53 students receive Bluebonnet scholarships


Recipients of Bluebonnet’s Scholarships of Excellence include, from left, front row: Jacob Fryrear, Caylee Rocka, Jake Namken, Tanna Furry, Brandon Gigout, Sydney Nicholson, Grace Oliver, Briana Silva, Adam Edmiston, Raymond Multer, Britan Counsil, Trenton Schneider, Gabriel Blue and Skyler Ivey. Middle row: Minnie Jordan, Roxanne Espinoza, Addison Turner, Allen Batdorf, Jason Winkler, Brittany Helford, Toye Walther, Lauren Kwiatkowski, Zachary Markizer, Karsen Ross, Morgan Shepperson, Linda Torres, Heriberto Santos, Erik Castillo, Deacon Manning, Jose Torres, Micaela Schimank, Joel Benoit, Angel Jaramillo and Loren Chmelar. Back row: Isabel Werlien, Erin Bittner, Hunter Dernehl, Raynie Bentke, Johnson Mueller, Sierra Long, Kylie Johnson, Ty Iselt, Matthew Welch, David Patterson and Chance Fritsche. Not pictured: TyEryka Preston, Leighton Abell, Brandon Sikora, Alejandro Gonzales, Jr., Mindy Rodriguez, Hedit Galvan, Nathan Cunningham and Dauson Wittner. (Sarah Beal photo) 

By Lisa Ogle 
Micaela Schimank’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. Schimank, who graduated from Giddings High School in June, stayed with her aunt in the hospital and went with her to numerous doctor appointments during cancer treatment. 
“I realized that I wanted to work with cancer patients and be the one who makes a difference in their lives, while being with them through this hard journey,” said Schimank, who plans to attend Blinn College in Brenham later this month to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. 
She is one of 53 recipients of Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s Scholarships of Excellence. Each winner receives $2,500. This year, 216 students applied for the 28 trade and technical school scholarships and 25 academic scholarships to attend a college or university. 
The students were honored in April during a reception at Bluebonnet’s Bastrop Headquarters. About 130 people attended the event, during which scholarship recipients announced their post-secondary school choice, topic of study and career choice. Their interests ranged from cosmetology to small business management and from biomedical science to English literature. Many students aspire to own a business or become a veterinarian or medical doctor. 
Jake Namken, who graduated from Bastrop High School in June, energized the room as he sought Red Raider support and announced that he will attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock to study agricultural business. After college, he’d like to get a job at First National Bank in Bastrop, where his father, Wally Namken, is vice president of lending. Or, he might work as a boot salesman for South Texas-based Anderson Bean Boot Co. 
“I am very appreciative of this scholarship, and it will help greatly,” Namken said. “I think it is wonderful that Bluebonnet gives back to their communities.” 
Minnie Jordan, who is homeschooled and lives about 10 miles north of Elgin, spoke passionately about her plans to study violin performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston to become a professional musician. She has played violin for 13 years and plays more than 50 gigs a year with her younger sister, Ella. She hopes to test out of her first year of Berklee classes to save tuition cost and appreciates the scholarship to help her attend one of the top-ranked music conservatories in the country. 
Since 2006, the co-op has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to high school graduates in the co-op’s service area. If you know a student who wants to apply for a Scholarship of Excellence next year, applications will be available in the fall at and from area high school counselors.

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