Paying for college
Winners of the Civic Leadership Scholarship
Each year a committee of campus and community representatives works to evaluate applications to find outstanding examples of civic leadership by high school seniors. Following is a list of previous recipients.
First place recipient: Riley Faulk - Lansing, KS
As a freshman in high school, Riley realized a need for her school to become actively engaged with education about autism. Riley led and mobilized a team of her peers to create and facilitate a presentation to over 800 students and staff, with the goal to change perceptions about autism and share facts. After the success of the program at the high school, she was then asked to present at the middle school with her team. With this enthusiasm, Riley co-founded her school’s Puzzle Club, an autism support group that encourages mentorship and community. To support the installation of a sensory room in the new high school that is being constructed, Riley and the Puzzle Club worked to organize the Late Night for Autism event that raised over $6,000 for the project. As a result of her work, Riley has seen changes throughout the schools and community.
Second place recipient: Sarah Fruth - Olathe, KS
After experiencing first-hand the benefits of attending a summer camp program, Sarah created a backyard camp at her home in 2010. What began as 15 local children participating in games, crafts, music and other activities has grown into having 45 children attend each summer. Sarah provides leadership in planning programming, managing financial budgets and staffing. As the program grew, Sarah recognized that she needed to bring additional support onto her team and found partners that shared the same vision and could bring their own gifts to the camp. By investing in the community in this capacity, Sarah hopes that these children and their families will also be inspired to contribute to the community to create a sense of place.
Third place recipient: Emma Kate Callahan - Overland Park, KS
In 2015, Emma began volunteering at Rose Estates, an assisted living community in Overland Park. As a volunteer, Emma leads a weekly book club with women from the community. She works with the local libraries, high school library and other sources to secure the books and gain guidance on facilitating the discussion. With her knowledge of the group members, Emma meets the needs of each woman through finding audiobooks, as well as large print or small print versions, to best accommodate them, while also planning ahead for future reading opportunities. By providing an organized reading group that has already read 10 books to date, Emma has created a bond between this group of women that provides encouragement and camaraderie for each member.
First place recipient: Gracen Jarrett - Washington, IN
Gracen has a love and passion for soccer. As one of seven children who also enjoy soccer, Gracen was usually always able to find a decent used pair of cleats and/or other gently used soccer equipment. Modeling what Gracen and a friend of hers had done informally, they founded the Washington Community Soccer Swap and Drop. Through this program, Gracen collects gently used soccer equipment and organizes a day of swapping and selling the remaining items for a nominal fee. Gracen and her friend have raised over $500, which has helped over 200 families get equipment they needed to continue their passion.
Second place recipient: Rogan Tokach - Abilene, KS
After receiving a youth scholarship from the Kansas Honey Producers Association, Rogan was able to pursue his passion of beekeeping. Rogan thought about selling honey and putting it towards saving for college, but instead decided to start Honey for Heifer to assist Heifer International. People would donate $10 per pound of honey and all of the money would be donated to Heifer International. The money donated to Heifer International has been used to purchase hives in Honduras and Guatemala. Each hive costs $30. The recipients of the hives are able to use the bees to increase yields on their coffee crops in addition to having honey and wax to sell. To date, Rogan has purchased 165 hives. He has also given numerous presentations about his project and the many benefits of bees and honey.
Third place recipient: Katie Buhler - Pratt, KS
Through Katie’s passion for clothing and textiles in addition to her involvement in 4-H, she realized a need for sewing machines in her 4-H chapter. Katie wrote several grants in order to purchase sewing machines and kits to help teach fellow 4-Hers how to sew. As the 4-Hers gained confidence and became very skilled, Katie saw the need to purchase better sewing machines. Katie applied for and received additional funding for two serger sewing machines. Through all of the grants Katie wrote, she received over $5,000 to ensure more young people are able to learn about sewing.
First place recipient: Jordan Craft – Topeka, KS
As a member of a fostering family, Jordan saw a need to create a program for children who were currently in the home to help them understand what is or will be happening in their family. Jordan partnered with The Children’s Alliance and reformed their MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) Children’s program. She re-worded the instructor’s book, organized and interviewed children for a video and booklet, and helped create and design a website. Jordan has brought families together and helped create a better understanding of the fostering system.
