Julia Hatfalvi, a junior at Palmyra-Macedon High School, recently was selected as the fourth recipient of the Dare to Dream Travel Scholarship.
Hatfalvi will spend six weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Costa Rica. She and her mother, Kathleen, received a $3,000 check to fund her summer experience.
The scholarship was established by Joshua Ford, a 2007 Pal-Mac graduate. Ford, who credits much of his professional success to international cultural experiences, wants to provide similar opportunities to current students.
Juniors were encouraged to apply for the scholarship in social studies classrooms. Applicants needed to propose a project that would be completed in the summer between their junior and senior years.
Hatfalvi will live in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. She will be affiliated with Global Crossroads, an organization that places volunteers who will contribute to humanitarian projects in international communities. She will offer educational and personal support to young children. The orphanage has provided orphans and abandoned children with a safe environment for more than a decade.
“I am deeply honored to be receiving the scholarship,” Hatfalvi said. “I would have never thought that I could make a difference by learning and helping, but with this opportunity I can do both. I am overjoyed to be a part of this program. I cannot wait to embark on my travel and have a unforgettable experience. Lastly, I am beyond thankful to Joshua Ford for the scholarship, which will truly let me dare to dream.”
Hatfalvi participates in varsity volleyball, Yearbook Club and school musicals. Her teachers describe her as a mature, responsible and conscientious student. After graduating from Pal-Mac, Hatfalvi hopes to attend college to pursue a degree in pediatric nursing.
“We are thrilled to award this year’s scholarship to Julia,” Ford said. “When we started this program, Julia was exactly the type of student we hoped to impact. She is a tremendous young woman, and we are all looking forward to the positive impact she will make in Costa Rica this summer and the Pal-Mac community upon her return.”