Kent-Meridian High School senior Larren Wright Jr. proudly walked up to the microphone to accept his scholarship award at the 2010 Kent Community Foundation Awards Banquet.
“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for accomplishments in the classroom and on the athletic field,” Wright said as the winner of the $500 Rob Osborne scholarship given to a Kent-Meridian student planning to attend a Washington college. “This is a very prestigious award and I will hold it in high honor.”
Wright lettered in football, basketball and track at Kent-Meridian. He plans to play football and run track at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
Wright was one of 13 Kent high school and college students who received scholarships June 9 from the Kent Community Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Kent Chamber of Commerce.
Wade Barringer, principal at Kent-Meridian High School, knew he faced a tough challenge when asked to give a few words of inspiration near the end of the banquet at the Golden Steer Restaurant after hearing about all of the accomplishments by the scholarship winners.
“It’s hard to follow a group of students who are so inspiring and active,” said Barringer during a short speech. “How do you top kids who do 15 things and still have a high grade-point average?”
Barringer congratulated the students.
“You all have shown the goals and aspirations to be successful in life,” Barringer said. “I have no doubt you all will be successful and we are proud of all of you. You will be great representatives of the Kent School District.”
The Foundation annually awards college scholarships to graduating students from Kentridge, Kent-Meridian, Kentwood and Kentlake as well as students from Kent schools who are in college.
Yvette Agduyeng, of Kentwood, won the $500 Richard and Ina Balash scholarship for a senior residing in Covington planning on business or engineering training. Agduyeng plans to major in interior design at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
Kristina Bankhead, of Kentlake, received the $500 Covington Chamber of Commerce scholarship for a senior living in Covington. Bankhead plans to become a hairstylist and will attend the Gene Juarez Academy.
The Community Foundation awarded the Linda Ruby scholarships to four high school students who plan to become teachers and to six former Kent high school students who are attending college to become a teacher.
• The four high school scholarship winners, their colleges and scholarship awards:
Catherine Brooks, Kentwood, Boise State University, $2,000; Rachael Kelly, Kentridge, Minot State University in North Dakota, $1,500; Rui Li, Kentwood, University of Pennsylvania, $2,000; and Michelle Peterson, Kentlake, Brigham Young University-Idaho, $1,500.
• The six college students, their high schools and scholarship awards:
Brianna Armstrong, Gonzaga University, Kentlake, $1,000; Byron Edelman, Washington State University, Kentlake, $500; Alexander Li, Stanford University, Kentwood, $1,000; Holly Nies, Central Washington University, Kentwood, $1,000; Megan Sandall, Linfield College, Kentridge, $1,000; and Simone Senn, Western Washington University, Kentwood, $1,000.
The foundation also awarded grants to school district and community organizations that support education and the cultural arts in the greater Kent and Covington communities.
• The grant award winners were:
Kent Kids Arts Day, city of Kent Cultural Programs, $500; East Hill Mallet Ensemble, Nza, submitted by director Matthew Kelly, East Hill Elementary School, $1,000; Cruzin’ Passport Challenge 2010, submitted by Colleen McMeen, MultiCare Health Services, $1,000; Future Business Leaders of America National Conference, submitted by Tyler Walker, Kent-Meridian FBLA president, $1,000; and the Youth Tree Education Program, Plant the Planet, submitted by Victoria Andrews, city of Kent, $1,000.