Local Youth & young adult

Ancient Order of Hibernians awards six scholarships

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Six eighth-grade students will get a boost as they begin their Catholic high school education this fall thanks to scholarships from the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

The six $1,000 scholarships were awarded to incoming freshmen attending Catholic high schools in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Two of the scholarships are reserved for students attending Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas.

The scholarships were awarded by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Father Bernard Donnelly Division scholarship program, said Sean T. Kane, an Ancient Order of Hibernians member and selection committee member.

One of the six scholarships was from a donation by Brenda Riggs in memory of Liam Riggs, a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence, and an assistant professor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

The six students received their scholarships during the organization’s meeting on June 15 at VFW Post 7397 in Lenexa. The scholarships have been awarded for eight years. This year 47 students applied.

The applicants had to answer four essay questions as part of their application:

 • What does it mean to you to live a Christ-like life?

• Why do you want to attend a Catholic high school?

• Choose one value from the motto of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (friendship, unity and Christian charity), and explain why it is important to you and how you plan to live it over the next four years.

• Describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.

The six students who won scholarships were:

• Ayva Gunn, a member of St. Paul Parish in Olathe, attended St. Paul School. She will go to St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park.

• Isabella Hernandez, a member of Christ the King Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, attended Christ the King School. Hernandez, the first to receive the Riggs Memorial Scholarship, will attend Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kansas.

• Melany Mejia, a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, attended Christ the King School in Kansas City, Kansas. She is going to Bishop Ward High School.

• Isabella O’Shea, a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park, attended Holy Spirit School. She is going to St. James Academy in Lenexa.

• Nadia Wacker, a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Shawnee, attended Good Shepherd School.  She will go to St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

• Elijah Waitiki, a member of St. Paul Parish in Olathe, attended Nieman Elementary School in Shawnee. He is going to St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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