Mark Taylor, Helen Davis, and Emmanuel Barajas have been named the winners of Christendom’s 2021 Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship competition.

The college’s Admissions Office welcomed a record 81 students for this year’s competition, making it one of the most exciting, and competitive, the college has ever hosted. Though it was a very impressive group of competitors, in the end, Taylor, Davis, and Barajas distinguished themselves and convinced the scholarship committee with their exceptional essay submissions and interview sessions.

Barajas, a native of Dallas, Texas, first heard about Christendom while in high school at Cistercian Preparatory School, run by Cistercian monks. In his search for a Catholic education in a Catholic environment, his teacher, Mr. Peter Saliga, encouraged him to attend Christendom’s Best Week Ever high school summer program. Emmanuel’s week at Christendom this past summer was “joy in the purest form I have ever experienced,” resulting in him applying to the college soon after.

Participating in the life of the college in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley is enticing to Barajas, as is immersing himself in the Catholic liberal arts.

“To study the history, literature, philosophy, and theology of a certain place in a certain era appears to be the surest way to thoroughly understand humanity in the all the forms it existed prior to our own,” says Barajas, who aims to major in history at the college.

Like Barajas, Helen Davis also hails from Texas. A native of New Braunfels, Davis was homeschooled throughout her life and desired a collegiate education that would match the academic rigor she experienced in her own household, coupled with the familial feel she loved as well. After visiting Christendom, she discovered that the college was exactly what she was looking for.

“Christendom’s strong Catholic culture, centered around the Mass greatly attracted me when I first visited,” says Davis, who is hoping to major in either theology or philosophy. “The solid academic program as well as virtuous dorm policies convinced me that Christendom was the only college I wanted to attend.”

Mark Taylor, who will soon be graduating from St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, Virginia, is also excited to begin his collegiate career at Christendom this fall. Growing up in Springfield, Virginia, Taylor learned about Christendom while a student at John Paul the Great. The college’s liberal arts program, particularly its history department, attracted Taylor the most to the school, leading to him ultimately applying and wining the Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition.

“I am attending Christendom for the excellent liberal arts program the college teaches its students,” says Taylor. “The education I will receive will prepare me to succeed in the difficult world of moral relativism I will enter into after college. I hope to follow in the footsteps of the many Christendom graduates who are pursuing truth and beauty in the world, within the Church, and within their families.”

The college also awarded $5,000 runner-up scholarships to the following winners: Mary Sabados, Nicholas Ward, Colleen Kosten, Mary Fowler, and Giuliana DeFelice.

The admissions office looks forward to welcoming these exceptional scholars to campus in August, along with the rest of the Class of 2025, where they will learn the Truth, live the Faith, and thrive.

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