Second place recipient: Kayce Feldkamp - Seneca, KS
Kayce realized the need for additional resources for gifted teachers and programs in the state of Kansas. Kayce did a significant amount of research on gifted programs, and found that gifted education is mandated but only partially funded by the state. Kayce developed a website with a database of resources to support gifted educators and students. She and her team gathered over 200 free resources for parents, teachers, and students to ensure all of the material was appropriate and legitimate. Through the site, teachers are provided lesson plans by subject, curriculum ideas, and other creative ideas. Kayce continues to present to parents, students, educators, and administrators about her project and the importance of gifted programs.
Third place recipient: Bethany Chegwidden - Wichita, KS
As a Thespian, Bethany saw a need to help prospective theatre students in her high school. At a school of nearly 2300 students in which approximately 150 students audition for plays and musicals, Bethany decided to create an audition workshop. The goal of the audition workshop was to help students feel more at ease when auditioning and to better understand the audition process. The workshop included a quick song to sing, a dance combination, and a short monologue. She and her peers divided participants into three groups and had them rotate through each session. Fifty students attended and gained insight and important tips and tricks to help them with auditioning.
First place recipient: Garrett Wilkinson – Hutchinson, KS
Garrett began researching the water crisis. After learning about the extent of the problem, Garrett created a non-profit organization; “Project Purus.” The objective of this organization is to provide water purification systems to communities in need of clean water. His organization is on track to serve over 1000 people before May of 2014. Students at the SAV School in Kathmandu, Nepal now have access to clean water at school and Next Generation Nepal now has filters to remove biological impurities from water and also has portable filters for their relocation teams who trek through the mountains in search of enslaved children. As Founder of Project Purus, Garrett is responsible for moderating the social media pages, communications, and fundraising. In addition, Garrett works directly with the beneficiaries to determine their need for clean water and if granted clean water, he makes sure the filter distribution process is going as planned. Garrett hopes to continue expanding his efforts by raising funds for SAV school’s parents to help pay for filters in their homes.
Second place recipient: Savannah Sherwood – Assaria, KS
Savannah created "Peace, Love, and Hearing for Everyone" to serve the 108,080 individuals in the state of Kansas who are deaf and hard of hearing. Savannah has been working diligently to inform Kansas communities about the lack of insurance coverage for hearing aid devices and to urge legislators to pass House Bill 2228, which requires coverage for hearing devices. Savannah has contacted and met with several legislators. She has also created a website and Facebook group. In addition, Savannah has established partnerships with key people including a lobbyist from Washington, D.C.; Susan Goodman and a local SRS employee who is hearing impaired to assist with her efforts. While the bill has not been passed, Savannah continues to educate people in hopes that the bill will pass.
Third place recipient: Madison McClellan – Palco, KS
Madison created the charity "For Keeps," which provides new school clothes to underprivileged girls in the Ellis County Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. Madison started this charity as she knows first-hand how important it is for girls to feel confident in their appearance. Madison has dedicated a lot of time to fundraising efforts as well. Madison has organized fundraising events like a gently used Vera Bradley sale, holiday donation jars, and a clothing drive for Plato’s Closet. Madison also applied for a grant. From the money raised, Madison has provided eleven gift cards to young girls to be used on a supervised shopping trip. Madison is currently raising money to be used for a third shopping trip in August of 2014.
First place recipient: JoLynn Hennerberg — Hollenberg, KS
In the summer of 2011 JoLynn learned that the school her mom worked at was going to throw away a classroom full of old desks and chairs. Although she was unsure of who might need these items, she hated to see them go to waste and knew that they could serve a purpose for a less fortunate school. After gaining permission from the school to take the items, JoLynn loaded 36 chairs and desks onto a stock trailer and took them home. She restored each piece of furniture, adding encouraging bible verses to the tops of the desks and a protective coating to finish. The re-finished furniture was then donated to Orphan Grain Train in Norfolk, Nebraska. The furniture ended up at 3 different schools on a Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico to serve their current need for classroom materials. To help reach the needs closest to home, JoLynn has also started a supply cupboard at her school where students in need can access the necessary supplies to be successful.
