2019-2020 ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
ALEXIS G – COTTAGE GROVE
Alexis is a high school senior who will be attending college in the fall of 2019, with the goal of becoming a veterinarian to fulfill a lifelong love of animals. Throughout her high school career she has been active in sports, music, national honors society and a variety of committees. Athletics have given Alexis the opportunity to support younger girls, both through sports camps and through mentoring relationships. She has spent time volunteering at the local animal humane society, non-profit horse ranches and the Minnesota Herpetology Society.
”I have been greatly impacted by the community service opportunities I have been involved in and have seen the impact it has on children and adults. I love bringing happiness and joy to people.”
ARIAN T – HARRIS
Arian is currently a sophomore at Anoka Ramsey Community College, pursuing a degree in particle physics with aspirations to be a physicist. As a first-generation college student, he is engaged in a variety of ways in his campus community, involved in the honor’s society, participating in the psychology and environmental clubs, and he is a student senator, student ambassador and LeadMN scholarship recipient. Outside of school, Arian has been involved with an organization that helps homeless teenagers, leveraging his own personal experiences and knowledge to help others. He has coordinated several service projects, including a Veteran appreciation project, an environmental awareness project and a food drive, and he also has volunteered at senior living facilities, participated in tree planting initiatives, and organized animal shelter donation drives.
“Being financially literate means you have the ability and knowledge to process the financial situations you find yourself in. Through careful application of willpower and financial literacy, true stability can be achieved. Coming from a poverty-stricken family and being homeless as a teenager has taught me many tough lessons, but I believe it is what lead me to educate myself on being financially literate. I have had to work exceptionally hard just to get to the point I am at now in my academic career and life, and I take nothing for granted.”
CLAUDIA C – CENTERVILLE
Claudia is a high school senior who will be attending the College of St. Scholastica in the fall of 2019, pursuing a career in the medical field. She is a frequent volunteer in her community, spending time at her local farmer’s market food shelf, senior living facility, in the nursery at her church, and as a mentor for an elementary-age girl in her school district. She is also captain of the junior varsity soccer team and volunteer coach at a kids’ summer camp.
“For my entire life I have worked to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I take my role in the community very seriously and understand that even I can make an impact, and it is important no matter how small it may seem. This joy of making connections is what has pushed me to volunteer, and I cherish the connections I make. I will always be working to utilize the gifts that I have been given to continue making a difference in the world and influence the lives of others.”
HUNTER H – MANKATO
Hunter is currently a sophomore at Minnesota State University Mankato pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences, with a certificate of non-profit leadership. He participated in a medical campaign mission trip to Guatemala, where he had the opportunity to educate and empower people to be proactive about their own health. He was involved in the formation of SERVE Mankato, a student organization that coordinates volunteers for activities on campus and in the community. This spring, Hunter will take part in a Pay-It-Forward Tour to Nashville, Tenn., over spring break. The 40 students participating in this five-day volunteer tour will make stops along the way to their destination, performing service projects to serve the underserved. Hunter has also volunteered for several years at the Mayo Clinic, logging more than 200 hours of time engaging with patients – some at the most stressful times of their lives – to provide moments of joy and to impact them positively.
“I knew going into college that I wanted to make an impact. In 2018 I was voted by my fellow honors student to be the recipient of the [Honors Program Leader of the Year Award], signifying the excellence of leadership. I was an honors mentor, a retreat leader, and Sophomore Class Representative – all roles that allowed me to work for and represent my peers. No matter where you go in the world, there is always good to be done.”
JOSEPH A – MINNEAPOLIS
Joseph is a junior at Augsburg University, where he has studied addiction counseling, social justice and political science. He has participated in choir, campus ministry and was president of the Student Senate, and he regularly volunteers for his local neighborhood association. Upon joining Augsburg, Joe began volunteering at the campus volunteer student-run food pantry, and he forged relationships with community partners and local non-profits to revive the struggling entity that now helps approximately 30 students per week gain access to healthy meals. When he sees a problem, he moves to action, seeking solutions. He is a first-generation college student, on track to achieve a Bachelor’s degree.
“Community service is very important because it helps me remain ‘part of’ as well as connected to my community. I am a person that truly gives back, and it is my involvement that bring me the most joy.”
KEVIN T – MOORHEAD
Kevin is a graduate student at Minnesota State University – Moorhead. With an undergraduate degree in accounting, he is working toward his Master’s degree in accounting and finance. He has been active in the housing and residential life area, in both his role as a resident advisor and now a supervisor. In this role he coordinated community service activities, which includes volunteering at campus sporting events, raking yards for area senior citizens and writing Christmas cards for nursing home residents. Kevin is also engaged in intramural soccer and collects items for food drives.
“I have maintained a good GPA throughout college while working full time to support my education. However, one day I realized that it is not just about grades. Community service has always been a big part of my life, and this sharpens other skills necessary in any career path such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and resilience. My experiences have led me to develop a strong work ethic, time management skills, and a sense of community.”
KYLE S – DEER RIVER
Kyle is a high school senior who will be attending college in the fall of 2019 with the ultimate goal of earning a Master’s Degree as a physician's assistant. He is a regular volunteer at his church, is active in his school’s youth group, and is a six-year member of The Movement, a group of students that promote and mentor other students to prevent drug and alcohol use. Through these engagements, he has gained valuable leadership skills, including two years of formal training courses. Throughout his high school career, Kyle has also played basketball and track, and participated in band and robotics. He was inspired by a mission trip to the Dominican Republic where participants brought and installed 50 water filters to provide 15 years of clean water. He will return to the same village in the spring of 2019 to install 100 more water filters.
“As a volunteer, I continue to learn new skills, discover new interests, and gain new insights about myself and others. Volunteerism has taught me that simple actions can have a big impact. My volunteer opportunities have given me experiences that will stay with me forever. There is nothing else in the world that gives me the satisfaction I get from helping others and knowing I have made a difference.”
RUPESH B – ST. CLOUD
Rupesh is an international student from Nepal currently studying computer science at St. Cloud State University. He leads the Nepalese Student Association at SCSU, is a student ambassador, works in the school’s tech department, and is involved in several clubs, sports and organizations within the university. His role as a student ambassador has led to volunteer opportunities outside campus, with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
“Financial literacy plays a vital role in maintaining an individual's economic status. Basic banking and budgeting allow people to learn how to maintain their paycheck each pay period. Money management skills is really important for every people.”