Student wins $10,000 Taco Bell scholarship

Anthony Calvanese’s passion for soccer and to help young people overcome challenges won over the corporation’s foundation.
Posted on 05/24/2021
Anthony Calvanese is presented with his $10,000 college scholarship.By Gary Weckselblatt

Anthony Calvanese, a Quakertown Community High School senior, works part-time at Taco Bell and is aware of the Live Más Scholarships (pronounced “Liv maws”) awarded by the corporation’s foundation.

To apply, you’re asked to submit a short video explaining your passion and how you are currently pursuing it, tell how you plan to use your passion to uniquely make a positive change in your community or the world, and talk about how your education will help enable you to pursue your passion and make a change.

Anthony, a gregarious individual, figured, “Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose.”

It’s that type of attitude that has the arrow pointing up on the young man’s future. Anthony’s effort proved quite profitable as he was awarded a $10,000 college scholarship.

“I was stunned,” said Anthony, describing his reaction to learning he won. “I’m normally very good with words, and have a lot to say. I was speechless. It means a lot that I took the time to make (the video) and they saw it and thought something of it.

“It shows you can have big dreams, you can have small dreams. They’re not going to happen unless you try. I put in the effort. I wanted something.”

As Anthony was explaining how his scholarship came about, school counselor Doug Detweiler walked by, put his hand on Anthony’s shoulder and said, “You’re the man! We’re proud of you.”

Chris Polk, one of Anthony’s favorite teachers, said “Anthony is one of those students that comes into class everyday and always brightens your day. Whether Anthony is at school, work, or on the soccer field, he is always enthusiastic and full of passion. He is very deserving of this scholarship and I look forward to learning about his future accomplishments.”

Lee Bishop, QCHS boys soccer coach, said "Anthony has excelled in his role as captain of the soccer team. Through sports, Anthony has had the opportunity to build the leadership traits and life skills that will help him become a successful young man, Its been a pleasure to be his coach and watch him grow as a human."
 
Soccer is Anthony’s passion. He competed all four years at the high school level, and was team captain as a senior. He’s played soccer throughout his life in youth leagues and is also a certified referee. His love of the sport, he said, has helped him deal with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

“It’s been rough for me,” Anthony said. “Sports is how I got away from all that stress and anxiety.”

And now he wants to help youngsters deal with ADHD. “I want to start a program to help kids get active, play sports and get that energy out,” he said. “I want to share my experiences with them and help them out so they don’t have to go through what I went through. ADHD is something they should embrace and accept. That’s very important to me.”

After graduation from QCHS, Anthony plans to attend the University of Delaware and obtain a degree in sports management. “I want to have a family and stay around the game of soccer, maybe be a coach,” he said. “I have big dreams. ADHD is a disability you have to overcome and it’s very challenging. I want people to see that I'm the proof that you can do anything.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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