1999 Marshall M. Hicks Memorial Scholarship recipients


 Marshall Hicks Memorial Scholarships  1999
Levi Bakker, recipient
School Recommendation

Nathan Groff, recipient
School Recommendation, Essay

Council President Gary Ruffner opened the ceremonies by informing the delegation in attendance that it was a great pleasure to honor our union families on the evening of scholarship presentations. It was one of the great opportunities we have to honor all of our union families and their children. He first honored the memory of Marshall Hicks in whose name the Scholarships were given. The Scholarship program was explained and how Merit Scholarship, a national non-profit organization selects the recipients based upon merit. He informed the delegation in attendance that we were there to honor the memory of Marshall Hicks, whose life was cut short by cancer and what a fine man he was and that he always believed in education. Marshall Hicks was always there whenever needed and it was a great honor to have the scholarship program named after him. Marshall Hicks was from one of our own locals, Local 258, a former Council President, Secretary-Treasurer and President of the National Union. He was a great unionist who always put the members first - even ahead of his health. We can all be proud of the scholarships that we present in his name and be proud of the fine young recipients of this great honor. These are the third and fourth scholarships awarded and the first two were presented to two fine young women last year by Mrs. Marge Hicks, wife of the late Marshall Hicks.
President Ruffner read the recommendations and then had each recipient read their essay before presenting the scholarships to each recipient. The recipients were honored for their accomplishments, and we also honored the parents for their great direction and guidance which resulted in the fine young and accomplished recipients. It was a wonderful celebration where the delegation applauded the recipients and their parents, followed by a reception where the delegation was able to personally congratulate and speak with the parents and recipients. The Council and delegates are proud to have such a program for all members of the Michigan State Utility Workers council.

  Nathan Groff, Scolarship recipient
and Council President Gary Ruffner
  Nathan and his parents, Kathy and Gary

 Levi Bakker and his parents Karen and Jeffy
 Levi and the brothers he loves and cares for so much; left to right: Levi, Ezra, Tick, Karen, Marshall, Jeffy, Zach

School Recommendation ~ Levi Bakker

I am writing this letter on behalf of Mr. Levi D. Bakker for the purpose of my full recommendation for scholarship consideration. Let me state that I consider this an honor to have the opportunity to expound on this young man's abilities and attributes. I have known Levi's family for approximately three years and I hope that I will have the opportunity to compose similar letters like this for his younger brothers.

The Bakker family has resided in Charlevoix for 16 years, where Levi's father is employed by Consumer's Power in their Big Rock Nuclear Plant. The family is well respected and each of the children are known as model students and excellent examples of fine young men. The Bakker family consists of five boys and their parents. Levi's older brother is attending Lake Superior State University at this time and each of the younger brothers attend Charlevoix Public Schools.

If I were to ask any of the instructors at Charlevoix High School about Levi, they would say, "I wish I had a whole class of students like him". Levi has always accepted the challenge that Charlevoix schools has presented to him. He has excelled enough to be taken on as a technology assistant. The position of Technology Assistant involves keeping all of the school's computers up and running. It is not uncommon to see Levi giving up his after-school time to assist in repairing one of the computers at Charlevoix High School.

I have also seen Levi at many of his younger brother's functions (soccer games, band performances, etc.). When he talks about his brothers, it is with genuine love and respect for each one. Unlike many other sibling rivalries, Levi is respected by his brothers and many of their friends. He is one of the most giving people I know.

As a counselor, I know that it is best that my students go out into the world and become productive members of society. My only hope is that after completing his course of study, Levi Bakker will come back to Charlevoix and continue with the Bakker tradition of being an outstanding community-minded family. Your organization will not go wrong by helping this young man continue his academic success. He is one of those students that you want the best for. Any way that ~1ou can help him would be appreciated.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Levi Bakker. It makes me feel good to be able to tell strangers about such a wonderful student.

School Recommendation~ Nathan Groff

I am pleased to recommend Nathan Groff for the Michigan State Utilities Workers Council Scholarship. I have known Nathan and his family for a number of years and presently teach Nathan in Economics.

