Gabrielle Chico earns Yanni scholarship

Gabrielle Chico, a recent University High School graduate and completer at the Monongalia County Technical Education Center, is among 30 students from 19 counties across the state to receive a scholarship boosting their ongoing goals in career technical education.

Chico last week was named an Albert Yanni Scholarship recipient, the West Virginia Department of Education announced.

The $2,000 award is presented to graduating high school seniors pursuing professional certification in their tech-oriented fields of choice.

Recipients are recognized for strong grades and attendance, said Michelle Blatt, who is superintendent of the state’s school system.

“Their scholastic and work ethic has served them well to open doors of opportunity,” Blatt said.

“I am certain each scholar will find success as they pursue the next chapters of their lives,” the superintendent continued. “They can build their futures on the solid foundation established in their CTE programs.”

Chico had long opened her own doors in Monongalia County Schools.

She wants to be a flight nurse and joined the Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department as an apprentice member while still in school.

Before she was old enough to go on calls, she kept a list of responsibilities at the fire house on top of her studies at University High and the tech center, where she became certified as an emergency medical technician.

Last Thanksgiving, she was one of 185 students from across the nation to march in the Macy’s Great American Band during the annual holiday parade in New York City. She successfully auditioned as member of Hawks band honor guard.

This fall, she’ll launch her full studies in nursing at Waynesburg University.

“I’ll be a better nurse, because I’ll know what it’s like to be an EMT and volunteer firefighter,” she said.

She gave keynote remarks at the tech center’s completer ceremony last month.

“The thing I loved most about METC,” she said, “is that the teachers don’t treat you like you’re a student. They treat you like an employee. They respect you.”