Applause and congratulations filled the Valparaiso High School Auditorium Wednesday evening as the Class of 2014 and their parents celebrated the school’s Scholarship Awards Night. Seniors received scholarships from community and school organizations to help lessen their financial burden as they further their educations at the college level.
The Valpo School Foundation’s awards started the evening. Board members Mark Hardwick, Chairman of the VSF Scholarship Committee, and Julia Dalton, Chief Operating Officer of the VSF, handed out scholarships to deserving students. The VSF awarded more than $33,000 in scholarships to 31 hardworking students.
"Awarding the scholarships to our graduating Seniors serves the community by rewarding hard work throughout an academic lifetime," explained Dalton. "In turn, we would love to see these students return to Valparaiso and give back to their community after their education is complete."
“Being awarded a Valpo Schools Foundation scholarship will allow me to pursue my academic goals in the future because I will have less weight on my family's shoulders,” said VSF scholarship recipient Jaeson Chang. “As everyone knows, the cost of college is continually increasing, so any form of financial aid is extremely beneficial!”
A common theme among all speakers who awarded scholarships was a shared amazement at the skills and drive of the Class of 2014. Over 50 highly qualified students applied for some of the more popular awards, making the selection process difficult but rewarding.
“Thank you parents for raising such great kids, and thank you students for all you’ve done to get here,” said Ron Bush from the Rotary Club.
"We accept dozens of applications every year. These applications include written statements where each student reflects on some aspect of their life. Our committee reviews each application for academic and extra-curricular success and effort," explained Hardwick. "We are amazed each year by all the things these students do with their time, including community service. We also look to the financial need component."
The VSF Scholarship winners were Joshua Abatie, Makayla Coyle, Andrew Finley, Ellen Gottlieb, Andrew Jankowski, Caitlin Kennedy, Kelly Kennedy, Courtney Schuiteman, Mayra Romero Valle, Marissa Weston, Peter Williams, and Samantha Yaros.
Additional VSF winners included Samantha Banks, Jason Chaeng, Michael Krutz, Natalie Lichtenberger, Kyle Salomon, Zachary Sutton, Chloe Williams, Elizabeth Wehren.
Winners of the Bryce Drew Scholarship, Rachel T. Hall and Emily A. Owens, each received funds to pursue their studies at Valparaiso University.
Greer Brown won the Christine Butterfield Memorial Scholarship for her excellent academic standing and intent to study music at Indiana University.
Justin M. Osburn won the Eichhorn Family Scholarship for his academic achievements.
Georginna Jarratt won the Ilo Oliver Scholarship for her plan to major in Elementary Education and her kind and generous spirit.
The Kenneth A. Brist Scholarship went to Colette Collins and Alison Myer for their intentions to study to become teachers.
Ankur Dhoot, graduating a year early with high standing among the junior class, won the Peter and Rosann Candela Scholarship for his academic standing.
Haley Sorrells received the Robert L. Koenig Family Scholarship.
The Skip Bird Memorial Swimming Scholarship went to Andrew J. Antonetti for his achievement on the Boys Swim Team and his academic excellence.
Mercedes P. Farias won the Thorgren Family Scholarship for her intentions to study at Indiana University Bloomington.