Shady Side Academy and the EQT Foundation have announced the creation of the EQT Scholars Program at Shady Side, which provides full scholarships for two SSA students from pre-kindergarten or kindergarten through grade 12. SSA's inaugural EQT Scholars are pre-kindergarten student Kellan Kight and kindergarten student Adrianna Ballard, both of Monroeville, who enrolled at SSA this fall.
The program is funded by an endowment from the EQT Foundation, the charitable arm of natural gas producer EQT Corporation. It covers full tuition for two students who already have been accepted to SSA's pre-K or kindergarten program and have demonstrated financial need. The selected students will remain EQT Scholars for the entirety of their SSA career, as long as they continue to qualify for financial assistance and remain in good academic standing. Over 13 or 14 years at SSA, the scholarship is worth more than $300,000. When each of the current scholars graduates from SSA, a new EQT Scholar will be selected.
"The EQT Scholars Program illustrates the Foundation's mission by providing meaningful educational experiences to children in the region who may not otherwise have the opportunity," said EQT Foundation President Charlene Petrelli. "Shady Side students Kellan and Adrianna embody what we are looking for in an EQT Scholar – an eagerness to learn, curiosity about the world around them, an excitement to dive in, and a strong support network at home that will ensure their success."
"We are honored to be selected by the EQT Foundation as a partner in this program and deeply grateful for their commitment to providing Pittsburgh children with greater access to life-changing educational opportunities," said Shady Side Academy President Tom Cangiano. "One of the goals of our Strategic Vision is to enhance our financial aid offerings to make a Shady Side education accessible to more families, and this program helps us to strengthen our commitment to socioeconomic diversity."
"When I received the news of the EQT Scholarship, I was completely speechless," said Vanessa Kight, Kellan Kight's mother. "While it has always been the plan for Kellan to attend Shady Side, this scholarship does allow for the freedom of concern regarding his major educational expenses. We are devoted to providing the best scholastic experience possible for our children, and this award has made that task more accessible. We are full of gratitude and truly appreciative for this opportunity.""I am overcome with gratitude at this incredibly generous full scholarship from EQT," said Adrianna Ballard's mother, Rachel Eleam. "Adrianna's family and I will forever be grateful to EQT and SSA for providing the gift of endless opportunity. As a mother, to see Adrianna's progression from a tiny two-pound preemie I once held in my palm, and the toddler I brought to my college classes, to a curious, insightful kindergartener at SSA is a sense of fulfillment I never thought possible. This scholarship will impact her life indefinitely."
Shady Side Academy is the second independent school in Pittsburgh that the EQT Foundation has partnered with to create an EQT Scholars Program. The first program was created at Winchester Thurston School in 2015, and the foundation plans to endow similar programs at other independent schools over the next few years.
Shady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school in Pittsburgh for boys and girls in grades PK-12, with an optional boarding experience in high school. Three age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life.Since the EQT Foundation was established in 2003, it has donated more than $37 million throughout EQT's operating areas. EQT Corporation and the EQT Foundation are committed to the social and economic vitality of their operating regions. Together with a variety of nonprofit organizations, the EQT Foundation develops strong partnerships that enrich the diversity and viability of communities, sustain the principles of continuous learning, and focus on environmental protection efforts. Learn more at https://www.eqt.com/our-communities/eqt-foundation.