News Release – Civic Engagement Essay Winners Recognized During Municipal Leadership Summit


CONTACT:  Debbie Bitting, Pennsylvania Municipal League, 717-236-9469, ext. *223,

Civic Engagement Essay Winners Recognized During Municipal Leadership Summit       

Pittsburgh, PA (October 7, 2022) –Recent graduates Mary Frances McNulty, Villa Joseph Marie High School, Doylestown Borough; Alina Keshodkar, Liberty High School, Bethlehem; and Ella Farrer, North Penn-Mansfield Jr./Sr. High School, Mansfield, are the winners of the Pennsylvania Municipal League’s John A. Garner, Jr. Civic Engagement Essay Scholarship Contest. McNulty, Keshodkar and Farrer were recognized during the Municipal Leadership Summit today. 

Mary Frances McNulty is the first place winner and recipient of a $2,000 scholarship. Alina Keshodkar is the second place winner and will receive a $1,000 scholarship and Ella Farrer is the third place winner and will receive a $500 scholarship. This is the 39th year that the Pennsylvania Municipal League has awarded these scholarships. The award monies are deposited at the Financial Aid Office of each awardee’s selected institution of higher education.

These scholarships are made possible through the Pennsylvania Municipal League and the generous contribution of Yvonne Garner in memory of her husband, John A. Garner, Jr., League Executive Director Emeritus.

“Our 2022 John A. Garner, Jr. Civic Engagement Essay Scholarship Contest winners Mary Frances McNulty, Alina Keshodkar and Ella Farrer, are to be commended for their exceptional essays,” said League Executive Director John Brenner. “I truly hope these bright young adults will consider futures which include service in local government.”

Contest participants were asked to elaborate on the appropriate theme – Civics and You – by writing about opportunities in their community that allow for civic engagement and encourage citizens to volunteer to help with local challenges. See our Civics and You e-book.

The winning essays can be viewed in the Municipal Leadership Summit program book, available in the Resources section at

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The mission of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (The League) is to strengthen, empower and advocate for effective local government. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1900 as an advocate for Pennsylvania’s 3rd class cities. Today, The League represents Pennsylvania cities, boroughs, townships, home rule communities and towns that all share their municipal policy interests. The Board of Directors oversees the administration of a wide array of municipal services including legislative advocacy, publications, education/training, consulting-based programs, and group insurance trusts. For more information, please visit  Join the conversation on Twitter @PAMunicipalLeag and – #StrengthThroughEngagement, #MunicipalLeadershipSummit2022.