POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – It was a big day for some local high school students from Mahoning Trumbull and Columbiana Counties. 

Denise DeBartolo York and Dr. John York awarded 17 scholarships totaling $170,000 to area high school graduating seniors at a luncheon at The Lake Club in Poland. 

DeBartolo York’s father established the Edward J. Bartolo Memorial Scholarship to allow youth to further their education. 

“It just means so much because everybody has to know that somebody really believes in them,” said Debartolo York, who is also co-chair of the San Francisco 49ers football team. “We give these people a $10,000 award for their first year of college and by then, they’ll get the lay of the land and they will be able to go further and do whatever they want. We have engineers, we have architects, social workers and so on.”

More than 325 applicants were received by the Edward J. Bartolo Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which included grade transcripts, student essays, and recommendations from guidance counselors and principals. One of those recipients was Emari Edwards who is graduating from Warren G. Harding high school with big plans ahead.

“I’ve decided to go to Kent Trumbull and I will major in nursing there,” said Edwards. “I will then focus on aesthetic nursing, go to medical school and become a plastic surgeon.”

“I’m so gratified,” said Debartolo York. “I am so impressed with these students, their families and their focus. I will remember this and I will remember them. It’s a great day.”