Second place recipient: Tyler O'Briant — Tonganoxie, KS
From Tyler’s personal experience of suffering from an illness and staying at Children’s Mercy Hospital, he saw a need for quality reading materials in the clinic rooms. Tyler organized donation and book drives for Children’s Mercy Hospital. Tyler met with different businesses and people around the community to educate and raise awareness about the importance of the book drive. In one week Tyler was able to mobilize his small community where he collected 4,744 books and raised over $1100. Tyler and the volunteers he coordinated also checked the books to make sure they were in good condition and appropriate for the hospital. Tyler serves on the Teen Advisory Board for Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Third place recipient: Misty Adkins — Olathe, KS
Misty is the founder of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) organization. Misty started the club in hopes of eradicating bullying while promoting tolerance and creating awareness about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) issues. Misty provides an outlet for students to come and talk about issues they have in the school community or at home. She also serves as a mediator between LGBTQ students and teachers. Misty has organized different speakers on topics including LGBTQ bullying and what college life is like for LGBTQ students. Misty also launched an anti-bullying campaign. Through the campaign she coordinated a Day of Silence and an event on the national day of Transgender Remembrance.
First place recipient: Caroline Patelli — Basehor, KS
Caroline is passionate about her local community of Leavenworth and is very involved with the Historical Society and Main Street organization. Caroline has organized and lead groups of volunteers to assist with restoration efforts of historical landmarks in Leavenworth. She has also helped orchestrate community outreach efforts through functions held at historical landmarks she helped restore. Caroline has been involved in beautification projects and has raised money by organizing an annual Herb Market and tour of local homes. She has used her artistic ability to create mosaic installations in vacant lots and designed a new school flag for her elementary school. Caroline has also organized holiday meals like the 7th Street Thanksgiving Dinner and ensured a safe Halloween for children by leading the Trick or Treat Main Street Partnership.
Second place recipient: Elizabeth Stone — Middletown, PA
Elizabeth used her skills to help translate a French Canadian cookbook for the Villa Louis State Historic Site in Wisconsin. The cookbook was originally published in Montreal in 1865 and was one of the first French language cookbooks not exclusively dealing with continental French cuisine. Elizabeth's goal is to translate all 752 recipes. She has currently completed 511. Elizabeth has also spent a lot of time demonstrating how to cook the translated recipes to the site director and staff that will use the recipes in the future. Her work to translate the cookbook is helping others gain insight in to what life was like for early settlers in the Villa Louis area.
Third place recipient: Emily Whitty — Kansas City, MO
Emily saw first-hand the difference a weighted blanket can make for an autistic child when one helped her younger brother. Wanting to help other children with autism, Emily contacted Project Linus and attended a sewing event to learn how to sew and make weighted blankets. Emily coordinated a garage sale to raise money for supplies and had several sewing events to teach others how to make the blankets. She also visited support groups to educate others about weighted blankets. Emily donated 60 blankets to Project Linus. She continues to make weighted blankets and deliver them to local elementary schools and Children's Mercy.
First place recipient: Amy West — Westcliffe, CO
Upon moving to Westcliffe, CO, Amy never could have imagined the impact her involvement in Girl Scouts would have on her new community and 30 young girls. Amy wanted to continue her involvement in Girl Scouts, but soon realized there was not a Girl Scout Troop in Westcliffe. Amy wanted to provide local young girls the same opportunities for personal growth as she had. She began to develop a Girl Scout troop with the help of many parents in the community. Amy devoted over 1,000 hours to developing a Girl Scout program that would be sustainable. Because of Amy's hard work and determination there are currently four troops in Westcliffe that she works with for an average of three hours a week. Amy plans to continue to be involved with these Girl Scout Troops from a distance.
Second place recipient: Landon Leiker — Marion, KS
Shortly after moving to Marion, Landon identified a project in the community. After Landon began researching and learning more about the history of Marion County Park and Lake he felt compelled to increase public awareness of the condition of the structures, secure financial and labor resources necessary to refurbish the structures, and to make people more knowledgeable about the history of the park and lake. Landon's project began in 2006 and is still ongoing. Landon has educated community members about the park and lake and organized spring work days to assist in the restoration of the park for the last two years. Landon is confident that these days will continue after he graduates.
Third place recipient: Julia Fuquay — Mooresville, NC
To make a difference and help underprivileged students, Julia organized a Back-to-School Bash, which was an event where underprivileged students received free haircuts, book bags, and school supplies. Julia was responsible for the organization and promotion of the event, which provided new book bags and school supplies to over 2,000 Kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Julia also worked with an organization that donated a new pair of shoes for each of the students who attended. Julia is very committed to staying involved in community service through working with animal missions and environmental opportunities.
First place recipient: Reagan Kays — Weir, KS
Reagan wanted to educate his community on the importance of agriculture and the value of it in our economy. To do this he developed a preschool agriculture education program titled “Pre-K Agricultural Literacy.” This program teaches preschool children about agriculture and its importance. Children affected by the program include at-risk children, typically developing children, and special education children between the ages of 3-5. Reagan worked to bring age appropriate learning materials to these children and hopes that by educating them and providing a positive role model example, he is able to encourage these children to succeed.
