Posted by Cathy Bisaillon on Jun 01, 2017
Pictured left to right: Alexander Johnson, Heather Schronce and Benjamin Huang  (CKHS); Madeline Ferrell and Clara Smith-Perez (Klahowya); Caleb Giesbrecht, Luke Arnold, Justin Anderson, Emily Carlson, and Karlee Weninger (CKHS)
Not pictured: Cole Pobanz (CKHS) and Thu Aung (Klahowya)
Hats are off to our hard-working Scholarship Committee whose members spent many hours reviewing and discussing dozens of applications. After the winners were decided, there were announcements to be made and ceremonies to attend. The end result is twelve worthy grads with much-needed funds to support their first steps toward a college education. The 2017 committee was staffed by Ed Hamilton, Nancy Whitaker, Kim Peterson, Frank Guthrie, Chuck Kraining and President Cindy Holmes.
Our scholarship fund was boosted this year by a $2,000 donation from Chung Nguyen, owner of Chung’s Teriyaki. Chung and his family are dedicated servants to our community, and the donation to fund a $1,000 scholarship for both Central Kitsap High School and Klahowya Secondary School is proof of their commitment.
Central Kitsap High School
Alexander Johnson $1,000 (above) - Winner of the Bob Arper Scholarship, Alex is a longtime community volunteer who earned his Eagle Scout award by organizing over 200 labor hours to build park benches. He will attend Olympic College and then University of Washington to study computer science.
Benjamin Huang $2,000 (above) – Class co-valedictorian - Ben takes innovative thinking to a whole new level as he heads to the University of Washington to pursue degrees in both electrical engineering and medicine. The result, he is sure, will be the ability to design medical devices that will transform healthcare.  
Caleb Giesbrecht (above):  recipient of the Chung’s Teriyaki $1,000 scholarship.  Caleb credits his unique family experience (having two brothers who were adopted from Ethiopia) with his growth as a teacher, leader and mentor. He is excited to attend George Fox University in Oregon and major in either math or English.
Emily Carlson $1,500 (above) – A young lady with eclectic interests, Emily is just as at home on the school’s track as she is baking in the kitchen. An avid sports fan, Emily will attend Western Washington University to study kinesiology.
Heather Schronce $1,000 (above) – Heather will build on her already impressive command of languages, including American Sign Language and Spanish, as she pursues degrees in linguistics and speech pathology at the University of Washington.
Justin Anderson $1,000 (above) – Inspired by his own injuries and lifelong repercussions, Justin is headed to the University of Washington to obtain a degree in neuroscience.
Karlee Weninger $500 (above with Scholarship Committee Chair Ed Hamilton) – You would never know that this well-spoken, studious young lady is an award-winning air rifle shooter! Her commitment to 4H and other volunteer activities has strengthened her ambition to help people in her community by becoming an EMT and eventually a paramedic.
Luke Arnold $1,000 (above) – Class co-valedictorian.  As charming as he is accomplished, Luke entertained us with, “My favorite animal is a sea slug, just because it looks cool.” He has been accepted into George Fox University, and he aspires to be a cultural and social psychologist.
Klahowya  Secondary School
Ciara Smith-Perez  $2,000 (above) - Overcoming challenges is a way of life for Ciara. Born deaf and growing up without a father, Ciara learned to adapt to changing environments and to persevere no matter what. She is off to Olympic College with a plan to transfer to the University of Washington to major in business or science. 
Madeline Farrell  $2,000 (above) – Lighting up the room as she took the microphone, Maddie relayed that she is at her best on the stage and enjoys when people break into song. Her scholarship application details dealing with her father’s unexpected death and finding solace through volunteer work. She will hone her performing arts skills at Central Washington University and has ambitions to make it big in New York or Hollywood.
Not pictured:
Thu Aung  $1,000.   Recipient of the Chung’s Teriyaki $1,000 scholarship.  Thu is an immigrant and former CKHS student of the year.  Born in Myanmar, Thu has overcome much hardship and is determined to earn a degree in social sciences from the University of Washington so that she can be “a catalyst for positive and innovative change.”
Cole Pobanz  $1,000. Volunteering at his local church’s soup kitchen and at the Kitsap Humane Society has shaped Cole’s aspirations for college education (electrical engineering) and career.  Combining his interest in physics and electricity with his new found passion for helping people, Cole would like to work on creating clean renewable energy, both at home and in developing countries.