The Challenge Program, Inc.'s Newsletter
January 2018

The Search for 2018 Student of the Year

Opens January 15, 2018

3 Finalists will each receive $1,000

     For the past three years, The Challenge Program, Inc. (TCP) has held a competition to find students for whom The Challenge Program and business partners have made an impact. Students from public and private high schools and career and technology centers enter the competition to share their stories.

     Students are asked how TCP has motivated them to believe in themselves, reach higher and achieve more than they ever thought possible. These students will also be asked to connect the TCP award categories to success in their future careers.

     Three student finalists, their families, educators and their business partners are  invited guests at TCP’s annual Crystal Owl Gala where students receive their awards and one is named 2018 Student of the Year.

Do any of these winners sound like a student you know?

     Brittney Lybarger (2015 winner-pictured below center) saw TCP as an opportunity to increase her community service as a free-lance photographer for businesses who could not afford professional marketing. She is currently in her third year of college and has her own website business for photography. Brittney has been the official photographer for our Crystal Owl Gala since winning the title.

     Mattison Fike (2016 winner – pictured below left) was headed down a dangerous path when her guidance counselor suggested she challenge herself through TCP. She turned her academic career around as well as her life and is in her 2nd year of a journey to becoming an engineer.

      Chris Cable (2017 winner – pictured below center) said TCP’s assembly helped him recognize  his need to mature if he was going to get a good job once he graduated from high school. He wanted to be a welder and focused his attention on his skill. Chris received a welding position soon after graduation.

Workforce Connections

“I believe that the added visibility and access to these students we are afforded through our involvement with TCP gives us an advantage over our competition.”
Shawn Kaufman, Human Resources, Riggs Industries

Workforce Development – Real Results

Located in Altoona, PA, Gardner Denver ( is the business partner for Admiral Peary AVTS.  They are a leading global provider of compressors, blowers, and vacuum pumps. Gardner Denver hired two Admiral Peary AVTS students after graduation.






Natural gas and petroleum company, Williams ( is regionally located in Connellsville, PA. They are the business partner for Connellsville Area CTC. During the 2016-2017 Challenge Program year, TCP and Williams initiated a pilot internship program for single-school business partners and opened the opportunity to interested seniors. One student was chosen for an 8-week 

summer internship, which was extended into the fall and ended with a permanent job offer.



Major Corporate Partner Corle Building Systems ( is located in Bedford, PA. Corle Building Systems is the current business partner for Bedford County Technical Center, Bedford High School, Chestnut Ridge High School and Northern Bedford High School. Under a major corporate partnership, Corle is able to reach graduating seniors from their sponsored schools as well as from any Challenge Program high school in Bedford County. Corle developed 4 distinct opportunities within their organization, in 4 different departments. In May 2017, four students were chosen for 8-week summer learning experiences. This spring will be the second year implementing the summer learning program.

Because of Corle Building Systems’ partnership and the summer learning experiences made available, Corle received a visit from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Labor and Industry on their joint tour, “Schools that Teach/Jobs that Pay” All representatives were given a tour of the Corle facility in Bedford County with an introduction to the four interns from the area’s high schools.


TCP invites business and school partners to share their professional advice and their thoughts on their experience participating in The Challenge Program.

Interested Bloggers please call – 814-533-7401 x100.

Guest Blogger – Shawn Kaufman

Many businesses are experiencing a very tight labor market. The Challenge Program provides us with an efficient, cost-effective avenue to reach students.”
Shawn Kaufman, HR Director
Riggs Industries
Somerset, PA

Business Partner to Somerset County Technology

When The Challenge Program, Inc. is out and about, we often meet individuals in the workforce or in college who have received a TCP award when they were in high school. We love these moments, and invite them to share on our ALUMNI page what they doing now and how having received an award made a difference for them. We also invite current student award recipients to participate on the ALUMNI page of our website and express their thoughts on having earned an award.

For more Alumni stories go to

Leanna Fordick
Academic Excellence and STEM, 2014
Portage Area High School
Accounting Major
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Leanna earned both her awards as a senior at Portage Area High School in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Since then, she has included these awards on her resume. Perspective employers have congratulated her at every interview.She even received an internship at The Challenge                 Program, Inc. business sponsor, 1st Summit Bank.

She is graduating in April 2018 and has a job waiting for her with Kline Kimlin, a Johnstown, PA-based CPA firm. Leanna’s future goal is to become a certified public accountant.

Leanna has also offered to volunteer for The Challenge Program, Inc. as a Young Professional.

Ashlyn D.
Academic Excellence, 2016-2107
Penn Cambria High School/Highmark &

Wessel and Company

“The Challenge Program, Inc. motivated me to try my absolute best in every single class.”

Alex K.
Community Service, 2016-2017
Central Cambria High School/S&T Bank

“The Challenge Program, Inc. made me realize that doing a little bit of something that I would normally not do, still has dividends in life. Once I realized that I started becoming more involved throughout my school and community.”

Testimonials: Dear Mr. Perkins