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  Boardman High School Senior Abbey Lipinsky Among 15 DeBartolo Scholarship Winners  
  June 6, 2019 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      The Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation awarded $150,000 in college scholarships to 15 graduating high school seniors from Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties during ceremonies held last week at Overtures in downtown Youngstown.
      The DeBartolo scholarship winners are determined by academic achievement, community involvement and financial need, and among this year’s recipients is Boardman High School senior Abbey Lipinsky, son of Debra and the late Mike Lipinsky.
      Abbey is not your average high school senior.
      While a middle school student, her father, Mike, died at the age of 40. It was about six months after that, she learned she had cancer.
      She has been battling a rare form of cancer for more than five years, and chemotherapy made her so ill that she could not attend classes during her freshman year, when she was home-schooled.
      During the winter months of her freshman year, home-schooling became difficult too.
      “I was in and out of the hospital because even the smallest fever meant I had to be admitted for observation,” Lipinsky said.
      Eventually the chemotherapy shrunk the tumor to a small enough size that it could be removed in a surgical procedure.
      However, another tumor developed three years later and that resulted in another operation in her senior year that left her hospitalized for three weeks.
      Abbey’s efforts to receive a high school education have not gone unnoticed by counselors and teachers at Boardman High School.
      “Abbey is an inspiration as a student and as a person,” says guidance counselor Richard Smrek, who notes “All throughout her high school years she has had to endure a rare form of cancer called clear cell sarcoma.
      “She has had numerous surgeries and she continues to need rounds of chemotherapy requiring frequent trips to the Cleveland Clinic.
      “Yet, regardless of these difficult times, Abbey has been determined and diligent making-up her work and even asking teachers how she can do more. She truly is the most amazing, courageous and resilient student I have ever had,” said Smrek, who added “In spite of her weakened condition, Abbey still makes an effort to be involved, as a member of the Drama Club, Girl Scouts and in dance and ballet. She has the heart of a lion.”
      Abbey would like to work and offer herself for some volunteer projects, but says she is unable to do so because of her health complications.
      “The Drama Guild has given me a place to have fun with my friends, while giving the community something to enjoy,” she says, adding “It became a place where I could forget my struggles and be truly happy.”
      Her favorite high school teacher is Andrew King.
      “He has been my math teacher for three years in a row, and has never failed to make me smile and laugh every day. He has been extremely helpful and accommodating in allowing me to make up work when necessary and has helped me stay positive, despite my situation,” Abbey said.
      While maintaining a 3.32 grade point average, her circumstances have helped to give her direction for a career in the medical field.
      “From my experiences, I’ve learned that I would like to become a nurse,” Abbey said, noting the DeBartolo Scholarship “will greatly assistme in achieving this goal.”
      The Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation was established 22 years ago, and to date has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships.
      More than 350 applications were received for this year’s round of scholarships.
      Speaking briefly at the award ceremonies last week, Denise DeBartolo York said “The goals of the foundation have been to reward worthy students with the opportunity to pursue their education. My father believed that all students who have demonstrated the desire to continue their education, regardless of their financial situation, should be afforded the opportunity to receive a college education.
      “Abbey Lipinsky has shown what hard work and unwavering determination can do.”
      Other 2019 Edward J. DeBartolo scholarship winners are Delaney Baber, Struthers High School; Olivia Batton, Ursuline High School; Rachel Burkell, Austintown High School; Chloe Clear, Jackson Milton High School; Zachary Coman, Liberty High School; Laura Denman, Maplewood High School; Megan Drake, United High School; Anna Finocchi, South Range High School; Gannon Fridley, John F. Kennedy High School; Shae Keeley, Southington High School; Harmony Offenburg, Columbiana High School; Kylie Tullis, Leetonia High School’ Jaycee Ward, Niles McKinley High School; and John Zimmerman IV, Austintown High School.
      Co-chairs of the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Scholarship Foudation are Denise DeBartolo York and her husband, John, who are co-chairs of the San Francisco 49ers and who are longtime education advocates.
      “We will continue to provide educational opportunities to deserving valley students well into the future,” John York said.
 
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