A 2016 graduate of Shikellamy High School has been recognized by the Keystone State Literacy Association (KSLA) for creating a comprehensive college-prep course in 2021.
Noah Fenstermacher, 23, received the Celebrate Literacy Award at the Keystone Stone Literacy Association Susquehanna Valley Awards Banquet on April 7 at Marzoni’s Brick Oven and Brewing Company. Fenstermacher, who is working on her master’s degree in education at Penn State University at State College, wrote “College Admissions of Guilt: How the Underserved Student Can Still Succeed in Higher Ed.”
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the community that not only raised me but continues to support me into adulthood and into my professional career,” said Fenstermacher, who was also the keynote speaker. principal of the banquet.
In addition to writing the book for underrepresented students, Fenstermacher was recognized for donating 10% of proceeds to a new community college and making strides in higher education through his speaking out efforts and the creating initiatives around the registration process to make the review of applications fairer.
The Susquehanna Valley Reading Council is affiliated with the International Reading Association and the Keystone State Reading Association. They serve several counties including Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union.
The book has received positive feedback, “particularly from students and scholars who want and need this kind of representation in literature,” Fenstermacher said.
Janice Adair, co-chair of the Susquehanna Valley chapter of the Keystone Literacy Association, said Fenstermacher “definitely deserves this award.”
“He’s a very nice, smart young man,” Adair said. “He wants to help high school and college students benefit from what he has learned from his college and workplace experience. KSlA Susquehanna Valley officers were greatly impressed with his accomplishments in high school and college, as a published author, and his desire to help his community. He will donate his earnings from books to New Community College in Susquehanna Valley, and he has also donated his talents as a board member.
In high school, he participated in forensics (speech and debate). He went to the Nationals for an original keynote speech, which required him to write and deliver his own speech. He also participated in the theater program from 2012 to 2016.
During his undergraduate studies at Susquehanna University, he was part of the Black Student Union, Admissions, Residence Life, Student Conduct, Mentorship Program, and Leadership Team. orientation. He graduated in 2020 with a degree in public relations.
Fenstermacher earned his master’s degree in higher education from Penn State in 2022. His current job is as a student minority advisor and recruiting team advisor at Penn State University Park’s undergraduate admissions office.
He is the founder of his organization, 1st Gen Class, where he gives talks on the importance of literacy, how to help first-generation college students choose college, and shares opportunities that will benefit them. He mentors and coaches people on this topic and is also an author acquisition specialist for New Degree Press.
Fenstermacher’s book also indirectly contributed to an investigation into Rhodes Scholar Mackenzie Fierceton, who is accused of fabricating aspects of her story as a first-generation student/host family at the University of Pennsylvania. She lost her Rhodes scholarship and UPenn holds her master’s degree while the investigation is ongoing and both sides are continuing, Fenstermacher said.
“Fierceton was one of my main interviewees, because she was a self-proclaimed first-generation success story as my book wanted to popularize, and her story is one of the first in my book,” Fenstermacher said. “The University of Pennsylvania is investigating his claims of being first-generation, among other things found in his school application. Of course, as The New Yorker recently did an article on her, preparing for this involved checking sources and past accounts, which led reporters and investigators to my book and me.
Fenstermacher was contacted by The New Yorker and interviewed. The story has been featured in both The New Yorker and The New York Post.
Fenstermacher said he recently accepted the position of enrollment specialist at Harvard University.