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Student News

2011-06-10T01:01:00Z Student News Helena Independent Record
June 10, 2011 1:01 am

Student earns trip to Japan, still needs donations

Nicole Schumacher, a Helena High junior, is trying to raise funds needed before her June 17 departure for Okinawa, Japan. Schumacher was notified in mid-May that she was selected to receive a $5,500 Okinawa Peace Scholarship to Japan for six weeks this summer. Youth for Understanding USA chose Nicole to be one of the 10 nationwide recipients (out of more than 100 applicants) to participate in the six-week summer program. This scholarship is sponsored by the American Embassy in Japan, in conjunction with the Japanese government.

Nicole was originally selected for a full scholarship, but the recipient for that money was to be sent to Germany. Because she is considering Japanese studies in college, she opted for a partial scholarship to Japan.

This partial scholarship covers a regional orientation for parents and participants, preparatory materials, both domestic and international flights and a three-day Japanese specific orientation at UC Berkeley. When the students arrive in Tokyo, they participate in a second three-day orientation and tours. From there, Nicole and others relocate to host families in Okinawa. The scholarship also provides for support services 24/7.

Nicole has been able to acquire almost half of the $3,000 she must raise for tuition fees plus expenses not covered by the scholarship. Nicole is seeking donors to help raise the remaining $1,500. Those interested in donating $30, $50, $100, $250 or any level they can afford may contact her at Nicole2 or call 437-2933 for secured Pay Pal account information, or send checks to Nicole Schumacher, P.O. Box 1633, Helena, MT 59624. Also, donations can be dropped off in the Nicole2Japan account at either Rocky Mountain Credit Union, on 11th or N. Montana.

Another way to contribute would be to buy $10 raffle tickets at the Montana Book and Toy Company for a chance to win a portrait of a favorite person or pet by local artist Leah Lambert. Lambert was helped by her community to raise funds after she won a high school essay contest to the Washington, D.C., area. Now Lambert would like to pay that favor forward by helping Nicole. The drawing will take place Monday, June 13, at 4 p.m. at the Montana Book and Toy Company (ticket holders need not be present). A sample is on display at the Staggering Ox. Should there be funds after Nicole’s trip, she will donate them to YFU for future students.

Bartow honored by Northwest Council, Computer Education

Colet Bartow, of Helena, was recently given the president’s award by the Northwest Council for Computer Education for the President’s Award.

Bartow is the library-information literacy curriculum specialist for the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

The award is given to an outstanding individual who has provided leadership to the NCCE organization and its members.

Bartow was spotlighted for her tireless work for the past two years developing the Teacher-Librarian Summit with the committee and her passion for information and technology literacy.

“Colet is someone to watch,” praised Vince Ruggiano, 2011 NCCE president. “She is fearless when it comes to doing something no one else has tried. The unknown doesn’t scare Colet Bartow — it inspires her.” remarked Ruggiano. “Our organization is very fortunate that Colet started participating as an advocate for teacher-librarians in the northwest. She was instrumental in getting the Teacher-Librarian Summit off the ground and keeping it relevant and inspiring,” he stated.

Bartow has been with the Montana Office of Public Instruction, which serves over 427 school districts, since 2007 and prior to that was teacher — librarian for 13 years teacher-librarian at the Manhattan School-Community Library.

Business Women Association gives scholarships

The Big Sky Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association has awarded two scholarships of $750 each to the following students: Alyssa Komac, who will be a senior at the University of Montana and is majoring in business management; and Jill Pierson, who will be a freshman at Montana State University and is majoring in Computer Science.

Grag wins Montana State Parks contest

Charles Grag, a home-schooled Helena student, was awarded second place for a colorful poster of Bannack State Park in the 21st annual Montana State Parks fifth-grade poster contest.

The theme for this year’s contest was “State Parks: Where camping is fun,” with students conveying how much fun camping can be through their art. Grag received prizes valued at $150, including backpacks and field guides and his work is on display until June 13 at the Fish, Wildlife and Parks office in Helena.

He also received a subscription to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Montana Outdoors magazine and a T-shirt with his winning artwork.

MSU-Billings holds its largest commencement ever

Some students from Helena and East Helena recently graduated from Montana State University-Billings. It was the largest number of graduates in history with 922 students receiving degrees.

