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Seniors of the Month

CASA Seniors of the Month for February, 2019


Maryah Burney & Patrick Schmitt




Maryah is a film and video student who has been attending CASA since 9th grade.  She comes to CASA from Harrisburg SD.

At CASA, Maryah participates in Student Council and currently serves as the Vice President.  She has been our National Honor Society’s President for the past two years.  She is also the co-founder and Vice President of our Activism Club.  Outside of CASA, she is very involved in the Harrisburg community.  She is the President of Delta Sigma Theta GEMS, works as a summer camp counselor for Harrisburg’s STEAM Camp, has worked as an intern for the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and has worked as an intern for Destini Hodges during her candidacy for Magisterial Judge.  Maryah is also the founder of the Steppin’ Up Girls Empowerment Summit, which is an event that encourages, enriches, and empowers a group of 50 fourth grade girls from Harrisburg SD through presentations from women of color.  In her free time, Maryah does freelance photography and writing.

Maryah’s favorite CASA memory is the entirety of her sophomore year, and tech week for last year’s CASALive! performance.  Her favorite artistic piece she created at CASA was her film, Moonstruck, which she created with Rosie Gnazzo and Emma Rowe, and it starred Madison Bond.

Maryah has been accepted at prestigious universities including Pace University, Temple University, Penn State University, and New York University, but has not yet decided where she would like to attend.  She plans to pursue a career in journalism.

Maryah says that CASA has impacted her life by introducing her to artists of different backgrounds, and helped her to learn how to be a better person and leader.  CASA, and especially her film courses, have exposed her to so much information and knowledge over the years.  Maryah would like to thank everyone who has supported her.  She says, “Thank you to those who have always been there for me and for pushing me to my fullest potential.”





Patrick is a creative writing student who has been attending CASA since 9th grade.  He comes to CASA from Central Dauphin SD.

At CASA, Patrick takes a variety of courses, and has written different scenes for CASA’s Integrated Arts.  He also has published many works in CASA’s literary magazine, Genre.  Outside of CASA, he writes music and plays the drums in his band, Whit Waltman, with his best friend, Christian.  He works part time at Twin Ponds East, and every year gives his time to raising money for Harrisburg’s ‘Out of the Darkness’ walk to promote suicide prevention.

Patrick’s favorite CASA memory was Whit Waltman performing at Creative Writing’s mid-year performance.  His favorite piece he has written at CASA was a creative nonfiction article in which he interviewed the drummer of his favorite band, Citizen.

In the future, Patrick would like to attend a college or university to major in Secondary Education with an English concentration.

Patrick says that CASA has impacted his life by providing him the opportunity to make friendships that he hopes will last a lifetime, allowing him to grow into a person he is proud of, and giving him a deep passion for writing and composing music with the help of his friends.  He would like to thank his teachers, specifically Mrs. Ryder, Mrs. Adlon, and Ms. Christ, for always encouraging him to do his best and being great role models.  He also would like to thank his close group of friends at CASA for being good people.