Johanel with his future plan to work hard to earn an associate’s degree and eventually own his own business and are happy to help invest in his future by offering him this scholarship assistance. This is the first time we  are able to provide the $2,000 Arthur and Eileen Whitaker Memorial Trade Scholarship to a member of the local community, and we  are looking forward to continuing and expanding this practice in the future.”
Please check the Rotary Club of Hazleton Facebook page or the Rotary Club website, for updated information on club activities. Club fundraisers such as the upcoming Hazleton Rotary Wine and Beer Festival on Saturday, August 24, 12pm-6pm, Louis Schiavo City View Park help club service projects move from possibilities to realities. 
The Arthur and Eileen Whitaker Memorial Trade Scholarship was established in 2023 by Hazleton Rotary to further area students’ formal training and education in a bona fide trade school or similar training/education program, including but not limited to, plumbing, welding, electrical, HVAC, masonry, truck and automotive maintenance, automotive repair, CDL Licensure, beauty school, barber school, massage therapy, and licensed practical nurse programs, but excluding education and training for which a baccalaureate or higher degree may be awarded.  Applicant must reside within the boundaries of the Hazleton Area School District and must be under the age of 30 years.”