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Kiwanis Club honors four with scholarships


Four local high school students recently were selected to receive the Northern Columbus Kiwanis Scholarship for 2023.

Each year, applications for the $1,000 scholarships are accepted from seniors graduating from Whetstone, Thomas Worthington, Worthington Kilbourne, Linworth Alternative, Worthington Christian and Bishop Watterson high schools. Applicants are judged on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, activities, leadership and volunteer service.

Winners for 2023 are Rylie Gates of Whetstone, Joshua Kim of Thomas Worthington, and Worthington Kilbourne’s Brooke Carter and Rachael McCague.

Kiwanis scholarship winners this year include (from left)
Rachael McCague, Brooke Carter and Rylie Gates. Not
pictured is Joshua Kim. (Spotlight photo by Cliff Wiltshire)

As part of the application process, letters of recommendation were submitted by teachers and guidance counselors. The letters for all four applicants shared similar themes, according to past president and Scholarship Committee Chairman Sam Kiner.

He described these students as dedicated, compassionate and driven academically. The importance these students placed on leading by example and giving back to the community was frequently emphasized in the letters.

Gates’ curriculum included Advanced Placement classes, along with courses at Columbus State Community College. She was a member of the National Honor Society at Whetstone and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at CSCC. Gates served as captain of the women’s varsity tennis team, was a member of the marching and concert bands, and active in theater.

She was a leader in the Key Club, a Kiwanis-sponsored high school service club, serving one year as president. Gates participated in many service projects such as packing food for people in Africa, packing buddy boxes of food for kids at the Family Mentor Foundation, and the Pumpkin Patch at the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center.

“Service and leadership are important to me because it gives me a chance to give back to my community which has done so much for me,” Gates wrote in her scholarship essay. “It gives me the opportunity to help those in need.”

She has participated in tree planting and environmental cleaning with Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Whetstone HS landscaping and cleaning, cat socialization with the Cat Welfare Association, and book collection and giveaway at local elementary schools with Northern Columbus Kiwanis.

Gates will attend the Ohio State University where she will major in architecture.

Kim’s curriculum included Advanced Placement and Honors classes, along with courses at Central Ohio Technical College and Columbus State Community College. He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. Kim was on the varsity track team.

He participated in the Global Leadership Institute and earned a diploma from the Global Scholars Program funded by the Columbus Council on World Affairs. He volunteered in after-school tutoring programs and participated in the MUSIC program which focuses on mentoring rising youth leaders in Columbus through music.

“Being able to help those in need to excel and overcome challenges is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences,” Kim wrote in his scholarship essay. He also helped start a lawn-care business whose vision is to partner with inner-city high school students to develop entrepreneurial skills.

He volunteered in after-school tutoring programs, and with the Riverview International Center, which provides services to immigrants and refugees in Columbus.

Kim will attend OSU where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Carter’s curriculum included Advanced Placement and Honors classes, along with courses at Central Ohio Technical College and Columbus State Community College. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honors Society. Carter played varsity tennis, was captain of the gymnastics team, and served on the Student Athletic Leadership Board.

She was a state officer for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls where she helped raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes research Foundation, Honor Flight, the National Eating Disorders Association and Miracle League, which built a unique baseball field for athletes with mental and physical challenges in Central Ohio.

Carter participated in many service projects such as Trick-or-Canning, book drives, the Holiday Compassion Project, and a blood drive.

“I participated in service projects throughout that directly impact our community,” Carter wrote in her essay.

“My leadership and service experiences have provided me with invaluable skills, such as public speaking and conducting meetings.”

Carter volunteered with Wolves for Cubs, mentoring elementary school students, and served four years on the Student Council. She was vice president of Club BioMed which exposes students to different medical careers.

Carter will attend the University of Miami and major in health sciences.

McCague’s curriculum included Advanced Placement and Honors classes, participated in the International Baccalaureate program, and was awarded a Global Scholar Diploma. She was vice president of the National Honor Society, served as vice president of the

Student Council for three years, and in the Tri-M Music Honor Society. McCague participated in track and field, as well as cross country.

She was president of the Kilbourne Rotary International Interact Club, where she helped organize events to provide service to other charitable organizations.

McCague helped plan a naturalization ceremony for 300 new citizens, volunteered with Stitched Together, which serves children in the foster care system, and helped at the Worthington Resource Pantry.

“Through serving others, whether it’s a large organization or my peers, I am leading,” McCague wrote in her scholarship essay. “Helping, guiding, giving of myself show others I care, and caring is what makes a good leader.”

She participated in the Socratic Society at Kilbourne and played in the philharmonic orchestra. McCague will attend the College of William and Mary and major in English.

As part of the application process, letters of recommendation were submitted by teachers or guidance counselors.

All four students were described as friendly, respectful, dedicated, ambitious and diligent.

The importance they all placed on leading by example and giving back to the community was stressed repeatedly in the letters.

“Northern Kiwanis promotes education at all levels. It is our distinct pleasure to award scholarships to help these outstanding high school graduates begin their college careers,” Kiner said.

The Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus is an organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

For more information on the annual scholarships, and other service opportunities in the community through Kiwanis, visit the web site northernkiwanis.org.

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