Our Lady of Perpetual Help eighth grader Kelly Sliker was named a Carson Scholar and will receive her medal from world renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson at the 18th Annual Maryland Awards Banquet April 6. Legendary newscaster Sam Donaldson will serve as Master of Ceremonies; honored guests will include Kirk Cameron and Brooks Robinson.
Thousands of students in grades 4 to 8 compete nationwide for this honor. Carson Scholars must have a GPA of 3.75 and display humanitarian qualities through community service. Only one student per school can be nominated each year.
Kelly’s parents are deservedly proud. Her father, Clint Sliker, shared “Our entire family is proud of Kelly, who as a Carson Scholar, has been recognized by the faculty of OLPH School and the administrators of the Carson Scholars Fund as both an excellent student and, more importantly, as a caring, generous young person worthy of emulation. Our family is blessed to have her as our daughter and sister, and we are extremely happy that others see the great promise in the wonderful young lady we know and love.” While mother, Lisa added “We are very proud of Kelly's academic accomplishments and moved by her example to serve others. She encourages and inspires us to not let suffering hold us back, but rather to unite our suffering with Christ, and be His instrument to help others in need."
Upon hearing of her award, Kelly said, “I was really excited, especially since I wasn’t expecting it!” She however has done plenty to earn it. In addition to her academic accomplishments, Kelly is Student Council Vice President, a mentor at Vacation Bible School, Minister of Hospitality for the Parish, a recipient of OLPH Prayer Scholarship, and participates in numerous fundraising activities for cancer research. She will attend Mount de Sales Academy this fall.
Mr. Victor Pellechia, Principal at OLPH School, shared, “Kelly is an outstanding example of the amazing work that our students are doing both in and out of the classrooms. She joins a group of distinguished OLPH alumni who are making a difference in the world through actions built on the foundation they learned here. We are also proud of Skylar Johnson, OLPH Carson Scholar from OLPH class of 2013, who will be recognized for earning the scholarship a second time, now as a high school freshman.”
OLPH Academic Dean, Florence Hahner who has known Kelly for eight years had this to say, “I’ve watched her grow from a young primary student to a mature young woman of courage, strength, integrity and faith. Kelly's work ethic shows in her academic endeavors and in her charitable efforts. At OLPH, it is important to note that a position on the Honor Roll is reached not only by the academic grades but by an Effort and Conduct grade as well. Even with these stringent guidelines, Kelly has been on the Honor Roll throughout middle school.
As a young girl, Kelly suffered the ultimate tragedy of seeing her younger brother, Christopher, be diagnosed with a brain tumor and eventually lose his life. This stirred in Kelly a desire to help all who would suffer a similar fate. Since then she has worked tirelessly for the Race for Hope, Believe in Tomorrow Project, the Garden of Hope, and the Linus Project, to name a few. To celebrate Christopher's birthday, she organized an Alex's Lemonade Stand which has now become an annual event.