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Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Daniels and Fields awarded George Thomas Scholarship

By Ethan Nahté

Kenzie Daniels of Acorn High School, and Jennessa Fields of Mena High School, have been chosen as this year’s recipients of the George Thomas Scholarship awarded by the Monsignor A.P. Gallagher Council No. 7258 of the Knights of Columbus.

The two $1,000 scholarships are offered in memory and honor of George Thomas, a past member of St. Agnes Catholic Church. Graduating seniors from the Mena, Ouachita River or Cossatot River School Districts are eligible to apply if they will be attending college the following school term.

The seniors turned in their forms, letters of recommendation (optional), high school transcripts, descriptions of their extracurricular school, church and community activities they’ve been involved with during their years in high school, as well as a list of any special awards during the same time period.

John Golding, grand knight for Knights of Columbus 7258, said, “They were both outstanding.”

The award decision is split into thirds and based on academic achievement; financial need; and special efforts put in on church, community and extracurricular school activities.

Fields said, “I do a lot of volunteer work at The Crossing and I’m doing some mission work during the summers out in Lima, Peru. I want to study business communications as well as foreign language.”

Daniels said, “Right now, I’m serving as Miss Polk County, so I do a lot of community service with that. I’m just helping out anyway I can with my community. I’m also concurrently enrolled in college at UA Rich Mountain and I’m graduating this year with my Associate of Arts. I plan to transfer to [University of Arkansas] Fort Smith where I plan to become a nurse anesthetist.”

Both young ladies were excited to be awarded the scholarships. They each receive the first $500 for the first semester to be spent as they wish upon acceptance confirmation by the college they choose.

The remaining $500 is available at the beginning of their second semester after the Knights are sent a copy of their college transcript to verify they have maintained a passing grade.

Their reactions at being notified they were recipients of the scholarships were similar.

“I was very excited,” Daniels said, “because college is very expensive, and any help I can get is greatly appreciated. It was an honor to receive it.”

“I am in the same boat as her,” Fields said. “I was super excited and happy that I got that because it’s definitely going to help with college funds. I plan on attending at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, [then] I am thinking of possibly moving and finishing my degree at a ministry-based school.”

Asked if she would consider college in Peru, Fields and the others laughed. Fields replied, “I would love to. I just have to see where this summer takes me.”

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