Michael Hamlin, of East Helena, earned a certificate in accounting assistance and Desiree Dean, also of East Helena, earned a bachelor’s in liberal studies. The following Helena students received degrees: Andrea Alyn Chapman, bachelor’s in special education and elementary education; Renae Novak, bachelor’s in applied science; Kimberly D. Schaefer, bachelor’s in applied science; Sara Marie Hill, bachelor’s in elementary education; Kory Farrell, certificate in automobile collision repair technology; Stephen Baiamonte, master’s in public relations; Daniel L. Bernhardt, bachelor’s in communication arts; April Debre’ Gonzalez, associate’s in general studies; Mark Hopkins, bachelor’s in management; Jeremy David McFarlane, bachelor’s in general business; and Damian Richard Senden, associate’s in drafting and design technology.

Locals to attend Aspen Institute

Linda Safty Unsworth, Helena High counselor, and student Andrew Mitchell, recently received notice of being selected into the Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute.

As scholars of the program, they receive an all-expense-paid scholarship to the program, which brings together 12 of the nation’s top public high school juniors and 12 exceptional educators for a week of exploration, dialogue and debate at the acclaimed Aspen Ideas Festival, June 27 – July 3. And for the first time, in the spirit of global citizenship and global connectivity, Bezos Scholars include five outstanding students and an educator from the African Leadership Academy in South Africa.

In Aspen, Bezos Scholars will connect with visionaries from around the globe — international leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs and creative artists — and engage in lectures, presentations, debates and discussions that span a vast range of critical topics. Past scholars shared meals and intimate roundtable discussions with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, among other notables.

This extraordinary leadership development experience is a journey that begins in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and continues throughout the following school year as scholars return home with inspiration, tools and resources to launch their own Local Ideas Festivals.

“When scholars return home inspired by the Aspen Ideas Festival, they put their learning into action by teaming up to create sustainable Local Ideas Festivals,” says Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. “These festivals, in turn, create a ripple effect that is transformative for schools and communities across the U.S. Together with their peers from the African Leadership Academy, the 2011 scholars are poised to expand this life-changing experience on a global scale.”

Local students awarded Youth Serve Montana Scholarships

The Governor’s Office of Community Service recently announced that 91 Montana high school seniors from 64 Montana schools are receiving a $1,000 Youth Serve Montana Scholarship. These scholarships are in recognition of students who have performed over 100 hours of volunteer service within the past year.

“The Youth Serve Montana Scholarships are a great way to honor Montana’s high school seniors who’ve dedicated their time to make a difference in their communities,” said Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Cory Krings and Elyse Ramirez, of Capital High; Zachary Lepard and Olivia Holter of Helena High; and Shannon Stein, of Lincoln High were among the students awarded the scholarship.

“Volunteering while you’re young helps create a foundation to stay involved in your community in the future,” said Jan Lombardi, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Service. “There are a lot of terrific kids out there and we’re excited to be recognizing them and helping them pay for college.”

The Youth Serve Montana Scholarship was created to promote volunteerism among youth, to encourage young leaders to further their learning, and to provide tuition assistance for Montana students who wish to attend college in state. In 2011, these scholarships have been made available through a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Community Service and Montana Campus Compact (, the largest higher education network in Montana and host of the Campus Corps – AmeriCorps program ( Montana Campus Compact includes 19 of Montana’s two-year, four-year, public, private, tribal and community colleges and universities, with a state network office located in Missoula.

Stevens to volunteer in Ecuador

Brigitta Stevens, daughter of Kurt and Valice Stevens of Helena will travel to Cuenca, Ecuador, June 16 to spend six weeks volunteering in orphanages. Stevens graduated in 2008 from Capital High School and is currently attending the University of Montana-Helena.

Stevens will travel with other volunteers through Orphanage Support Services Organization, a nonprofit charitable organization that sends volunteers to help in orphanages in Cuenca and Quito, Ecuador, two of the country’s largest cities. Stevens has been a member of the Campus Corps where she had many opportunities to serve in various hospitals and care centers. She has also been a part of the Homeward Bound event for the homeless veterans in the community. In addition, Stevens has actively served within her church.


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