In each of the past 30 years, Joseph Batory has awarded scholarship assistance to a worthy and needy Upper Darby High School grad.
From 1984 to 1999, Joe was the award-winning superintendent of schools in the very diversely populated Upper Darby School District. Upper Darby High School, one of the 14 schools in the system, is the largest high school in Pennsylvania. Its student population is remarkably heterogeneous racially, socio- economically and ethnically. In fact, about 60 different languages are spoken in the homes of students. Joe began giving an annual scholarship award in 1987 and has continued his financial assistance into the present.
The newest (2017) Joseph Batory Scholarship awardee is a delightful and very personable young man, Raghed Kurbaj, of Syrian heritage. He will be a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia in September of 2017.
Joseph Batory is the grandson of immigrants from Poland. That is what his scholarship memorializes. Both of his grandfathers “worked long and hard hours” in the coal mines and suffered lung disease so that future generations of their family would have success in their futures.
Here is the “thank you” Raghed wrote to Joseph Batory; it is very moving:
“The Joseph Batory Scholarship is worth much more than its monetary value because it is much more about your belief in me. It also reflects all the fact that the Upper Darby School District has given to me so much. And it is a reminder of what makes the diverse Upper Darby community so special. My dream is that I may someday be able to replicate what you have given to me and my family.”
The list of the more than 30 other Joseph Batory awardees over the past 30 years is remarkable in terms of ethnic backgrounds and the American Dream…here are a few of the Joseph Batory Scholarship recipient names: Ong; Arsenlis; Ko; Shah; Mozdzanowska; Phan; Khawaja; Nguyen; Lai; Phung; Hussain and Ansari.
In a world with too much cynicism and nihilism these days, take heart. There are still good young people among us—many of them children and grandchildren of immigrants— who have the potential and will make a difference for the better in the future.