Simply Slavic, Modern Methods Brewing Co. offer scholarship to YSU students

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Members of the Simply Slavic planning committee
Members of the Simply Slavic planning committee pose with the 2022 scholarship winners at their presentation dinner. Submitted photo.

YOUNGSTOWN — Simply Slavic has announced it is seeking applicants for its 2023 round of academic scholarships for students attending Youngstown State University. 

YSU students who have completed their freshman year and are currently enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level are encouraged to apply. All applicants must submit a 500-word narrative on how Slavic culture has influenced their lives. Funds can be used for tuition and student expenses such as books, lodging, and study abroad programs. 

The scholarship is supported through a unique partnership with local brewer Modern Methods Brewing Co. In 2018, a collaboration between Simply Slavic and Modern Methods launched Rodina, a traditional Czech Amber Lager (polotmavé pivo) showcasing spicy Czech Saaz noble hops, lager yeast, and caramel Bohemian malt. It was aptly named after the word “family” in many Slavic languages. 

Its meaning was explained by Simply Slavic Board President John Slanina as follows:

“When our Slavic ancestors immigrated to America from Eastern Europe, they vowed to retain certain beliefs and cultural traditions. The core value was the significance of family, whether it was the family they left behind or the family they started here in Youngstown. Today we express that sentiment more broadly when we claim as a family, not just our relatives, but the people we choose to celebrate life. Our beer commemorates the enduring strength of this joyous belief in the family — as strong today as it was for our ancestors.” Hence, we are family; we are Rodina! 

The group believes so strongly in the product and the meaning behind its name that they created a living mascot to travel the festival and embody the spirit on site. 

As the official beer of Simply Slavic, Rodina Lager will be available after a ceremonial firkin tapping on Friday night at the festival in downtown Youngstown, in the Modern Methods Taproom in downtown Warren, and on draft or in take-home cans at locations throughout the Mahoning Valley and beyond. Sales have raised thousands of dollars in years past and will provide the foundation for the scholarship offerings again this year. 

“We’re thrilled to contribute to the scholarship and be a part of the festival,” exclaimed Adam Keck, Founder/Brewer at Modern Methods. “We get to brew a traditional Czech Lager unique in the craft beer world while supporting a great cause with our friends at Simply Slavic. As a bonus, we love seeing our customers eagerly anticipate June each year for Rodina, an idea that came to us while sharing a beer years ago.” 

“We feel our scholarship program is one way to give back and support Youngstown State University and the amazing students attending this local institution,” shared Slanina. “Most of our Simply Slavic board are alumni of YSU and are thankful for the educational and leadership opportunities we received while in school. We want to pay it forward and help advance the next generation of leaders passionate about ethnic heritage and local history.” 

The Simply Slavic scholarship committee panel will select the winners after reviewing their essays and academic achievements. The deadline for scholarship applicants is July 31, 2023. The winners will be announced in mid-August. 

Applications are available at SimplySlavic.org under the tab FORMS. For more information, call (330) 333-1441 or email info@simplyslavic.org.

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