Outstanding leadership, civic involvement and academic talent have earned four Oklahoma high school seniors a scholarship named in honor of one of Oklahoma’s former chancellors.
Sara Collins, Oologah High School; Cali Crissup, Timberlake High School, Helena; Bridget Harkin, Alva High School; and Chelsey Kraft, Hooker High School, will each receive a $2,000 scholarship as part of the Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholarship program.
The Chancellor’s Scholars Program, created in 1990 with private funds, was renamed in 2006 to honor Brisch, who served as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for 15 years. Brisch retired in 2003 and passed away in February 2006.
The 2009 Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholars were selected from 80 nominations made by high school principals statewide.
“These students are an impressive group of young Oklahomans. Each one has distinguished themselves academically and through service to their local communities,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “They join a remarkable group of past scholarship recipients who are making a difference in the lives of others. We wish them the best as they begin their college experience.”
Collins implemented the first annual freshmen seminar at Oologah High School to help freshmen feel more comfortable in their new environment. She gave a presentation during the seminar on the importance of preparing for and taking the ACT test early and often. Collins organized a schoolwide fundraiser for the local United Way, numerous holiday canned food drives, a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation and teacher appreciation week and spent two days during the summer helping teachers prepare for the beginning of school.
She is active with her church drama team, the All-State Choir and hosting Red Cross blood drives with her science club. She volunteered with the first college fair hosted at OHS, Oologah Chamber of Commerce community events, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Second Impressions Retail Shop, which supports the Rogers Country Domestic Abuse Shelter. She has held positions as Student Council president, science club president, Native American vice-president, soprano section leader, choir treasurer, and Senate page.
Collins is a member of the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and Oklahoma High School and National honor societies and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
Crissup has served her community in a variety of efforts, including serving lunch at the local soup kitchen, participating in Spruce-Up-a Life, Adopt an Angel, Habitat for Humanity Dime Drop and Shoe Boxes for Shut-ins. Crissup collected pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, answered phones during an OETA telethon and made tote bags to send to Nicaragua. Additionally, she has served as a role model through Big Brothers Big Sisters and as a counselor for a Girl Power Rally and has given presentations and recorded public service announcements on self-esteem. Crissup has organized a number of events including the painting of the school gymnasium, community Veterans Day assemblies and a community weight loss campaign. She has also served as a counselor for the Farm Safety Day Camp and 4-H Camp.
She has raised money and conducted fundraising projects for Relay for Life, March of Dimes, and Feed the Children, including $24,000 to help children and families in need. She has held positions of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America vice president, county 4-H president, and Student Council president.
Crissup is a member of the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and Oklahoma High School and National honor societies and is an All American Scholar, an Outstanding Academic Performance in Math recipient and the National Gold Medalist FCCLA Star. She will graduate with a 4.0 GPA as valedictorian and is planning to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall.
Harkin has been heavily involved in her community by volunteering 394 hours of service throughout her high school career. She has earned the Hugh O’ Brian Leadership for Service Award, the President’s Volunteer Service Award and an American’s Promise Award for her volunteer services. She is a member of the Alva Summit for Youth where she mentors elementary students in reading and is a mentor at the Alva Community Theater. Under Harkin’s leadership, upperclassmen were assigned to incoming freshmen as mentors to help with the transition from middle school to high school.
While serving as Student Council president, Harkin initiated and implemented Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces from donated ponytails to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 who suffer from long-term hair loss from any medical diagnosis. Through personal appearances, school announcements, fliers, newspaper publicity and word of mouth, she encouraged teens to grow their hair long to help in this project and was the first to part with her ponytail on the cutoff day.
She has volunteered with Meals-on-Wheels, Relay for Life, Nescatunga Arts Festival, Kiwanis Little Olympics, Rotary Youth Leadership and Oklahoma Association of Student Councils BASIC leadership training.
Harkin has served as class officer and has been on the Superintendent’s and Principal’s honor rolls. She is a member of the Oklahoma High School and National honor societies and has received the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Outstanding Academic Performance Award. She will attend Oklahoma State University in the fall.
Kraft volunteered at the All Faith Ministry, where needy area families may shop for clothing and household goods free of charge. She has volunteered as a vacation Bible school helper and participated in reverse trick-or-treating – delivering treats to shut-ins – through Morning Star United Methodist Church. Kraft participated in Student Council Relay for Life and Trick-or-Treating for Cans and served on the Christmas Angels team to provided food during the holidays for the less fortunate.
She has been student of the month, class president, captain of the quiz bowl team, treasurer and president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and vice president and treasurer of the Student Council.
Kraft developed the Hispanic Summer Reading Program at Olive Warner Memorial Library where she brought Spanish/English children’s storybooks into the kindergarten classes, using both Spanish and English readers. She donated books to the effort and also worked with other students to provide Spanish translations for storybooks written in English. Kraft encouraged fellow Hooker High School students who were bilingual to volunteer to read and to bring their younger siblings and friends to attend the program.
She is a member of the Oklahoma High School and National honor societies and the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and is an Oklahoma Academic Scholar. She will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
The first Chancellor's Scholars were recognized in 1992. Since then, 72 students have received the award. Private gifts support the program, which honors not only Brisch but the office of chancellor and all individuals who hold that office.