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Rotary Club awards 10 scholarships to graduating Oak Harbor seniors

At the Oak Harbor High School graduation, the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor awarded $25,000 in scholarships to 10 graduating students.

“The goal of members of Rotary Club of Oak Harbor include putting our efforts into changing lives for the better, helping in both our community and in under developed parts of the world. Awarding local scholarships is a major club program,” said Kathy De Tuerk, club president, in a press release.

For the past 18 years, one of the major projects of the Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships to deserving graduating seniors.

“It began in the mid 90s with the club awarding $4,000 in academic scholarships,” said Chris Gaustad, the chairman of the Rotary Club Scholarship Committee.  “Over the years the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor increased the amounts. There has been several years when as much as $30,000 has been given in scholarships. More than $250,000 worth of scholarships has been presented to local high school students over the years.”

Applicants are evaluated by a committee of 12 Rotary Club members. Each applicant is judged on GPA, financial need, work and community activities, school activities and a short narrative describing their educational goals. The candidates also meet with the committee members individually for a 15-minute interview.

“Each year the club has a major fundraiser event for the scholarship program,” De Tuerk said. “This year, the Rotary Club had a Scholarship Benefit Dinner/Auction on Feb. 4 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. The other annual fundraiser for the club is a car show. The 27th Annual North Whidbey Car Show will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, at Windjammer Park. Funds raised from this event also goes towards scholarships and other local programs.”

Earning scholarships were:

Emily Bain plans to attend Northwestern College and major in biology.

Eric Berner plans to attend University of Washington and major in mechanical engineering.

Hannah Bressler plans to attend Willamette University and major in medicine.

Jasmine Case-Smith plans to attend Pacific Lutheran University and major in psychology.

Ben Muyres plans to attend Gonzaga University and major in engineering.

Cheyenne Stolmeier plans to attend University of Washington and major in biomedical engineering.

Michael Washington Jr. plans to attend Princeton University and major in economics.

Jacob Alder plans to attend the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and major in culinary arts.

Justin Everett plans to attend Universal Technical Institute and major in diesel mechanics.

Keiona Warthen plans to attend Skagit Valley College and become a veterinarian technician.

 

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