The Messenger has named five area students as Iowa Central Community College scholarship winners for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The newspaper pays full tuition for the first year of study, and the college pays half-tuition scholarships for the second year.
Recipients were evaluated in academic achievement, leadership, and school and community involvement. Applicants were asked to describe their college and career plans, as well as their reasons for applying for the scholarship. They also listed their extra curricular activities, leadership responsibilities, awards and honors, work experience and high school transcripts, along with two letters of recommendation.
Following the names of the winners are highlights of their biographical information, qualifications and achievements.
- Danielle Dady, of West Bend, is the daughter of Cara Paulsen and Randy Dady, and attends Pocahontas Area District High School. She has been involved with choir, vocal ensembles, group and individual speech as well as tutoring. At her church, she is a leader in Bible studies, an assistant in Sunday school class and takes part in multiple church Bible study groups, as well as "Wednesday Night Thrive" at First United Methodist Church. She has been on the honor roll, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average her junior year and qualified for state mime. Her letters of recommendation cited her abilities to thrive in both traditional and independent study settings, and to set and pursue high goals. She plans to study graphic technology.
- Kaystyn Dunaway, of Fort Dodge, is the daughter of Krista Dunaway and attends Fort Dodge Senior High. A former Messenger carrier, she plans to major in journalism and mass communications. Throughout high school, she has participated in drill team, where she earned a varsity letter. She has also been a staff reporter for the Little Dodger newspaper, where she serves as editor. According to one of her letters of recommendation, she maintains her place on the academic honor roll while taking college classes as a high school student. Her other reference commended her for being "wise beyond her high school years and more than ready to embrace the challenges of college."
- Hope Hugghins, of Fort Dodge, is the daughter of Ted and Cathy Hugghins. While attending Fort Dodge Senior High, she has been involved in band, choir, cheerleading, tennis and Big Dodger yearbook. In addition, she has volunteered at numerous community activities, including the D/SAOC cake auction, Shellabration, Hy-Vee 5K/Half-Marathon, Childcare for Cooper Math Night, Relay for Life and Special Olympics. At her church, she has been a youth deacon and has served as a teacher for Sunday school, vacation Bible school and Monday Afternoon club. She was diagnosed in her junior year with a medical condition that caused her to miss a great deal of school, according to one of her references, but she was still able to maintain her academic standing. Her desire to pursue a career in social work and eventually become a play therapist after receiving her master's degree was inspired by her mother, a self-employed private therapist.
- Alyssa Mechler, of Algona, is the daughter of Dale and Connie Mechler and attends Algona Community High School. One of her letters of recommendation cited her "dedication to academics and teamwork," and praised her "growth, diligence and work ethic." Another pointed out that she has spent the last year fighting a rare cancer while continuing her studies and working part time. While in high school, she has been a football manager and a drama student director. She has also been involved in speech, band and golf. A peer helper, who has assisted an elementary school teacher, she is also involved in 4-H and church, where she has been a church camp participant, participated in a mission trip and served as Sunday school teacher. She wants to pursue a career in photography, eventually opening her own studio.
- Maria Towne, of Fort Dodge, is the daughter of Laurie Towne and Bruce Towne. She attends Prairie Valley Community Schools. A former Messenger carrier, she has not chosen a major, but will pursue her interests in science and music. Her extracurricular activities include basketball and cheerleading, as well as cross country, marching band, drill team, choir, concert band, pep band and jazz band. She has also taken "every art class" that was available at the time. She has participated in 4-H - where she held several offices - and has taught Sunday school and played both piano and organ at her church. One of her letters of recommendation said, "She has the character to achieve any dream she sets her eyes on."