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Dollars for Scholars awards $27,000 to WHS grads

WORTHINGTON -- In a Wednesday night awards ceremony at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, the 13-member board of the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter presented $27,000 in scholarships to 24 qualifying seniors from the Worthington...

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Members of the WHS Class of 2017 received Dollars for Scholars awards Wednesday. Front row (from left): Julia Luke, Alyssa Landwehr, Aliyah Abdulrahman, Madison Woll, Elizabeth Hayenga, Alyssa Williams. Second row: Camila Wede, Makayla Ebbers, Kourtney Bauman, Arely Rodriguez, Rachel Croat, Megan Henderson, Nathan Johnson, Micah Johnson. Back row: Matthias Johnson, Daryl Lambert, Abigail Mulder, Paige Heidebrink, Doria Drost, Samuel Burns, Madison Neuberger, Tanner Nordseth, Vincent Riley, Matthew DeSmith.
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WORTHINGTON - In a Wednesday night awards ceremony at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, the 13-member board of the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter presented $27,000 in scholarships to 24 qualifying seniors from the Worthington High School Class of 2017.

 

“We have had many generous donors who supported Dollars for Scholars this year, and their generosity helps increase the effectiveness of our investments and contributions over time,” said Adam Johnson, chapter president.

 

All seniors are invited to apply for Dollars for Scholars funds, with an annual March deadline. Recipients are selected through an anonymous judging process that considers students’ extracurricular activities, employment, leadership positions, teacher recommendations, ACT scores and grade point averages, among other criteria.

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In 2017, 22 of the 24 recipients received $1,000 scholarships. Two students - Doria Drost and Tanner Nordseth - were selected to receive a total of $2,500 each, which will be paid toward their tuition over two years in $1,250 allotments.

 

The two $2,500 scholarships were made possible by the Louise Mowrey Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Georgia M. Entenza Endowed Scholarship, which were given to the local chapter by Matt Entenza (a 1979 WHS graduate) and Lois Quam in honor of Entenza’s grandmother and mother.

 

Currently, the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter has nine endowed scholarships in place, with two having been added this year.

 

Endowed scholarships supplement the board’s annual fundraising efforts, which include a golf tournament and dollars contributed from area businesses and organizations for points scored at certain home high school athletic events. Numerous individuals and businesses also contribute to Dollars for Scholars on an annual basis.

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Dr. John Mork, along with his sons Dr. Allen Mork and David Mork, were present for Wednesday’s ceremony to mark the first presentation of the Joan Ehlers Mork Endowed Scholarship in memory of John Mork’s late wife, a 1955 WHS graduate.

 

Nathan Johnson, a senior who plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Morris, and has been active in band and choir throughout high school, was the first beneficiary of the Mork endowed scholarship.

 

Joan Mork died in August 2016. She studied music and piano performance at Luther College and later earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa. Mork was active as a piano and organ teacher, pianist and church organist throughout her life.

 

“She would be very happy to see a young person benefit from these funds,” assured David Mork. “She had a heart for young people and their development.”

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Agreed his brother, Allen, “Mom would be thrilled and very honored to have a scholarship in her name that encourages others to continue their educations.

 

“It’s so meaningful, and I can’t think of a better way to honor my mother.”


John Mork mentioned that Joan Mork had desired to see the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter’s fund balance and endowed scholarship program expand, believing the Worthington community and its students deserved the support.

 

“We’d definitely encourage other families to consider honoring or memorializing their loved ones in this way,” suggested David Mork.

 

As part of the awards ceremony, members of the WHS orchestra provided musical entertainment and 2013 WHS graduate Gordy H. Moore was the guest speaker.

 

Moore urged his soon-to-be fellow WHS alumni, “Whatever your future path, you must be absolutely relentless in giving your best, and only your best. To do anything else would sacrifice your unique gifts, and the gifts you’ve been given over the last 18 years.”

 

With this week’s recipients included, the local chapter has awarded $536,000 to 1,329 WHS graduates since its 1984 inception.

 

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, or about the Worthington Dollars for Scholars June 19 golf tournament, send an email to dfsworthingtonmn@gmail.com . Contributions for the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter may be sent to Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 73, Worthington 56187. For more information, contact board member Dick Schlichte at 376-3337.

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