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P-T senior, local artist awarded scholarship

Westmoreland County Housing Authority (WCHA) is proud to announce that Penn-Trafford High School senior Mercedes Diaz is a recipient of the 35th Annual Scholarship Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Housing & Redevelopment Agencies (PAHRA).

Ms. Diaz, daughter of Jaime and Terry Kovacic of Penn Township, was among those high school seniors from across the state to apply for the L. DeWitt Boosel Memorial Scholarship, which she learned of through WCHA. She will be formally recognized at PAHRA’s Spring Conference & Showcase on June 14 in Hershey. 

Westmoreland County Housing Authority Executive Director Michael L. Washowich congratulates Mercedes Diaz of Penn Township on her scholarship award.

“I want to congratulate Mercedes and her family for her hard work. On behalf of all of us at WCHA, we wish you nothing but success as you move forward, said WCHA Executive Director Michael L. Washowich.

He added, “I want to thank PAHRA for honoring Mercedes with the L. DeWitt Boosel Memorial Scholarship and for their continued efforts to improve our residents’ lives.”

Ms. Diaz, who lives WCHA’s Penn Manor community, studied at Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center’s Restoration & Design Department, of which she was the department’s student president. This year, Ms. Diaz was named Outstanding Senior and Student of Distinction.

Following graduation, Ms. Diaz will further her artistic skills through the Visual Arts Program at Westmoreland County Community College.

While maintaining her GPA, Ms. Diaz participating the Co-Op program at CWCTC during which she was employed part-time as a residential painter by Hammill Manufacturing in Trafford.

In addition, Ms. Diaz has gained notoriety for her artwork, including a 25-foot mural honoring past and present firefighters at the North Irwin Volunteer Fire Department. She is slated to do two similar murals for the Grapeville Volunteer Fire Department.

Following graduation from WCCC, Ms. Diaz said she would like to return to CWCTC to teach, a desire she attributes to her former instructor Christine Richards. “She has truly been my inspiration,” she said.

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