Unity Foundation of La Porte County Celebrates more than $145,000 in Scholarships to Area Kids

By: Carly Kwiecien Last Updated: June 24, 2015

On the evening of June twenty-third, more than $145,250 was awarded to deserving students of all ages through the Unity Foundation of La Porte County. 134 students collectively received a total of 149 scholarships ranging from $250 to full tuition.

These students dedicated to their education have worked vigorously for four months by filling out applications, writing essays, taking part in interviews and meeting certain criteria.  

For more pictures click here!

Rebecca Yaw, one of the Lily Endowment Scholarship winners, has worked hard to get where she is today. She has gone above and beyond with her education, and will only continue to do so with the financial help from her award.

“[Getting the Lily Endowment Scholarship] was amazing – it opened new doors, and it offered me the chance to go away to college. Without it, I don’t think I could ever reach my goals,” Yaw said. “The application was long, but it was well worth it. I can’t even describe the feeling I felt when I moved on to the interview part of the application. I didn’t think I would win it because all of the people that applied were phenomenal.”

Yaw will be heading off to South Bend in the fall to attend Holy Cross College, where she will be studying pre-heath-sciences. She eventually wants to become a large animal veterinarian.

Matthew Steck, a LaPorte High School graduate, was also the recipient of both the James A. and Phyllis A. Garwood Memorial Music Scholarship and the Marilouise Lundgren Lossing Memorial Scholarship.

“The Garwoods’ are very good friends of my family. Jim was a trumpet player, and Phyllis was a singer. They were the co-founders of Garwood Orchards. [Getting these scholarships] is a big stress relief, and is very helpful. I really appreciate the help in paying for my education,” Steck said.

The students were not the only ones who put forth tremendous effort and perseverance. Program Officer at Unity Foundation of La Porte County, Debbie Sellers, has dedicated a third of her year to the scholarship process, involving both scholarship donors and recipients. She has also spent a majority of her time reviewing applications and selecting potential winners.

“Making tonight happen took quite a bit of time, but so does the entire scholarship process. [I love] seeing all of the great potential. You don’t hear about these great kids going off and doing wonderful things, and [I love] just looking at them and seeing the potential that La Porte County has to look forward to in the future,” Sellers said.

The Foundation and its members are confident that the scholarship recipients will use their gifts wisely and make scholarship donors proud.

Maggi Spartz, President of Unity Foundation of LaPorte County said, “We feel this is an investment in the students. They’ve earned it, and we want our investment to pay off, and let them go get their degrees. They will hopefully come back to our region. They are the future. When you think of all they have already accomplished, they are capable of doing so much more.”

If interested in contributing to scholarship funds or starting a legacy, contact Unity Foundation at 219-879-0327 or 1-888-898-6489. Checks may be mailed to PO Box 527, Michigan City, 46361. Or give by credit card at uflc.net/funds/contribute-online/.

