Local Kelsi Burkholder has been named a 2013 recipient of the “Realizing the Dream” award, a one-time scholarship bestowed each year by the Independent Colleges of Indiana through the Lilly Endowment. The award honors first-generation college sophomores who have graduated from an Indiana high school, have a superior GPA, and have demonstrated leadership abilities on their college campus. Burkholder was awarded a $2,000 grant toward tuition and on November 9 had the opportunity to attend an honors banquet in Indianapolis with the other nominees from across the state.
Burkholder also had the chance to honor a teacher who helped inspire her to attend college. She chose Megan Davidhizar, English and peer tutoring teacher at Fairfield Jr. Sr. High School. Davidhizar will receive a professional development grant for $1,000 as part of the award.
“Mrs. Davidhizar was one of my favorite teachers because of her desire to not only teach, but get to know her students personally,” said Burkholder. “I learned so many life lessons from her and I will always remember and appreciate that. She was always so approachable and I always walked away from her class with not only more knowledge of education, but also a feeling of being cared for.”
Burkholder graduated from Fairfield Jr. Sr. High School in 2010 and is now pursuing a major in business marketing at Grace College. She will graduate in December 2014. Her parents, Larry and Vanita, live in Goshen, Indiana.
“We are proud of Kelsi for receiving this award,” her parents said. “We both didn’t go to college, so are happy that she desired to pursue a higher education. She is an achiever and we know she will succeed in anything she puts her heart to. We are looking forward to seeing the opportunities she has in her future, due to her work ethic and passion.”