Two of our students were among 26 Marion County seniors chosen by the Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis to receive Abe Lincoln Scholarships, which are designed to recognize students for their courageous achievements in the face of daunting obstacles and hardships.
Four of the students received awards totaling $41,000, while the remaining students earned scholarships totaling $5,500. Caroline Kavanaugh of Perry Meridian earned the first-place scholarship of $16,000, and Yuke Walden of Southport earned a $250 award. Both students are truly inspirations.
In 2016 Caroline underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor that had been diagnosed eight years prior. She was in the hospital for 23 days and lost partial use of the left side of her body. As the two-year anniversary approaches, we celebrate her ability to play violin beautifully, as well as the endurance she displays on the cross country team. She even volunteers and mentors, and she does it all with a positive attitude.
Coming from China, Yuke has had to push herself academically and socially to learn not only English but the American culture. Remarkably, Yuke actually spent time living on her own as her mother worked out of state to provide for Yuke financially. She cooked and cleaned for herself while fulfilling her academic and extracurricular activities. Yuke is captain of Southport’s dance team, where she has emerged as a natural leader.
Between her sophomore and junior years, She participated in Indiana University’s Honors Program in Foreign Languages, where she lived in Leon, Spain, for the summer. That opportunity fueled her love of learning new languages and cultures. In the future she dreams of studying law with a concentration in immigration – a dream that she holds dear with her journey to America.
Though it always saddens us to see any of our students endure challenges, we rejoice when they emerge victorious as Caroline and Yuke have. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for these gold-star scholars!