First Recipient of the Jan Schanen Memorial Scholarship
As most of you know, I am a proud 2017 graduate of Grafton High School. Currently, I am studying sports journalism at St. Bonaventure University. You’d think journalism major would be the least nervous person to go in front of his old high school to speak. Yet, I am.
I sat on this stage two years ago at the end of my senior year. Thankfully, I received a few scholarships. However, none of them have been more impactful than the Jan Schanen Memorial scholarship.
While I may have received money from this scholarship, it proved be a lot more than that.
Later that summer, I met Dave Schanen at Melapalooza. We talked for a while and made a connection with each other. By the end of our conversation, he said, “For every semester that you stay in school, I’ll provide you an additional $500.
He and his family have more than lived up to their promise. Not only have they given me $500 at the conclusion of each semester, but they have taken great interest in me as a person. Mr. Schanen does not just write me a check, give it to me and off I go with the money.
They support me and follow me on my journey. To me, that is more valuable than any dollar amount on a check. Mr. Stanton and the Schanen family are some of the best people that this community has to offer. They really are.
The final message I’ll leave for everyone on this stage tonight:
When the night is over, and your name has been called for a scholarship don’t just take it and run. The people that selected you for a scholarship chose you for a reason. They are investing in you as a person. They are interested in you. Go to them in person and thank them. Show your appreciation. Make more of an impression on them. Because most of what these people know about you is all from a paper application.
Be present and make connections. You never know where a connection can take you. I know from experience. You could be brought closer to people like Tom Stanton and Mel’s Charities. Or, you could make lifelong connections with people like Mr. Schanen and the rest of his family.
Also, don’t forget to donate to Mel’s Charities. They truly make this community what it is. Even the smallest of donations can help make big differences!
Jan Schanen Memorial Scholarship Recipient