gravatar for Pete Bekisz

George H. Ball Scholar Spotlight: King Swank

Written on November 13th, 2009 at 09:30 am by Pete Bekisz.


Don’t misunderstand King Swank.

The freshman organizational communication major was honored to receive a George H. Ball Achievement Award to attend Keuka College.

But the fact is he had his sights set on spending the next four years of his life by the shore of Keuka Lake before the good news about the Ball Award reached his home in Rochester.

“Keuka was my No. 1 choice,” said Swank, an organizational communication major who also considered Buffalo State, Brockport State and St. John’s University. “I liked Keuka’s focus on experiential learning, [in particular] the Field Period program. It fit who I was.”

The same could be said for the Ball Achievement Award, which is offered to “high school seniors with solid academic records and involvement in co-curricular activities/programs who have demonstrated the importance of social responsibility.”

Part of his impressive, pre-Keuka record of social responsibility includes serving as an assistant basketball and softball coach at the South Avenue Recreation Center.

In addition, the 2009 graduate of John Marshall High School:

  • was a member of Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy’s Youth Advisory Council;
  • donated his time and talents to Youth Voice One Vision, a council that encourages youth interest in civic planning, developing partnerships with adults, building skills to interact with public officials, and creating activities to educate one another on the importance of civic involvement; and
  • was active in Youth as Resources, “a community-based youth philanthropy and voice program.”

His commitment to service didn’t wane after he enrolled at Keuka. He became involved with two student organizations early in his first semester: Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and Up ’till Dawn, which raises funds for, and awareness of, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

He will conduct his first Field Period with the City of Rochester Department of Parks and Recreation.
Said Swank: “I like to be hands-on.”