Sarah Heinz House volunteer receives college scholarship


Christopher Desmond, a member of the Sarah Heinz House Keystone Club, won a $2,000 scholarship from Charles Schwab for completing a financial education program.

Desmond, 18, won one of 20 scholarships awarded by Charles Schwab for completing the “Money Matters: Make it Count” program and using the knowledge toward college plans and everyday life.

The program teaches teenagers how to handle money. Desmond said one of the things he learned was to only use credit cards for emergency purchases — not for things like clothes or “want” items.

Desmond, who will attend Pennsylvania State University for plastics engineering in the fall, said the scholarship will help him out “a ton.”

“It felt great because I applied for at least 50 scholarships,” he said.

In addition to the scholarship, Robert Chiocca from the local branch of Charles Schwab invited Desmond for a job shadow on August 5.

Although Desmond is interested in engineering, not finance, Chiocca said the job shadow was a good way for the teen to spend time in a work environment, and to see what exactly Charles Schwab does.

Chiocca showed Desmond the day-to-day activity of the company, and spoke with him about the benefits of retirement planning and the investment market. Chiocca also offered to help Desmond find an internship later on.

“Any way we can help the community with things like this, we will,” he said.

Desmond got involved with Sarah Heinz House two years ago after an aunt who volunteers there suggested it to him.

Later he became a member of the Keystone Club, a community service division of the Boys and Girls Club for members who exhibit leadership skills, good behavior and come to the Sarah Heinz House at least twice a week.

In addition to participating in national Keystone Club events, such as a recent campaign to raise diabetes awareness, Desmond volunteered as a soccer referee and worked as a camp counselor at the SHH camp near Slippery Rock.

Desmond graduated from Avonworth High School and lives in Kilbuck Township.

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