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Ten Gratiot County Students Receive ACE Scholarships

The Alma College Community Engagement (ACE) Scholarship Program rewards students for their active volunteer service and involvement in their schools and local communities.

Ten community-minded Gratiot County students are the recipients of full tuition scholarships to attend Alma College in fall 2019.

The Alma College Community Engagement (ACE) Scholarship Program rewards students for their active volunteer service and involvement in their schools and local communities. Graduating seniors from Gratiot County or Gratiot County high schools were eligible to apply.

“We are excited to welcome our second group of ACE scholars,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “We had many great candidates for the award this year, and it was very difficult to select only 10 recipients from such an outstanding pool of applicants. We were faced with some hard choices.

“The ACE Scholars program enables outstanding students from Gratiot County the opportunity to receive an Alma education that will prepare them for leadership opportunities and a great career,” says Abernathy. “We look forward to seeing them grow and thrive on campus and in the community in the years ahead.”

Community service is a major component of the ACE Scholars Program. It not only rewards community involvement that students demonstrated in high school, it also supports continuing community service and leadership roles.

During their four years at Alma College, the scholars will volunteer with local agencies, serve as community engagement ambassadors, attend workshops and professional development conferences and participate in service/leadership student organizations.

This year’s recipients represent the second class of ACE Scholars. Eleven Gratiot County students were awarded full-tuition scholarships, inclusive of institutional, state and federal aid, in the 2018 inaugural class.

The 2019 ACE Scholars

Abigail BatesAbigail BatesAbigail Bates, Alma High School senior, is actively involved with the Student Council, Youth Advisory Council and PAL Kids Camps, and she has received Panther in the Spotlight recognition. Her career interest after college is to become an elementary school teacher. She is the daughter of Stacy and Tim Bates of Alma.

Jaden GavendaJaden GavendaJaden Gavenda, Ashley High School senior, is a member of the National Honor Society and a volunteer with Red Cross Blood Drives, Ashley Country Christmas and the MSU Pink Impact Program. His honors include receiving the DAR Good Citizen’s Award and technology team all-league recognition. He has an academic interest in business administration and plans to pursue a marketing manager position after college. He is the son of James and Traci Gavenda of Ashley.

Megan GreenupMegan GreenupMegan Greenup, St. Louis High School senior, is a member of the National Honor Society and Youth Advisory Council and is active with Adopt-a-Highway, Adopt-a-Family, school tutoring, Girls on the Run, Moonlight Cloves 4-H Group and several local town festivals. She is a three-year AAU Academic All American and plans to pursue a business career after college. She is the daughter of Tim and Sara Bissell of St. Louis and Chris and Courtney Greenup of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Karlie HoweKarlie HoweKarlie Howe, Ashley High School senior, is president of the National Honor Society and vice president of Student Council and participates in volunteer activities with the Steam Railroad Institute, Ashley Country Christmas, Gratiot County Animal Shelter and Capital Area Humane Society. She is an MHSAA Scholar Athlete Award recipient and has an academic interest in wildlife biology. She is the daughter of Bryan and Jenny Howe of Ashley.

Aynslee KoutzAynslee KoutzAynslee Koutz, St. Louis High School senior, is vice president of the National Honor Society and chair of the Relay for Life and Adopt-a-Family committees. She also volunteers as a middle school tutor and with homework lab, Adopt-a-Highway and Salvation Army. She has received all A Honor Roll recognition and plans to pursue a career in neuroscience. She is the daughter of Heather and Nathan Koutz of St. Louis.

Mac MeierMac MeierMac Meier, Ithaca High School senior, is president of the Youth Advisory Council, vice present of Business Professionals of America and member of the GCCF Youth Advisory Council, Peer-to-Peer and National Honor Society. He has received honor roll and outstanding business student of the year recognition and has career interests in business and marketing. He is the son of Sue and Randy Meier of Riverdale.

Morgan MostMorgan MostMorgan Most, Ithaca High School senior, is a member of the National Honor Society and a volunteer with the Ithaca Food Pantry and Animal Shelter. She has received Summa Cum Laude recognition throughout high school, and she has career interests after college in the computer and technology field. She is the daughter of Tammy Most of Ithaca and Jeremy Most of Mount Pleasant.

Marcus OwensMarcus OwensMarcus Owens Jr., Alma High School senior, is a member of Business Professionals of America, Above the Influence Club, the Alma United Methodist Church’s Breakfast Club, Renaissance Club and Class Board. He has received the Junior Scholarship Award and Student of the Month recognition and has career interests as an illustrator or marketing manager. He is the son of April Watkins of Alma and Marcus Owens Sr. of Flint.

Raegan StambaughRaegan StambaughRaegan Stambaugh, Alma High School senior, is vice president of the Student Council, co-chair of the food pantry committee, chapter historian for the National Honor Society and an active participant with Youth Advisory Council community projects. She completed an independent study working at Pine Avenue Elementary and plans to pursue a degree in elementary education. She is the daughter of Brad and Jennifer Stambaugh of Shepherd.

Allison TaipalusAllison TaipalusAllison Taipalus, St. Louis High School senior, is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Students of Influence and was the 2018 homecoming queen. She has received academic honors in pre-algebra, English, chemistry and advanced physical education and plans to pursue a career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. She is the daughter of Andrea and Chris Taipalus of St. Louis.

Story published on February 14, 2019