I had the opportunity to sit down with two wonderful young women as they embark on the next stage of life. Merideth Kirry and Sammi Trudeau are two of three recipients of the Lions Club Scholarship of $500 each. The Lions Club awarded three scholarships last year, and will give two or three for 2017 as well. I asked these almost-college-freshmen what they were most nervous about as they head out of Chewelah. They both said moving out for the first time, and they think they will miss their families here in Chewelah.
Sammi Trudeau will be at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, where she will pursue a PreMed degree with emphasis in Biology. Sammi will also be participating in track while at Carroll. She says she will use her track workouts as stress relief from studying. It will also be nice for Sammi to have that track family to take her in while she is so far from home.
Merideth Kirry will be majoring in Theater at the University of Washington. She is excited to experience the urban culture of Seattle, a city she has always enjoyed with her family. While preparing to make the journey across the state, Merideth learned that her great grandmother was the Head Librarian at the U of W many years ago! Husky Blood runs in her veins already! She is fortunate to have other family members in and around the Seattle area, as well.
To be awarded a scholarship from the Lions Club, students must have accumulated a significant amount of volunteer hours, in addition to other criteria. Sammi and Merideth offered a variety of community service hours to Chewelah.
“It is important to give back. Volunteering is a good grounding experience and promotes good human characteristics,” explained Sammi. Merideth added, “Volunteers give with enthusiasm and drive. You won’t find anyone doing a better job than someone who is passionate about what they are doing. I have learned a lot through the work I have done as a volunteer.”
I asked each girl what project was closest to their hearts.
“I really enjoyed coaching the U14 Volleyball team!” replied Sammi. “I enjoyed being looked up to by the girls, and helping them learn the skills involved in the game. They were quick learners!”
“I am most proud of my work with the SPHYR Club at JHS,” responded Merideth. “I founded the Club and it is a passion of mine. I liked being able to help others and see the real world results of that work. During the last couple of months of school, we held elections and there was a lot of interest. I am glad it will continue after I am gone.”
For students who may be looking for volunteer experience to add to a resume, Sammi and Merideth said that there are lots of opportunities available in Chewelah, if you look and aren’t afraid to ask! If you see a need, try to fill it. Sometimes creating your own way to serve the community is what works best.
In closing, I asked Merideth and Sammi to give me a “parting shot” about growing up in Chewelah. Merideth said that all her opportunities in Chewelah helped her figure out who she is and what she wants to do. While she thinks we should experience many different things in life, Chewelah will always be a huge part of who she is. Sammi would like people to acknowledge that there is more out there than Chewelah, but not to forget what a special place it is, and not to take it for granted.
Congratulations on a future that looks bright, Ladies! The Lions Club is proud to be a small part of your road to success.
-By Becky Washington/Chewelah Valley Lions