SMWC awards high school seniors top scholarship
March 27th, 2015 | SMWC
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) announces the winners of its most prestigious award – the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholarship, named in honor of the College’s foundress. This award is presented to students who display unique experiences, aptitudes and abilities to aspire higher and make a difference in their local communities and beyond. Seven scholarships – two full-tuition and five $17,000 awards, all renewable for four years – are given to students who embody the qualities of the College’s foundress.
To apply for the award, students submitted an essay on how they intend to embody the values of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and a letter of recommendation as well as participated in an interview with the selection committee on campus. Based on those elements, along with other criteria such as academics, community involvement and extracurricular activities, the following accomplished young women were selected to receive the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholarship:
With a strong desire to improve the world around her, Kristin Foster developed a passion for serving others at a very young age. She grew up volunteering in her church, youth choir, vacation bible school and as a part of her Girl Scout Troop. As a junior Massac County High School, she served as Miss Metropolis Outstanding Teen 2014, raising money and awareness for charities such as Children’s Miracle Network and promoting her personal platform, L.O.V.E. – Leading Others to Volunteer by Example. “Although I have done many things to positively impact the world around me already, service is a lifelong commitment,” she states. “I intend to continue to serve those around me.” Foster, daughter of Leesa and Preston Foster, plans to major in music. She is also an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, Little Egypt Chrysalis Community Board, Key Club, Girl Scouts, Massac County High School Scholar Bowl Team, Math Team and Art Guild as well as School Choir president.
Mannah Mace has a dream to leave the world a better place, and she has already begun that journey through service work. As a member of 4-H, Girl Scouts and Brazil First Presbyterian Church, Mace finds her volunteer work gratifying. At Northview High School, she is president of the Excalibur Corps Student Ambassadors, a member of DECA, Student Council, Interact and FFA. Mace, daughter of Jane Jackson-Mace and John Mace, plans to major in business administration and hopes to someday work or volunteer at one of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centers. She states, “I will continue to use my gifts and talents to help those in need, lead others to Jesus Christ, empower women and educate girls.” Mace is also an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma and Scholar Athlete Award recipient. Active in sports, she is a four-year varsity soccer player and four-year varsity track member as well as a Regional Qualifier in pole vaulting.
Terre Haute, Ind.
Use her gifts to impact the world around her – that is what Gabrielle Comelleri plans to do with her life. As a senior at Terre Haute North High School, Comelleri has contributed over 120 hours of community service as a member of the National Honor Society. Through the Saint Benedict Youth Group, she has participated in two mission trips and has contributed to her local community as well. Comelleri is also a member of Girl Scouts, Big Brother/Big Sister and 4-H. Intending to major in early childhood education, Comelleri explains, “In whatever path I walk in life, I want my gifts to lead. I intend to use my gifts to impact the lives of children, for I believe that children are our future, and by impacting the life of just one child, the world will forever be changed.” Daughter of Deborah and Michael Comelleri, she is also president of Continental Corps, yearbook photo-editor, president of Photography Club, newspaper co-editor, and a member of Girls’ Tennis Team, Patriot Art Club, Indiana Math League and English Academic Team.
Planning to major in early childhood education, Madeline McCue wants to experience the rewards of living a life of service. With a passion for helping the underserved and those without a voice, she states, “Every person is a gift from God and these diverse, beautiful gifts can only be realized if all people are allowed to have a place in society.” McCue, daughter of Jill and Mark McCue, recently participated in a mission trip sponsored by Appalachian Service Project to help a family in Tennessee rebuild their home. McCue also volunteers for organizations including Resurrection Parish, Anderson Animal Shelter and PADS Homeless Shelter, among others. A senior at Bartlett High School, she is also a member of National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Honor Roll, as well as an Academic All-Conference Athlete in tennis.
Madison Miller plans to major in biology with the ultimate goal to become a veterinarian, but she has goals even beyond that. As a veterinarian, Miller hopes to mentor students looking to enter the same field. Through outreach to local 4-H groups and members, she will also educate people on how to maintain the health of their animals. Miller, daughter of Janna and Scott Miller, states, “Saint Mother Theodore Guerin has inspired me to become a strong woman and to realize that to achieve my goals, I must first put forth effort and hard work. Her dedication to helping those around her inspired me to do the same as a veterinarian.” A senior at South Vermillion High School, Miller is active in 4-H and Junior Leaders and is a member of National Honor Society and the high school golf team. She has volunteered at the Parke Vermillion County Humane Society, Adopt-a-Highway, Chariot Riders and Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts.
Daisha Wilcoxson has always fostered a love of art. She has also always been a compassionate individual, serving as the “shoulder to cry on” for the people around her. Joining her two passions together, Wilcoxson, senior at the Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship, plans to major in education. Already having a strong grasp of the importance of art therapy, she recounts her experience babysitting a young girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, stating, “Her success with art as a therapeutic device of communication showed me the true and immense ability of art to connect a person to their own feelings. With art, I will give others the tools to express themselves and understand their emotions so they may live life to its fullest.” Daughter of Kim Wilcoxson, she was a Global Youth Service Day participant, HOPE club member, band member and volunteer for Christian Village nursing home as well as an academic honors student.
When Allison Bryant toured the shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, she couldn’t help but look inside herself for qualities that the College’s foundress possessed. What she found were resilience and perseverance, a love for nature and an acceptance for all humanity. Bryant, daughter of Mary Jane and Russell, has served as an altar server and Master of Ceremony at Saint Luke Catholic Church for several years. At Carmel High School, she was a member of Teens for Life, student government, Key Club and Students for Education. Bryant has also participated in Right to Life of Indianapolis, volunteered at Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation and served as a member of Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council. Still undecided in major of study, Bryant states, “No matter what my future holds, I know from the gifts I have been given that God has big plans in store for me. I hope that the way I live my life will serve as an example to others and teach them the importance of sharing their gifts with the rest of the world.”