The Avon Lake City Schools Foundation administers scholarships for the B.J. Walker Memorial Scholarship (1) and for the Ford Motor Company (4), making a total of five the Foundation oversees. The B.J. Walker Memorial scholarship was originally set up in honor of a former Avon Lake High School principal, Mr. B.J. Walker, when he passed away in 1997. Friends organized a golf outing that raised funds to establish the scholarship in his memory. Today, the Foundation continues to fund the B.J. Walker Memorial Scholarship by earmarking $1,000 each year from its general endowment fund to support an outstanding senior intending to major in education. The Foundation selects the recipient and handles distribution of the award.
This year, the Ford Motor Company contacted the Foundation with an interest in awarding four $1,250 scholarships on an annual basis to four outstanding seniors intending to major in a STEM discipline in college. The Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, headed by John Hecker, was asked to administer the selection process and the scholarships were awarded at Senior Night by a Ford Motor Company representative. What is significant about all this is the Foundation’s new relationship with Ford Motor Company. It is one that the Foundation will continue to nurture and grow.
Background on the scholarship recipients is as follows:
The Avon Lake City Schools Foundation awarded the 2016 B.J. Walker Memorial Scholarship to Meridyth Warnke. She will be attending Edinboro University where she will be majoring in Middle Childhood Education. Warnke participated in the Teacher Education Exploration Program her senior year and was a member of the Avon Lake Chorale and Avon Lake Performin’ Shoremen. She also mentored elementary school children through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lorain County. Warnke enjoys singing, teaching, community theater, and traveling. Her parents are Douglas Warnke and Fiona Walker.
Ford Motor Company awarded a STEM scholarship to Michelle Diesenroth. She will be attending the University of Memphis where she will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering. A member of National Honor Society, Diesenroth participated in Women in Engineering at University of Cincinnati, served as a Distinguished Secretary of Key Club International officer, and played in musicals with Mighty Goliath productions. Diesenroth enjoys volunteering, playing viola, photography, and church activities. Her parents are Suzanne and William Diesenroth.
Ford Motor Company awarded a STEM scholarship to Safa Salem. She will be attending Harvard College where she will be majoring in Chemistry. Salem is a member of National Honor Society. She served as an officer of Model United Nations and National Honor Society. Salem participated in the Principal’s Leadership Group, Spanish Club, orchestra, and lacrosse. She created her own online business and served the community by volunteering for the Children’s Summer Reading and Writing Camp. Her parents are Mana and Salem Salem.
Ford Motor Company awarded a STEM scholarship to Tyler Simons. He will be attending The Ohio State University where he will be majoring in Civil Engineering. Simons was a member of National Honor Society. Tyler served as an officer of the French National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, and Students Against Drunk Driving. Simons enjoys playing and coaching basketball, volunteering, tutoring French, and assisting special needs students. His parents are Andy and Cindy Simons.
Ford Motor Company awarded a STEM scholarship to Jacob Walasinski. He will be attending The Ohio State University where he will be majoring in Electrical Engineering. Walasinski was a member of National Honor Society. He served as an officer in the Math and Science Club, participated in the Principal’s Leadership Group, and was a three-year letterman on the soccer team. Walasinski volunteered his time for the AL Soccer Organization, his church, and this summer will be his second summer interning at Ergomat LLC. His parents are Michael and Julie Walasinski.
This year is the Avon Lake City Schools Foundation’s 30th Anniversary. In early fall (Sept. 18) the Foundation is holding a 5K Back to School Run in celebration of the anniversary. More details to follow in August.