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Two District 6 students named Boettcher Scholars

Boettcher Scholars Two Greeley-Evans School District 6 high school seniors were selected recently to receive the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship.

The Boettcher Foundation named Samuel Stoltz, a senior at Frontier Academy, and Taylor Henderson, a senior at Greeley Central High School, as Boettcher Scholarship recipients. Both are incredibly active students, exhibiting excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and community service.

“I was at drama rehearsal for Oliver Twist, [Frontier Academy’s] upcoming show, when I saw my mom waving something,” Samuel said. “She had driven the letter over to me from our house to open right then.”

In addition to drama, Samuel also participates in tennis, Boy Scouts, United Way of Weld County’s Youth Leadership Council and Key Club, an international community service organization for high school students that collaborates with local Kiwanis Clubs to make a positive impact by helping others in their school and community.

He gave credit to his family, his Boy Scout leaders, his teachers and a retired community member for mentoring him along the way.

“They really taught me to believe in myself and the power we each have as long as we do the best with what we’ve got,” Samuel said.

Taylor participates in extracurricular activities almost every day of the week: Student Council, Feminist Book Club, National Honor Society, Thespian Troupe and Cat’s Cradle, Greeley Central’s literary art magazine.  She is also involved in SART Peers, a team of students that educate their peers about sexual assault prevention during middle school and high school health classes.

Taylor decided to open up about her father’s struggle with mental illness in her application essay.

“He’s had an anxiety and bipolar disorder that he’s struggled with his whole life, but when I got into high school, it spiked,” Taylor said.  “It was a really strange transition for me – working to love and continue a relationship with someone who has mental illness.”

Over the last few years, Taylor has assumed a parent-type role in her family, going grocery shopping and taking care of her little sister.  She credits her mom for helping her balance everything, cope with the challenging situation and make time to take care of herself.

Samuel has also used family struggles as a source of strength.  When he was in sixth grade, his mother was diagnosed with bone cancer.  Watching her undergo chemotherapy had a lasting impact on him. He plans to study biomedical science at Colorado State University. 

“[I’m] trying to make sure that nobody else has to go through that,” Samuel said.  “I want to work in a lab and do my own research, take medical discoveries and translate them into hospital practices.”

With encouragement and support from her Advanced Placement English teachers, Taylor has learned how to use writing to process her internal struggles and express her creativity.  She is interested in attending the University of Colorado at Boulder to major in English with an emphasis in creative writing, and minor in both communications and medieval history. 

“I think that’s a good way to keep my options open and explore a lot of my interests,” Taylor said.

The Boettcher Scholarship provides recipients with the full cost of tuition at any four-year college or university in Colorado, as well as fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses.

The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 scholarships per year, totaling about $3 million. Thousands of students apply for this prestigious scholarship every year.  Applicants go through a rigorous application and interview process.

Students are selected based on their superior scholastic abilities; evidence of leadership and involvement; service to the community and their school and outstanding character.

“My favorite part about the whole process is that I ended up staying true to myself and the scholarship rewarded me for that,” Samuel said.