SOAR Scholarship


2013 SOAR Scholarship Winner:  Catherine Metzgar from Berlin, PA

The SOAR Janet E. Shaffer Scholarship winner was announced at the SOAR picnic.  Miss Catherine Metzgar was awarded the $500 scholarship.  Pictured from left to right:  Dr. Tom Dick, SOAR Vice-President; Miss Catherine Metzgar; Catherine’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Terry Metzgar; Laura Jackson, SOAR President

Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR) is pleased to announce the 2013 award recipient for the Janet E. Shaffer Scholarship.  After Ms. Shaffer’s untimely death in 2012, the SOAR Board decided to sponsor a $500 scholarship to honor her commitment to environmental education and conservation.  One of the goals of SOAR is to promote stewardship ethics by helping young men and women in their educational pursuits.  Scholarship applications were sent to all high school guidance counselors in Bedford and Somerset Counties, asking them to notify seniors who planned to major in environmental studies, wildlife management, forestry, or other related fields in college.  Seniors from Bedford and Tussey high schools in Bedford County; and Berlin Brothersvalley, Meyersdale, and Windber high schools in Somerset County submitted applications.

The SOAR Scholarship Committee unanimously chose Miss Catherine Metzgar, a senior at Berlin Brothersvalley High School as the Janet E. Shaffer Scholarship recipient.  Miss Metzgar is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Metzgar.  Mrs. Laura Jackson, president of Save Our Allegheny Ridges, recognized Miss Metzgar’s scholarship award at the SOAR annual picnic, and commended Miss Metzgar’s outstanding achievements and goals.  “We hope that the next generation will be able to correct some of our environmental mistakes, and will be better stewards of the earth.  Miss Metzgar should be an inspiration to all of us,” she said.

Miss Metzgar exemplifies the type of student who would best honor the memory of Janet Shaffer.  Miss Metzgar’s noteworthy commitment to academic excellence is evidenced by her 4.18 grade average, a result of her outstanding achievement in a number of college-level classes while in high school.  Her exceptional performances in speaking and writing helped her to win awards in FFA, Forensics, and several essay contests.  Not only did she excel in the classroom, but she also lettered in Berlin’s Track and Field team.  She was a reporter for the school newspaper, and she served as co-anchor for the school news show.  During her free time, she volunteered for numerous community programs – as a volunteer for the Bedford County Humane Society, the Area Agency on Aging of Somerset County, and the Berlin Community Fair, to highlight just a few.

Miss Metzgar plans to take the Environmental Geoscience program at West Virginia University, since she has a passion for the natural world and wants to protect and preserve nature’s wonders.  The Environmental Geoscience program will allow her to identify environmental problems, apply various types of remediation, and introduce her to a wide range of other environmental disciplines.  She plans to attend law school after graduation, to obtain her Juris Doctor degree, so she can become a practicing attorney specializing in environmental law.