2017 Student of the Year Finalist

Alyssa Martyak

Cambria Heights High School
Cambria County
Ken Kerchenske, Principal
Jeff Koss, Guidance Counselor

Business Partners: 
C-B-W Schools Federal Credit Union
Highmark

“The Challenge Program, Inc, was the reason I was handed that slip of paper with the number one class ranking on it. The program challenged me to be academically successful.”

“The Academic Excellence award is an excellent opportunity to push myself to be the best student I can be with outstanding grades.  This particular award led me to try each and every day to push outside my regular boundaries and complete whatever I had my mind set on. I believe that competing for this award showed my dedication to my education and future.
My eyes were opened when I saw some of the students in grades ahead of mine receive awards that typically do not win awards. However, that is truly the beauty of this program because it doesn’t just focus  on the academically advanced students or the athletes; it focuses on students that show that they are improving or succeeding maybe outside of school. Seeing this happen right in front of me really touched me and pushed me to be an even better student.
I really took the time to study hard and put aside unnecessary events for a while so I was able to achieve my goals. At first it wasn’t easy explaining to my friends that I couldn’t hang out most of the time because of tests or projects. As time went on though, my friends saw how dedicated I was becoming to my school work so instead of hanging out all  of the time, they themselves began studying more often.  We began to compete for the highest scores on tests and this would bring us joy and actually closer together.
As of right now, I am a junior at a small school in the countryside of western Pennsylvania. This past October, I was handed a slip of paper saying that I was first in the class of 122 students. This day changed my life. At first I was confident as if that slip of paper could never be taken away from me. However, that’s not true. That was my sophomore year class rank, therefore I still have two more years to succeed and be the best student I can be.
The Challenge Program, Inc, was the reason why I was handed that slip of paper with the number one class ranking on it. The program challenged me to be academically successful.”