SIDNEY — Big Brothers Big Sisters has announced their 2022 scholarship recipients. The “Big Buddies” Scholarship is a $500 scholarship that could be awarded to up to four Shelby County and four Darke County students for the 2022/2023 college academic year.
To qualify for this scholarship, students must have maintained at least a 2.5 GPA throughout high school, they must be a high-school senior enrolled in a Shelby County or Darke County school, and they had to have been involved as a volunteer for with at least a 60% attendance participation with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Buddies program in the last two years. Applicants must also have plans to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or Certificate in any field of study at an accredited two-or four-year college or university, technical school, or trade school. The scholarship also required students complete an application, submit references and write an essay or create a speech about why volunteering is important in the community and the impact volunteering has had on them.
Big Brothers Big Sisters was honored to have a number of applicants. Shelby County recipients are Josie Gehret, Andrea Hughes and Brooke Holthaus. Darke County recipients are Kristine Shaner and Cameron Frederick.
BBBS wishes the all of the graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors and thanks them for their time and commitment to the program youth.
Josie Gehret is the daughter of Tim and Beth Gehret, of Anna. Gehret is a 2022 Anna High School graduate and plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at Bellarmine University majoring in Biology. Gehret said, “Through Big Buddies, I have greatly increased in both my confidence and in communication. I have also been given the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people I would have not have known without this organization.” Other activities that she is involved in includes tutoring, donating blood and helping run children activities at church events.
Andrea Hughes, the daughter of Timothy Paul of Sidney, is a 2022 graduate from Lehman High School and plans to use the funds at Mount Union University while majoring in Nursing with a minor in Spanish. Hughes said, “Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animal and organizations in need.” She is also involved in helping with Vacation Bible School and helping with fish fry’s for her community.
Brooke Holthaus, the daughter of John and Kelly Holthaus, of Fort Loramie, plans to attend the University of Cincinnati and plans to do a pre-med route. Holthaus said, “Each year being involved in Big Buddies, I love it more than the last. I love being able to be close with my little and being able to help them with homework, play with them and just make their day brighter.” Other activities she is involved in includes tutoring, church server, babysitting, special Olympics, 4-H camp counselor, healthy kids’ day, Liberty Days, youth volleyball and cheer camp, conservation day camp helper, locks of love and Fort Loramie Historical Museum volunteer.
Kristine Shaner is the daughter of Jon Shaner and Sandra Siefring, and is a 2022 Ansonia High School graduate. She plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at The Ohio State University and plans to study International Business with hopes of getting into the automotive industry. Shaner said, “She sees the way kids eyes light up when I pass them in the halls after becoming a Big Buddy. I realize that this small interaction could be the difference in this kid’s life. Life Lessons come from everywhere and can sneak up on us when we aren’t looking. What matters is that we take these lessons and apply them to everyday life.” She is also involved in other activities include National Honor Society, community projects, Shared Food Harvest and helped out her drama teachers with a variety of tasks.
Cameron Frederick, son Valerie Federick and Joe Harrman, is a 2022 graduate from Versailles High School. Frederick said, “I have enjoyed getting to know the student I mentored, he is insightful, outgoing and funny. I think I look forward to our time together as much as he does and have defiantly learned from him.” Other activities Frederick was involved in included football, track, student council, Spanish club, St. Denis Church member, Versailles Poultry Days and National Honor Society.
Big Buddies is just one of several programs that Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates within the community in a site-based capacity. Our well-known Community Based program allows for Community members to be matched with Littles in the county. After going through our screening processes, the matches are made and then meet with each other each other twice a month for outings which are planned around the volunteer and littles own schedules. The goal of the community-based program is to match a local child with an adult mentor, who can serve as a positive role model, and expose the child to enhancing and uplifting activities.
The organization is currently recruiting Bigs for both site-based and community-based programs. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor, call 547-9622 or 492-7611 or visit our website at www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org for more information.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a United Way Partner agency for both Shelby and Darke Counties.