Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Education

Friends of OP Library announce scholarship winner


Tanner Probst is the winner of the first scholarship awarded by The Friends of the Orchard Park Library. Probst is a senior at Orchard Park High School. The Friends created the $250 scholarship this year. From left are Friends board members Sharon Spagnoli, Phyllis Banas and Cara Babicz; Tanner Probst, scholarship winner; Victoria Sturman, president of the Friends of the Orchard Park Library; and John O’Connor, Friends vice president. Tanner Probst is the winner of the first scholarship awarded by The Friends of the Orchard Park Library. Probst is a senior at Orchard Park High School. The Friends created the $250 scholarship this year. From left are Friends board members Sharon Spagnoli, Phyllis Banas and Cara Babicz; Tanner Probst, scholarship winner; Victoria Sturman, president of the Friends of the Orchard Park Library; and John O’Connor, Friends vice president. The Friends of the Orchard Park Public Library recently announced that an Orchard Park High School senior has won its first scholarship.

Tanner Probst was one of five seniors to apply for the first-time $250 scholarship, according to a press release. The students were required to write an original essay of no more than 750 words that explained how they used the library during their high school career and what the library means to them. Probst’s essay was titled “Sanctuary of Silence.”

“I sit in the soft comfort of the library chair hidden behind the Philosophy shelves – my preferred reading place. The occasional murmur of readers and the gentle rustling of pages complement the calming silence of the scene,” Probst wrote in his essay’s opening paragraph.

“In this instance, I read C. S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory and his voice rings clearly in my uninterrupted thoughts,” he wrote. “I feel as if I am engaged in an active conversation with him. His poetic language, didactic messages and captivating stories entrance me; the background noise — and even the conscious thought I am reading words on a page — fades as I enter the world of text. It is here I have met C. S. Lewis, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost and other artists I have come to know.”

According to Victoria Sturman, president of the Friends of the Orchard Park Library, the Scholarship Committee was unanimous in its choice of awarding the scholarship to Probst, the release said.

“The one thing that stood out to them, besides his excellent writing skills, was the fact that essay read like a story and held their attention,” Sturman said. “His enjoyment of the Orchard Park Library, the wonderful ways he uses it, came through loud and clear with each sentence.”

According to the release, Probst said he uses the library for quiet “contemplating in reading” as well as for studying and writing. He also thoroughly enjoys the more “tangible” assets of the library such as “a seemingly infinite supply of reference books, newspapers, Internet sources, historical documents and various perspectives on issues.”

Probst is expected to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and major in economic science with a concentration in social impact and responsibility.

This is the first year the organization has awarded a college scholarship. The organization expects to continue the tradition into the future.

More information can be found on the organization’s website, www.friendsofoplibrary.org.

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