Student Hannah McBean earns another statewide leadership scholarship

Hanna McBean, an adult student at Penn State New Kensington, was named a 2014 recipient of the Robert D. Lynch Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education.

McBean earned the $1,000 scholarship based on scholarship, interpersonal skills, leadership, writing, speaking and computational skills, extra-curricular activities participation and a grade-point average above 3.0. The Lynch scholarship places special emphasis on the student’s leadership skills. In addition, she was judged on her essay, “Why I Should Receive a Robert D. Lynch Scholarship?" The essay question was a requirement for all applicants.

“Hanna is a highly motivated student with a sense of humor and excellent communication skills,” said Angie Fisher, administrative support assistant for student affairs, who nominated McBean for the award. “She exemplifies the qualities of leadership.”

Lynch was a founding member of the organization and in 1986 established the Robert D. Lynch Student Leadership Development Institute as part of the Black Conference. The group awarded $9,000 in scholarships to nine African-American students from institutions from across the commonwealth. Besides the Lynch scholarship, the organization awarded the K. Leroy Irvis Undergraduate Scholarship, John S. Shropshire Graduate Scholarship and the Esther-Jafari Haymon Undergraduate International Scholarship.

McBean is building an impressive resume with the higher education conference. Two years ago, she was the recipient of the Irvis Scholarship. Last year, she was honored as one of five students selected for the Outstanding Student award. McBean and other scholarship winners will be recognized Feb. 28 at the organization’s 44nd annual conference in Pittsburgh.

McBean is a model of efficiency as she juggles her schedule at home, where she is a full-time mother, and on campus, where she is a full-time junior majoring in organizational leadership, a program designed for adult learners. The program’s flexibility allows McBean to take traditional classroom instruction offered during the day, at night or on weekends, and to study online from home. She expects to graduate in 2014 with the wherewithal to begin a start-up company that addresses issues of at-risk children.

“I would like have my own corporation that offers extensive outreach to underprivileged youth and others facing difficult situations in life, said McBean, who lives in New Kensington, Pa., with her husband and their six children. “The organizational leadership degree will help me get the company going.”

When she is not focused on her family or her studies, McBean can be found volunteering her services for activities on campus and in the community. On campus, she is a member of the Multi-Cultural Club, writes for the Nittany Pride student newspaper and sings with the student jazz ensemble. In the community, she holds numerous leadership positions including secretary of the youth department and assistant chair of the choir department at Bethlehem Temple Church, secretary for the United Council Home Mission Department and assistant secretary of the national youth department of True Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ Inc.

During her “down” time, McBean is a published author, poet, singer/songwriter, radio host and motivational speaker. Her book, “Silent Spring,” features inspirational poetry that she uses in her motivational speeches.

“I have traveled throughout Pennsylvania and abroad to conduct poetry workshops,” said McBean, a native of North Vandergrift and a graduate of Kiski Area High School. “I encourage students through inspirational poetry, singing and playing the piano.”

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Last Updated February 26, 2014