The full list of 2015 Unity Foundation scholarship winners and award amounts include: Judith A. Amor Nursing Scholarship - Rebecca Ehrick - Gustav J. & Elma A. Banzhaf Memorial Scholarship - Adriana Barnes, Jeremiah Burke, Moriah Carmel, Hannah Eikelberg, Kala Erickson, Alexis Fain, Susan Feldt, Lisa Fischer, Grant Goethals, Brooke Kresca, Deanna Menke, Annabelle Papai, Maura Romstadt, Larissa Whitaker, Lexis Williams - Bensz Family Scholarship - Hayley Webb - Lloyd G. & Betty Jane Clayton Scholarship - Melissa Coffeen, Gabriela Mazur - William Vernon Compton Scholarship - Stephanie Peo -Cunningham Scholarship - Lucas Daurer - Anne H. Daley Youth Service Bureau Scholarship - Bailey Kiff – Ernest & Mildred Delco Scholarship - Brandon Ames, Parker Buell, Megan Daurer, Jessica Reason -Carley Dickard Memorial Scholarship - Hannah Howell, Lindsey Jackson, Emily Osborn, Dayna Pedezinski - La Porte County E-Z Riders Horse & Pony Scholarship - Julia Jongkind, Gabrielle Sexton - Dr. & Mrs. Carl N. Fischer Scholarship - Megan Noë - Gail's Gift Scholarship - Dayna Pedezinski, Meredith Richards - Galena Township Scholarship - Nicole Hynek, Anna Johnson - James A. and Phyllis A. Garwood Memorial Music Scholarship - Matthew Steck - Harold and Rowena Hargrave Scholarship – Marie Werner - Robert J. Hiler Memorial Scholarship - Dayna Baxter, Taylor Kincaid, Katie Marquardt, Amanda Pinks, Paige Pope, Ian Price, Jessica Wallen - Ruth M. Howe Nursing Scholarship - Tyler Erne - Ingersoll Trust Scholarship - Kayla Dunbar, Alexandria Moran, Brooke Prast - Dr. King S. Jones Memorial Scholarship - Haley Gesse, Stephanie Lee, Raven Wood - Arthur & Alice Kabelin Scholarship – Jacob Archambault, Emily Barsic, Halie Hajek, Kendra Job, Olivia Jongkind, Kathryn Kruse, Jessica Parker, Erin Sims - Kabelin Family Scholarship - Casey Buck, Zahara Schooley - K.A.T. Volunteer Scholarship - Joseph Tomal - Robert E. LeRoy Scholarship - Ryan Hawkins, Jordi Saunders, Alison Searle - Marilouise Lundgren Lossing Memorial Scholarship - Taylor Baima, Alyssa DeWitt, Jenna Kalsow, Bree Morgan, India Potter, Andrew Steck, Courtney West - Jack Lubeznik Scholarship - Kristen Palmer - Terence Metcalf Memorial Scholarship - Gabrielle Sexton - Dr. Edwin C. & Alice J. Mueller Scholarship - Christine Ake - La Porte County Nursing Scholarship - Megan Eggert, Rebecca Ehrick, Hannah Eikelberg, Tyler Erne, Elizabeth Gesse, Deneza Jadol, Emily Kayser, Lindsay Kreighbaum, Annabelle Papai, Shaina Perry, Kaitlin Thomas, Kyleigh Werner - Pioneer Scholarship - Martin Garcia, Celia Hernandez, Ryan Kellogg, Rachel Paar, Laura Sosinski, Jasica Twardus, Ashlie Vance - Redington & Rootes Scholarship – LeeAnna Ciastko, Sierra Conklin, Sydney Cooper, Jessica Dove, Rachel Edlen, Whitney Hart, Marinda Landry, Bree Morgan, Jessica Noll, Rachel Paar, Alison Searle, Nicholas Tobar, Adam Tschida, Aaron Vaughn, Marie Werner - Robert A. & Dorothy W. Rocke Scholarship - Caitlin Anderson, Matthew Bartels, Ashley DeWitt, Esmeralda Guzman, Sarah Harrison, Victoria Gingerich, Hailey Sprouse, Nicholas Tobar, Adam Tschida, Michael Varda - Donald F. Scott Motivational Scholarship - Zachary Biggs, Dante Cardenas, Kieri Everett, Catherine - Huynh, Michal Krol, Megan Methner, Araya Stahoviak, Kristen Thomas, Peyton Webb, Amanda Yadavia Floyd O. & Betty L. Shunk Scholarship - Taylor Baima, Tyler Erne, Martin Garcia, Amber Haack, Emily Kayser, Gabriela Mazur, Izabela Mazur, Jessica Noll, Elijah Owen, Olivia Steele - Edward B. Siperek & Grace A. Steele Siperek Scholarship - Brianna Hill, Carter Huber, Joseph MacLennan, Patrick McDonnell, Emily Nowak, Dominic Vernon - Irvin E. Swanson Scholarship - Austin Bohlin, Olivia Cannon, Whitney Hart, Julia Jongkind, Madison Kutch - NEW - Tanber-Blair Golf Scholarship - Christopher Gaines, Grant Goethals, Austin Howell, Noah Nieman - John R. & Florene A. Troyer Scholarship - Jessica Reason - Unity Foundation County-Wide Scholarship - Abigail Gibbs, Katarzyna Krol, Brad Pawloski, Quinn Porter, Ryan Stevenson - D.I. Walker Scholarship - Nicholas Pearish - Arlo & Jayne Westphal Memorial Scholarship - Matthew Steck - Two recipients of the Agricultural Scholarship will be announced at the La Porte County Row Crop AgTour & Barbeque in August 2015.