Second place recipient: Jena Sauber — Assaria, KS
Jena had a goal to let patients at the Hospice of Salina and the children at St. Jude's Hospital know that others cared about them. To do this she helped to organize and sew over 350 pillow cases for the patients. Jena obtained donations, set up work sites for sewing, and involved other community groups in the sewing. Jena reached out to the 4-H groups and retirement communities for help in sewing the pillowcases. Not only were the patients benefited by a bright colored pillowcase as a reminder someone cares, but the community members participating in sewing enjoyed being able to give back to others.
Third place recipient: Alexsis Fleener — Greensburg, KS
To educate her school and community on being environmentally friendly, Alexis co-founded Greensburg Green Club. As part of her duties as co-founder, Alexsis helps to organize recycling at the local elementary and high school as well as lead bi-monthly meetings for the group. She also provides leadership by giving tours of Greensburg and highlighting how the town has established environmentally friendly practices. Alexsis is able to not only improve her community but also educate those in the community on how to make a difference just like her.
First place recipient: Eli Logan — Manhattan, KS
Eli wanted his Eagle Scout project to recognize Riley County's history, government, and community. To do this he oversaw the erection of a stone monument detailing the history of the Riley County Courthouse. Eli provided leadership by supervising 20 of his fellow scouts while they prepared and landscaped the area. The monument now informs those passing by the courthouse of its history and architectural significance. This monument has inspired the City Historic Resources Board to continue recognizing Riley County's history by erecting similar monuments throughout the city.
Second place recipient: Alana Rhone — Texarkana, TX
Alana wanted to empower citizens in her community for the 2008 election. She took voter education training and volunteered at the local Democrat and Republican headquarters. With this knowledge, Alana spread the word about the importance of voting and making an informed decision. She assembled a group of twelve volunteers to help register voters and disseminate sample ballots to educate voters on the candidates. Alana's efforts resulted in a much higher voter turnout than in past years. She hopes to continue to be involved in the political process as she studies Political Science or International Affairs in college.
Third place recipient: Allison Straub — Hays, KS
Allison co-chaired an effort to bring funds and awareness to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Wichita. Initially, Allison coordinated a Monopoly tournament fundraiser held at the local McDonald's. Over $1,000 was raised for the Houses through donations from local businesses. Allison raised awareness of the Houses and motivated the community by personally conducting radio and television interviews to encourage individuals to save pull tabs. Over two million pull tabs were collected equaling almost $1,300 that was donated to the Houses. Both of these donations allowed one family to stay 240 nights at the Houses free of charge. Allison's at large communication has raised awareness in local businesses to the Hays Medical Center and plans are underway for future projects.
First place recipient: Mark Sowers — Spring Hill, KS
Mark has found a way to apply the leadership skills he has gained through 4-H and his church youth group. As a member of the Spring Hill Sesquicentennial Committee, Mark's role is to represent the younger members of the community in the planning of celebration events for this major community milestone. He has helped with fundraising efforts and initiated an art and essay contest to involve grade school, middle school, and high school aged students. An art show was hosted to showcase the work of the community's youngest members. He is also participating as a student stakeholder in evaluating the thirty-year land use plan for Spring Hill, a rapidly growing community.
Second place recipient: Cameron McGuire — Gardner, KS
Cameron created a photography service organization, PediaPix (Pediatrics + Photography). The goal of his organization is to place photos taken by kids for kids in pediatric areas of hospitals and clinics to help ease the anxieties of going to see a doctor. He presented the idea to hospital administrators, established logistics for soliciting and organizing submissions, and coordinated the selection of photos from the nearly 200 entries. He served as the liaison as he worked with hospital staff and youth photographers to plan meetings and set deadlines. The future of this initiative includes adding to the collection and rotating the art throughout the clinic.
Third place recipient: Sydney LeSage — Pretty Prairie, KS
As the organizer and manager of the first Cash and Cans Junior Golf Tournament, Sydney wanted to create a fundraiser to benefit the Pretty Prairie Food Bank. She proposed hosting a junior golf tournament to a local golf course manager, created rules for the tournament, and advertised for youth golfers by posting flyers and writing an article in the local newspaper. The tournament hosted 37 participants and generated 385 cans and $400 in donations. The food donation represents 30% of the food to be distributed by the food bank this year and the organization was able to purchase perishable food and gas vouchers for the first time with the cash donation.
