• Michaels awards $91.5K in scholarships

  • The Michaels Organization and Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities presented 21 scholarships to local students.

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    The Michaels Organization and Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities presented 21 scholarships to local students at the Frontier Conference Center July 20.
    Lindsay Aspinwall, FLFHC community director, said the Michaels Organization awarded community members $91,500 in scholarships this year. She said the amount was more than double the monetary value of the 2016 awards.
    “Since its inception 27 years ago, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation has awarded over $5.9 million dollars to worthy students throughout the country,” Aspinwall said. “Since 2006, Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities has awarded an average of seven scholarships each year, totalling $23,944 on average each year.”
    Seven students were individually recognized at the ceremony.
    Allyson Clubb is entering Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Okla., and will major in psychology.
    Greg Flores III will be going into his sophomore year at Baker University in Baldwin, Kan. He is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry.
    Ingyun Jung will be a freshman at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan. and majoring in business administration.
    Abigail Ko will major in digital art and game design as a freshman at Northeastern University in Boston.
    Stephen Lewallen will enter Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., as a freshman and major in professional flight.
    Abigail Mack will begin her college career by attending Dixie State University in the fall and major in exercise science.
    Lauren Shoffner will be a sophomore and is currently studying civil engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
    Others receiving scholarships but not present at the ceremony included Alexa Allen, Kayla Corcoran, Margaret Franklin, Hunter Garritano, Ashton Harlan, Joshua Harlan, Ashley Hilton, Savannah Langley, Kyra Manner, Zachary Ralls, Katherine Peters and Caroline Wooten.
    Flores, who runs cross-country at Baker University and was selected by the university’s dean of students to mentor incoming freshmen, said he enjoys all aspects of attending college and receiving the scholarship was important to him.
    “I’m going to be a sophomore and have only been there a year, but it’s amazing,” Flores said. “Receiving the scholarship is something pivotal to me. It’s something that will motivate me to strive for greater achievements continually and to be a better man.”
    Flores said he plans to go to medical school after completing his undergraduate work in biology and chemistry, but has not yet decided where. He said his summer includes working and preparing for the upcoming academic year.
    “I work as a lifeguard here on post during the summer,” Flores said. “I’ve also been training for the cross-country season, studying to stay on the ball and relaxing, too.”
    Page 2 of 2 - His father, Greg Flores Jr., said applying time management is among his son’s greatest skills.
    “I think receiving this scholarship is ideal for him because he is learning another aspect of responsibility,” Flores said, “not only in earning the scholarship but also in giving back to the community here and while he’s away at school.”
    Ko said there are very few four-year universities offering game design as a major. She said Northeastern University also offers cooperative programs for students with well-known media companies like Warner Brothers and Pixar.
    “The co-op program is where the school integrates internships along with your education. So, they allow every student to take up to three paid internships,” Ko said. “I’m also going to minor in music composition, which will help in developing sound tracks.”
    Ko said her interests in visual art, music and creative writing were factors in choosing game design as a major. She said game design integrates all of those creative interests at once.
    “It’s the kind of field where I wouldn’t mind working for a big company or even starting my own business,” Ko said. “I would be happy in most any position in the field. So, that is the reason I think it’s the way to go for me.”
    Shoffner said a presentation at Leavenworth High School planted the initial seeds of curiosity in the field of civil engineering. She said it intrigued her enough to investigate the subject further, which ultimately led to a decision that engineering would be her career field of choice.
    “This is my second year receiving a scholarship,” Shoffner said. “I’m very excited and very honored. “
    Garrison Commander Col. Marne Sutten said it was good to have The Michaels Organization as part of the Fort Leavenworth family and thanked its representatives for their support given to the community. She also congratulated the students on their achievements and awards.
    “We primarily deal with housing-related things (when interacting with The Michaels Organization),” Sutten said, “so it is important not to forget all of the other amazing things they do for the community, whether that is the hours of volunteer work members of their organization do or whether it is this scholarship program.”
    Aspinwall said The Michaels Organization encourages all community members living in the military housing communities to apply for scholarships. She said the scholarship funds are paid directly to any accredited college, university or vocational training program on behalf of the student.
    “Students can re-apply every year,” Aspinwall said.
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