Incoming George Washington University freshman named 2011 PENTA Scholarship recipient

WESTBOROUGH _ Westborough High School (WHS) senior Katherine “Kasey” Packer knows what she wants and strives to achieve it. Three years ago, when Packer was a freshman at Westborough High School, she set her sights on being the recipient of the Deborah A. Penta Female Leadership Scholarship and this year, her aspiration has come to fruition, as she was chosen as the 2011 recipient.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to be receiving this award. I was a freshman when I first read about this scholarship in the paper. I thought how much I wanted to apply for it when I was eligible,” Packer said. “I’m so honored.”

The founder of the scholarship, Deborah Penta, Westborough business owner of the integrated marketing firm PENTA Communications, Inc., was impressed by Packer’s spirit and drive.

“As in previous years, we had many outstanding candidates for the scholarship this year, however, Kasey’s submission stood apart,” said PENTA CEO Deborah Penta. “Kasey stood out as a dynamic and progressive leader through her numerous achievements as a young woman. Her accomplishments were amazing, and very impressive. I was also impressed with the many endorsements that reflected on Kasey’s personality and leadership style. She certainly has the ‘pay it forward’ attitude that resonates with our core values as an organization, and to me personally.”

The Deborah A. Penta Female Leadership Scholarship was founded in 2005 by Penta to help inspire, acknowledge, and encourage female high school students from Westborough High School in their senior year of school, who excel in leadership roles in academia, community, and extracurricular activities.

As the 2011 recipient, Packer sets a shining example for future scholarship winners. She will attend George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. this coming fall and plans on majoring in International Relations.

“I’ve always loved Washington, D.C. There’s so much energy there, and when I visited the campus, I could really identify with the student body,” Packer said.

Packer’s enthusiasm, drive, and ambition are truly amazing. Currently she is the Westborough High School’s Student Council President; is on the school’s Executive Board; is the Central District Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (CDMASC) President; runs CDMASC workshops; is on the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (MASC) Executive Board, and has won numerous awards over her high school career from MASC and the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). She attended leadership conferences held by the NASC, MassStar Leadership Conference, and the Women’s Youth Leadership Conference at Pine Manor College. She is on the Regional Student Advisory Board, the town of Westborough Youth Commission and Family Services Board, and is a WHS new student ambassador.

In addition to being an honor student and advanced placement student, Packer is also a four-year varsity gold athlete and a performer in WHS’s fine arts program.

Packer’s teachers and the WHS administration have nothing but praise for her.

“There are few students who contribute to as many areas in our school as Katherine Packer,” said WHS Guidance Counselor Kathleen Sabet.

In addition to her academic accolades, Packer’s list of community service activities runs deep. She is actively involved in her church, has done numerous social service projects through the WHS Student Council, and has done work for agencies such as Helping Hands, Project Smile, Boston’s Women Center, the Westborough Memorial Day Parade, and the Armstrong Family Fun Day.

“Her reputation in the community is outstanding. When most high school teenagers are sleeping in, Kasey volunteers her time and is involved in Special Olympics, battered women’s shelters, feeding the homeless, and countess other humanitarian activities,” said WHS Physical Education Teacher and Golf Coach Greg Rota. “Kasey feels it is important to give back to the community which has given so much to her.”

When asked how she does so many things, Packer’s answer is simple.

“I’m passionate about so many things and I want to get involved. I make the time somehow,” she said.

As Packer readies herself for college, she has words of advice for future scholarship nominees.

“High School flies by. You really won’t believe it now, but it’s true. You need to get involved as much as possible,” Packer said. “I’m also a big advocate about setting goals. You need to set goals for yourself, stay focused, and keep exploring. The opportunities are endless.”

“Kasey will certainly leave a legacy behind as she heads to D.C.,” said Penta. “She is a role model and shining example for other young women in our community. She proved that if you want something bad enough, work hard for it, and learn how to inspire yourself and others along the way, that you not only do well for yourself, but create a better world for those around you. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”

For more information on the Deborah A. Penta Female Leadership Scholarship or on PENTA Communications, Inc., visit