Special award: Nicole Stieben — Bazine, KS
Since her high school consolidated with a school forty-five minutes away, Nicole recognized an important need within her student body. It was suddenly difficult for students to receive help from teachers because of the commute between students' homes and their new high school. She provided leadership in meeting the need by organizing a before and after school program for students who need extra help outside the classroom. Students in need of tutoring contact Nicole who arranges a session with a peer tutor. She is able to create opportunities for many students to receive the academic help they need and to coordinate times for even the most involved student in her school.
First place recipient: Kyle Merklein — Prairie View, KS
Kyle's project involves serving as the only youth representative on the Discover Phillips County Steering Committee. He has participated in a variety of efforts to improve the quality of life in each of the seven towns in his county. His leadership has been instrumental in planning the county-wide clean up in March of 2007. He has assembled a labor force to provide assistance to the elderly and individuals with disabilities in the beautification effort. Kyle has also used his passion for running to help others by collecting pledges to run 30 miles across the county to raise funds for the Phillips County Ministerial Alliance. He is committed to building pride in his community and engaging others to help keep the county vibrant in an effort to attract businesses and new residents. He believes that everyone has a gift that can be used for service.
Second place recipient: Carrie Dotson — Andover, KS
Carrie is actively involved in the Just About Kids Foundation, a group she helped establish. JAK is a non-profit charitable organization run by high school students. One specific area of emphasis is helping to raise money for abused and neglected children's charities around the Wichita area. She participated in the planning and completion of the JAK 5k/1mile run and a car giveaway. Through the benefit run, Carrie has helped her group to raise $15,000 for these charities. She also helps to spread the word about the seriousness of the issue of child abuse and neglect. Wichita has several very high poverty areas and Carrie says many people are surprised to learn the extent of child abuse in Kansas and even in the small community of Andover. She realizes that she was fortunate enough to grow up in a safe environment and she wants to help provide that same environment for less fortunate children.
Third place recipient: Jacqueline Johnson — Overland Park, KS
It is a great thing to show others how exciting learning can be; Jacqueline is doing just that. She is the president of the Faraday Society, a group of students who perform theater science demonstrations for the community by presenting complex chemistry and physics concepts in a simplified and easily accessible way. The troupe has performed for thousands of people at elementary schools, banquets, science teacher conferences, science fairs and community events. Jacqueline receives letters after their performances from elementary aged students expressing their new-found interest in science and how they want to grow up to be scientists, too. She views community service as an opportunity rather than a responsibility, and sharing her passion for science is just one of the many opportunities she has.
First place recipient: Maria Mai — Salina, KS
Maria has been very involved with Saline County Relay for Life all throughout high school. Her freshman year, she was a team captain and created a team for the Saline County Relay for Life. The following year, she also joined the Relay for Life committee and was in charge of team recruitment for the entire Youth Relay for Life. Her junior year, Maria became a co-chair for Youth Relay for Life where she had the responsibility of looking over a selected amount of high schools and overseeing the committees. As a senior, she is now the chair of the entire Saline County Relay for Life. Maria organizes meetings and plans events for the committee. Her main goal is to help raise funds for cancer research. Maria plans to continue her involvement with Relay for Life in college by becoming a team captain and joining the planning committee.
Second place recipient: Mike Feldhausen — Frankfort, KS
Mike was a full time youth volunteer coordinator for the local recycling program in his community. When the adult volunteer coordinator resigned, Mike took over the majority of the coordinator duties. He ensured that a notice would be placed in the local paper a week in advance and also ensured that a trailer would be supplied by the county recycling program to be emptied monthly. Mike started the recycling program at school to make people more aware of all the materials that can be recycled and to show them how to help with the environment. Mike's leadership ability saved the Frankfort recycling program from closing and has continued to get more families involved in the program.
Third place recipient: Ryan Roberts — Pomona, KS
Ryan raised, trained, and socialized four dogs for the CARES, Inc. organization. CARES, located in Concordia, Kansas, provides service dogs to individuals from all over the world. Ryan's responsibility was to take the puppies and housebreak them, teach them basic commands, love them, and most importantly, get them accustomed to being around people in various social situations. Ryan wanted to use his training skills to benefit others by improving their quality of life. He exposed the dogs to as many social activities as he could to prepare them to serve their new owners in any capacity. All four of the dogs Ryan trained are now serving their owners or the general public in some way.