Club designates teenagers 'Most Valuable Students'
Six high school seniors from East County were awarded Most Valuable Student (MVS) scholarships at the Gresham Elks Awards Banquet on March 12.
This year, the Gresham Elks received 81 scholarship applications from local area high school seniors (54 young women and 27 young men).
The applicants are scored on academic achievement, leadership, community service and financial need. Awards are given to the top three young men and the top three young women.
The winners are:
Kama Bell from Gresham High School, who received a first-place $1,000 scholarship award. She also placed first in the district and Oregon state Elks scholarship contests, earning a total of $5,500 to date.
Bell's scholarship application will move on to the Elks National scholarship contest along with 500 other finalists. She is eligible to receive at least a four-year scholarship of $1,000 per year and has the opportunity to win a four-year scholarship worth $60,000.
Bell's passion for music has made William Paterson University in New Jersey her top pick. She has a 4.0 grade point average and has completed courses in Chinese at Portland State University and Spanish at Mt. Hood Community College.
She is an accomplished saxophonist who plays with the Gresham High School Jazz Band 1, Jazz Combo, Wind Symphony and Pep Band and is also a member of the American Music Program and the Alan Jones Academy of Music.
Bell was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the 2010 Berklee College of Music's summer program and has been awarded a renewable four-year scholarship to attend Berklee.
Riley Protz from Gresham High will receive a first-place $1,000 scholarship. He also placed first in the district and state Elks scholarship contests, earning a total of $5,500 to date.
Protz's scholarship application will move on to the Elks National scholarship contest along with 500 other finalists nationwide. He is eligible to receive at least a four-year scholarship of $1,000 per year and has the opportunity to win a four-year scholarship worth $60,000.
Protz plans to attend Oregon State University and study either bioengineering or pre-pharmacy. He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout his high school years.
Protz has completed many courses at Mt. Hood Community College and is working toward an International Baccalaureate Diploma.
He devotes a lot of time to community service work with TOPSoccer and AMIGOS de las Americas. Protz and his mother started a TOPSoccer program in Gresham for local special needs children to play soccer.
With AMIGOS de las Americas, Riley spent several months raising about $4,000 to travel last summer to Tabara Arriba, a remote mountainside community in the Dominican Republic. While there, he organized fundraisers to help the community build a canal to divert a mountain stream into a river to lessen flooding. He also taught children how to play soccer.
Emma Felzien from Reynolds High will receive a second-place $750 scholarship. Felzien plans to attend a private university and pursue a pre-medical degree. She has a 4.17 grade point average and has committed to the most rigorous courses throughout her high school years.
Felzien has received many awards for her outstanding musical talents and a one-year tuition award from Clackamas Community College for her outstanding jazz performance on alto saxophone.
She plays varsity soccer, runs track and devotes time to the Children's Ministries program at her church. Her passion is to be a missionary doctor working with the underprivileged in Third World countries.
Cody Hanset from Gresham High will receive a second-place $750 scholarship and will attend Brigham Young University.
He is a Scholar's Diploma candidate and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. He is treasurer on the student council and has volunteered for the Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Portland Transition Project and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while also working to achieve the Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Samantha Twardoch from Barlow High will receive a third-place $500 scholarship and will attend the University of Oregon to major in biology or human physiology.
She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and is on track to graduate from Barlow with honors and as valedictorian.
She volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank, tutors middle school students and contributes to Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross. Samantha has been a competitive and talented soccer player for the last 13 years, but injuries have recently forced her to quit playing the sport.
Kevin Krautscheid from Centennial High will receive a third-place $500 scholarship and the Sally Lamm Scholarship award of $1,000 from the Gresham Elks.
The Lamm Scholarship was established in 1994 from an inheritance received from the estate of Sally Lamm, a longtime valued employee of the Gresham Elks. The Lamm Scholarship is awarded every year to a local high school senior who participates in the Most Valuable Student Scholarship competition and scores the highest in the areas of community service, leadership and financial need.
Krautscheid plans to attend the University of Portland or Santa Clara University, pursuing a double major in finance and management. He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and devotes time to Habitat for Humanity, Oregon March of Dimes, Red Cross and the Centennial Education Foundation.
Krautscheid credits the Centennial Future Business Leaders of America chapter, to which he belongs, for developing and expanding his leadership skills and community service work. His goal is to be a chief financial officer of a Fortune 500 Corporation.
For more information about the Elks National Foundation's Most Valuable Student Scholarship, visit elks.org/enf/scholars/mvs.cfm.