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Arlington Rotary gives scholarships


Courtesy Photo

Emma VanderWeyst

Four graduating seniors from Arlington and Darrington school districts received scholarships from the Rotary Club of Arlington worth $2,000 each.

Arlington High School students Grace Meno and Emma VanderWeyst, and Darrington High School students Alfred Mugho and Melanie Benson were awarded with the scholarships.

Jody Nelson, who heads the scholarship selection committee, said there are four criteria for the scholarships: academic achievement, likelihood of success, financial need and community involvement.

The Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self" so they like to give scholarships to students who represent that with community service, said Nelson.

VanderWeyst plans to attend Gonzaga University and study political science or arts management.

"Emma VanderWeyst's academic performance was outstanding. She took all honors classes and AP classes while still maintaining a 3.95 GPA," said Nelson.

She also had 295 hours of volunteer work while in high school, according to Nelson.

Meno has been taking college courses at Everett Community College through Running Start as well as College in the High School and plans to attend Pacific Lutheran University.

She hopes to study nursing or education.

"Grace Meno had a 3.61 GPA and was not even set to graduate on time with her class because of a brain injury she suffered during her Freshman year playing volleyball," said Nelson. "She worked very hard and was able to graduate on time."

Meno has also put many hours into the community, including on Rotary projects like the Duck Dash and their food baskets, said Nelson.

Mugho has also done a lot of volunteer work in his community and is active in school leadership and sports. He is the ASB president at Darrington High School.

At the University of Washington he wants to study management information systems.

"He moved to Darrington from Nairobi, Kenya to go to high school here," said Nelson. "His story was so compelling we were in awe."

Benson also wants to attend the University of Washington.

Courtesy Photo

Grace Meno

"She plans on majoring in Biochemistry at the UW and no doubt she will accomplish everything she sets out to do," said Nelson. "She has a 3.939 GPA along with participating in three sports all through high school," she said.

Nelson said she enjoys helping with the scholarship program because of how it helps students.

"I love being involved in this project because it amazes me how impressive all the students that apply for this scholarship are. It's so rewarding to be able to help a student achieve something they might not have been able to do if we hadn't awarded them a scholarship," she said.

The Rotary Club of Arlington's goal is also to give back to the community, she said.

"As long as I've been in the club we have always given scholarships to Lakewood, Arlington and Darrington. It's what we do," she said.


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