Scholarship Service Proj


May 18, 2023

Note from Penny Platt Jones


For my Class of 71 friends this is the text from last night's scholarship presentation of the first ever Class of 1971's annual $1000 scholarship for a senior entering a trade.  Bob and I were so pleased to be able to represent you and to see this class project come to fruition.  We've been working on it for quite awhile and to be able to watch it become a reality was truly amazing.  Thank you for all you have given in time, talents, silent auction items, raffle donations and your generosity and help each year at the fall parties.  This year's party will be a huge celebration of a job well done.  THANK YOU! 


"This is the first year for this scholarship and it's our honor to represent our classmates to present it.  The endowment of this scholarship has been a labor of love by our MHS Class of 1971 friends. 

The Class of 71 is fabled to have been one of a kind.  Teachers and community members have described us as a class of overachievers in all areas, probably both for the good and for challenging the established limits. 

We came of age during the changing times of the late 60's and early 70's.  It was a time of the selective service draft for the Vietnam War, protests, sit ins with those seeking peace, the expansion of equal opportunities and life choices, and of course the era of great rock and roll music.  We set forth from MHS on many paths that have kept us involved with our community and our world with our class motto echoing within "Not merely to exist, but to amount to something in life."

We have remained close with each other and every September 75-100 of us from across the country gather on our farm for a fall party, where we honor our beginnings, hold a class meeting, do random acts of community service, renew our lasting friendships, remember those who are no longer with us and to just have a good time. 

After our 45th reunion, when we entered a cake mix and tub of frosting in the Booster Club's Cake Auction and bought it back for $15,000, we decided we needed to work toward a more lasting and enduring gift. We accepted the realization that we were reaching that retirement and fixed income stage of life and would soon be limited in the impact we could continue to make.  You know, that we're getting really old.  At the following fall party class meetings, the plans to raise $25,000 for a scholarship investment and endowment were hatched and have now come full circle to completion. We wanted to have something that would live on annually, in the class's name, long after we are gone.

The Class of 1971's scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship and is designated for a senior who is planning to enter one of the trades.  It is our honor to present the first annual Class of 1971's scholarship to Katherine  Bizak and we wish her all the best in the future."


I will be forever grateful to you all for your support and generosity in the fundraising efforts for this project.  Thank you MHS Class of 1971.  Well done!


Our 2023 Scholarship Recipient Information 

From the Community Foundation...

There were six students who qualified to be evaluated. (4 girls 2 boys)


Kate is a great kid! She came in and did some volunteering for NAEIR distribution last fall. I have had the privilege of getting to know her these past few months with the culinary program in the building. She heads straight to work when she leaves each day.


Her references said-

  1. Kate plans to attend MCC and finish her culinary arts degree. While enrolled in high school Kate began the culinary academy her senior year. Kate is a hardworking student who likes to do well. I had Kate in my strategies for academic success course in the fall of 2022. Kate did a great job completing all required coursework and ensuring her assignments met all requirements. Kate is incredibly detailed oriented and is very passionate about baking. Kate has explored the idea of opening her own bakery after completing the culinary program. Kate strives to do her very best at everything she can. Throughout high school, Kate has been involved in show choir and cares deeply about the activities that she is involved in. Kate has maintained a strong GPA throughout high school and has pushed herself to take challenging coursework. Kate could benefit from any financial support she would receive to help her pursue her post-secondary goals.


  1. Kate Bizak is a wonderful student who strives for excellence in her work.  She not only understands the importance of attendance, punctuality, and effort but also works tirelessly to make sure she has completed assignments correctly and completely.  She pays great attention to detail and will not settle for less than her best.  In addition to her fine academic qualities, Kate is also incredibly polite, well-mannered, and kind.  She is a mature and responsible young woman and is deserving of any scholarship offered.  I have great expectations for Kate! 


In the true spirit of the Class of 1971, she wrote-

I am wanting to finish my culinary degree thru MCC/Scott; and I also want to pursue a 4-year degree in either physics, potentially going on to become a physics teacher/professor or work in research; Or business, as I would love to open my own business someday. Doing consulting work to help others achieve their dreams would be incredible. But I have also already created a full business plan for designing and opening my own bakery. I would love to use one of my passions to bring joy and comfort to others. Who doesn't love a great sweet treat or comfort food meal? I would also love to somehow create opportunities to help kids and young adults who struggle with mental health issues, learning disabilities, etc to find their strengths, passions, and a path to success.
I realize these are very different directions that I can take, but I don't want to limit myself or my possibilities.


Essay Response-

I may not have everything figured out or know exactly what direction I'm going to take in life yet.  But I know I want to create the best possible life for myself, while also bringing comfort and joy to others, and leave my options open so I can pursue anything! Whether I end up being an astrophysicist working for Nasa, a high school physics teacher helping teens find the same wonder and joy that I do in the subject, or I open a bakery that gives a community a place they can sit a read a book and take a break from the stress of day to day life or offer a student a safe place to study, I know I will give it 100%! I love to dive into learning, working math problems or discovering how something works thru science. But I also have a creative side that I nurture as well. I know I will be successful in creating a life that brings me joy because I won't settle for less. That doesn't mean there won’t be struggles and hard times. But I know I'm adaptable and will get thru whatever life has in store for me.
I have been really lucky to grow up with the opportunities that I've been given. I have struggled like every other kid in America, but I also know that I have so much more than most. That isn't lost on me. I will never qualify for financial aid, and I would never want to take money away from kids who truly need it. But I also know how hard my parents work to provide for our family.  I watch them give to my brothers and I, to family members and friends and to strangers in line at the grocery store. As I have grown up watching them lead by example, I've learned to do the same. My brother and I stopped at Dairy Queen on the way from school one day and we paid for the order behind us. We didn't know them, but my mom had done that, and it was fun to be able to do that without her in the car or knowing. I have also learned that it's not necessarily the cost of something, but the thought and time that goes into something that makes it valuable. I know that my parents make sacrifices so that my brothers and I can go to college and achieve any dream that we have.  I know that they support us no matter what those dreams are. Any amount of scholarship money that I am awarded is something that I can give back to them. A way that I can express my gratitude for all that they have given me. For their love, support of my dreams and future and for all they have done getting me to this point that I'm now ready to live this next chapter in life. I KNOW that every single dollar counts. I know that the pursuit of my dreams will come at a price to them. I can't wait to begin whatever career path I end up going down and giving back to others. But for right now, I would love to end this chapter in my life by showing my parents how grateful I am. Any scholarship I am lucky enough to receive will be a small way I can say "thank you" to my parents for giving me all that they have.  Every dollar of scholarship I am awarded is one less burden I have to put on my parents.
Thank you for reading this, getting to know me a little bit, and considering me for a scholarship. I will make the money count as I make my life count, I promise you that!