In 1997, the National Board of the League of Ukrainian Catholics of America initiated a program whereby the League would honor an outstanding student in one of our Ukrainian Catholic elementary schools. This Endowment Fund awards an annual monetary gift to a selected Metropolia elementary school in the name of an exceptional student nominated by the school principal/pastor. The number of Ukrainian Catholic schools at that time numbered approximately eighteen (18). Sadly, as of 2018, only three (3) schools remain – St. Nicholas, Passaic, NJ; Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Perth Amboy, NJ; St. Nicholas, Minersville, PA. However, the Endowment Fund Award continues.

The 2018 recipient of the Sr. John Paskevich, SSMI – Schools Endowment Fund is Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Perth Amboy, NJ, in honor of their outstanding eighth-grade student, Nathaniel Perez.

Nathaniel was nominated by Assumption School pastor, Rev. Ivan Turyk and principal and former student, Mrs. Lissette Shumny. Mrs. Shumny describes Nathaniel as a “respectful young man with an impeccable work ethic.  He is always welcoming to new students, very responsible in all his coursework and is involved in several extra-curricular activities at Assumption Catholic School.” During a visit to the school by National Board President, Marion Hrubec and Vice President, Helen Fedoriw, they  learned that he is an altar server, as well as a Safety Patrol Volunteer and a member of Senior Drama and Chimes clubs. Outside of school, Nathaniel also volunteers his time doing “City Garbage Clean-up” for the city of Perth Amboy several times a year. In Mrs. Shumny’s words “he truly exemplifies what the “spirit” of our school is”.

The National Board of the League of Ukrainian honors +Sr. John Paskevich, SSMI, former Religious Director of the National Board of the League from 1987 until her death in 1996, and her life-long commitment to the Catholic education of youth as a teacher and administrator through the +Sr. John Paskevich Schools Endowment Fund.

In these turbulent times, little appears in the media in support of a Catholic school education.  Though the membership of the League of Ukrainian Catholics is no longer at the levels it was at its peak, those that remain are committed to the purposes of the League as stated in its constitution and by-laws, one of which is fostering Education. Many institutions of higher learning hold annual fundraising campaigns. Very little is done in support for our Catholic elementary schools.  The League of Ukrainian Catholics is proud to be able to continue another decade of awarding the Endowment Fund to our own Ukrainian Catholic elementary schools.