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2007 Scholarship Winners

This year we recieved 120 applications. It's tough to choose, but here they are, our 2007 Link Crew Scholarship Winners


Yesenia De La Cruz, 2007 Scholarship WinnerYesenia De La Cruz
Galena Park HS, TX

Post Graduation Plans: Yesenia plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and will major in math. She hopes to become a high school teacher and eventually work towards a masters degree and a position as a community college professor.

“Before becoming a Link Crew leader I would have not considered myself a leader. Now, I definitely consider myself a leader. I consider a leader to be someone who is looked up to, someone who is admired.  My groups of students have thanked me for helping, mentoring, and being their friend. I feel privileged to say that my group of students looked up to me as well as admired me.”


Maddie Neuman, 2007 Scholarship WinnerMaddie Neuman
Squalicum HS, WA

Post Graduation Plans: Maddie will be attending Western Washington University with plans to pursue a teaching career.

“I think the decision to become a Link Leader has been the greatest decision I have made in my high school career! Becoming a Link Leader has exposed me to different people and new experiences that have shaped me, and have helped me grow as a person. In my opinion, helping others is the greatest way to help yourself!”


Hollie Salazar, 2007 Scholarship WinnerHollie Salazar
John A. Rowland HS, CA

Post Graduation Plans: Hollie is unsure of her future plans but thanks to Link Crew, she knows that she wants to work in a field where she can help people.

“The most valuable lesson I have learned as a Link Crew Leader is that even someone who is not the most popular or well known person can become a great leader and have the ability to impact the lives of others.”


Derek Bush, 2007 Scholarship WinnerDerek Bush
Fort Dorchester HS, SC

Post Graduation Plans: Derek will be attending the University of South Carolina and intends to study English and Pre-Law.

“The most valuable lesson I learned while being a Link Crew Leader was how much I can help one person just by listening. There are always people in need of help, but just by listening you can truly help someone with the deepest of problems.”


Bergit Nerheim, 2007 Scholarship WinnerBergit Nerheim
Mound Westonka HS, MN

Post Graduation Plans: Bergit will be attending Gustavus Adolphus College and plans on pursuing a degree in business, history, or Spanish. She is considering a career in event planning or teaching.

“Being a Link Crew Leader has helped me to grow confident in my leading ability while sharpening my sense that leadership is an earned honor and not a right. I believe that I can only gain the respect of others by respecting those around me."


Benjamin Kniola, 2007 Scholarship WinnerBenjamin Kniola
Wilson High School, CA

Post Graduation Plans: Ben plans to attend the University of Washington and is interested in pursuing a degree in business, history, political science, or economics.

“Before Link Crew, in group projects I would have been passive and allowed for another student to be the leader. However, after Link Crew I am now the one in the group to immediately assume the role of leader and encourage decision making as a united group. Link Crew has truly been one of the most valuable experiences in my life because it compelled me to breach my comfort zone and has transformed me into a much more confident person.”


Benjamin Edmonds, 2007 Scholarship WinnerBenjamin Edmonds
Philomath High School, OR

Post Graduation Plans: Ben will be attending Linfield College with plans to major in both Chemistry and Spanish with the eventual goal of earning a medical degree. Someday Ben plans on working for Doctors Without Borders.

“Link Crew taught me what leadership really means and how to be a leader. There is an element of charisma and thoughtfulness that is part of being a leader, but ultimately it comes down to what the training sessions taught me every time: Make connections. In order to lead it is imperative to know how to identify with those you want to have an impact on, and it is only through a conscious effort of meeting people where they are at that true leadership can be effective.


Natalie Lu, 2007 Scholarship WinnerNatalie Lu
Wallaceburg District Secondary School, ON, Canada

Post Graduation Plans: Natalie will be attending the University of Western Ontario and plans on studying Health Sciences with the eventual goal of attending medical school and becoming a doctor or dentist.

“In grade 9 I was considered the shy kid, I did not participate in school events nor did I join any clubs at school. I regret doing this because I have found out that being involved in school is very important. I was very excited to join the Link Crew program because I love helping people and I felt that helping grade nines is very important. It’s a hard transition from elementary school to high school; the environments are very different. I did not want the students in grade nine to be like how I was, I wanted them to get involved and not be shy.”


No Photo of, Kelsie Ackman, 2007 Scholarship WinnerKelsie Ackman
Terre Haute North Vigo HS, IN

Post Graduation Plans: Kelsie plans on attending Indiana University with an interest in Psychology. She is eventually planning to open up a facility for soldiers coming home from Iraq and other countries who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Being a Link Crew Leader and Commissioner have made me realize that when working on a team of any kind I have to take into consideration everyone’s feelings, opinions, and ideas. To be a Link Leader one has to know and understand fully the type of person one is trying to lead.”


No Photo of, Keilah Powers, 2007 Scholarship WinnerKeilah Powers
Mauston HS, WI

Post Graduation Plans: Keilah will be attending Carroll College and plans on getting a degree in elementary education with an emphasis in math. She also hopes to get a minor in sign language to allow her to teach a broader range of students.

“I applied for Link Crew because I wanted to help the freshmen understand that high school is fun and I wanted to make sure that their experience was the best it could be. When I was a freshman I was scared out of my mind about finding my classrooms and opening my locker. I was going to make sure that that didn’t happen to any of my Freshman.”