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RAYAC Awards $500 Scholarship

Posted on: August 9th, 2017

Every year, RAYAC awards one $500 scholarship to a high school senior who is an immediate family member of a RAYAC member and who will be pursuing a post-secondary education.

This year, Estefani Pena, daughter of RAYAC Member Grace Pena, was selected by the Community Relations Committee to receive the scholarship. Congratulations Estefani and Grace! Best of luck to you and to all of RAYAC’s members who havefamily furthering their education!

Read Estefani’s heartwarming essay below.

“What Home Means to Me”

Shown left to right are Grace Pena, Estefani
Pena and Michele Jones, RAYAC Community
Relations Committee Chairman.

by Estefani Pena
Daughter of RAYAC Member Grace Pena
2017 Graduate of Biglerville High School

Home has many different meanings to me. Home is an environment that offers security and happiness. It is the place where memories are made with loved ones. I believe that home is not just a place, it is a feeling of comfort, happiness and love. Home is so much more than a comfy relaxing couch and a warm bed.

A home has a distinct feeling, like when walking into a room of chocolate; you are overloaded with happiness. Not only can a home bring joy to others, but it is where one can have the comfort to express their feelings. I have only lived in two houses my whole life, but we also have one in Mexico. I was sad when we left our first house because I was able to be myself and not worry about being weird. But as we started moving into the new house, I was ecstatic about finally getting my own room and being able to decorate it. I was more filled with joy that I was able to have sleepovers. The best part was that everyone was able to feel comfortable, have fun and feel as if it was their own home.

My house is where most family events happen, which is sometimes the best other than having to clean up afterwards.
Most of the events are for close family members, but since our family is big it tends to fill up. It is the greatest feeling
having those you love and appreciate all together. I love that one can incorporate so much into their home, such as the interior decorating to make it their own. It is sort of like a blank piece of paper that you are able to draw on and
constantly change the drawing. Home brings happiness to me. Wherever I am able to laugh and be myself is considered my home because I am able to feel comfortable.

My family and I go to visit my grandparents in Mexico every December and we stay in either one of my grandparents
houses. Which is so nice of them because every time we go down they spoil us with all their love. I have always loved
Mexico because it is so different compared to Pennsylvania and the United States. They are more laid back and
everyone knows each other, so you get hellos and goodbyes from everyone that goes by. Every year that we go down it becomes harder and harder to come back, because I don’t always get to see my grandparents as often as I would
like to, and it is “My home sweet home”. My home away from home. The environment is so calm and relaxing and just seeing those who make me feel as though I am home.

Home means a place anywhere that makes me feel happy, comfortable and loved. A place that memories are made and kept for years to come. A feeling of joy and togetherness. If offers me security and connection. As well as the ability to truly be myself.