Nathan has been a Special Honors student during his years at Michigan Lutheran. He carries a 3.94 GPA after six semesters is currently ranked first out of 28 in his senior class and will graduate in May 1999.

Nathan has garnered a host of awards and honors during his high school career, including tht National Science Merit Award in `96 and `97, Who's, Who in High School for `96 and `97 and the U.S. Achievement Academy Award for `96 and `97. He earned the Soccer Titan Award `98. He was voted Michigan Lutheran's D.A. R. representative for the Good Citizenship Award.

Nathan is involved in a variety of activities at MLHS. He has served as Class President and Student Council member and participated in choir and Festival Singers. He has earned varsity letters in Soccer, Basketball and Baseball, including District and State honors in Soccer and Basketball. He is captain of the basketball team. All these activities have served to develop Nathan's outstanding leadership skills.

Church and community service are also important to Nathan and his family. He has served ir his church youth group, food drives for the ncedy and worked at a local Soup Kitchen. He also has helped organize paper drives and worked as a lifeguard at our local beaches.

Nathan Groff is a fine Christian young man with a variety of gifts and abilities. I heartily recommend him for this scholarship award.

Essay ~ Levi Bakker

What are the characteristics, accomplishments and goals that set me apart? That's a thought provoking question - especially since I'm at the age where blending in is usually the name of the game. I'm sure ther are many students out there with general goals similar to mine: graduating from high school, going to college and then making their mark in the "real world". So, what does set me apart?

My life is divided into two major segments: family/friends and school/work. Since I am the second of five boys, sometimes I'm seen a part of a unit: I'm "one of the Bakker boys". However, there are traits that set me apart from my brothers. There are two obvious physical difference - I'm the biggest of the five and I have dimples. Then there are the not so obvious differences - I'm outgoing and enjoy a good debate, especially with my dad. This year I became eligible to vote and, through discussions about the issues, have discovered that some of my political views are different than my parents. Within my church and youth group, I am a small group student co-facilitator. This entails being a peer role model, leading discussions in a small group setting, and helping plan group activities. I find interacting with adults and my peers in this manner very rewarding.

In school, I've had opportunities to set myself apart in a positive way. I've been in band since sixth grade and have been willing to change instruments whenever needed to benefit the sound of the band. I was named MVP at band camp for my positive and helpful attitude. In addition to participating in marching and concert band, I have joined a school jazz band this year. Since this band meets before school, this involves a daily commitment to be at school an hour early to practice Along with the opportunity to expand my musical interests, I have been given the chance to get a head start on my chosen career - computer sciences. I am one of two technical aides in the computer department at school. My main job is to troubleshoot problems with the computers. I am also working after school for the local Intermediate School District in the same capacity. Currently I am doing independent studies in advanced computer programming, a subject that is not part of the normal curriculum. I've designed my own course outline and submit reports every 4 weeks to an advisor. I am also a member of the National Honor Society. Beyond academics, I have been on the golf team for 3 years and am anticipating playig my fourth year of baseball. I have been able to accomplish all this while maitaining a 3.89 GPA.

Earlier I mentioned being at an age where blending in is preferable. I feel I've managed to split the difference. Outwardly, I may seem to be part of the crowd, but the effort I'm putting in to achieveing my goals really does set me apart.

Essay ~ Nathan Groff

I believe the Lord belsses each of us differently with our own unique qualities and abilities. These distinctions together with our upbringing cause us to be a reflection of our community. In my academics I've always strived to achieve my best whether that means staying up late studyig or asking questions after class. I feel I owe this to my parents, community, myself and my school. I come from a small school of 140 students and take pride in the education I have received there. As class president, and a captain in varsity soccer and basketball I've enjoyed being a leader by helping provide structure with my classmates and voicing their opinion in student government affairs. Being part of soccer and basketball teams that both won district titles last year has helped show me how success can be attained if everyone works together. I have also been honored by receiving the D.A.R. Good Citizen Award representing my school.

This summer I had the great privilege of residing in a lifeguard tower at the local beach on Lake Michigan. Along with being at the summer's hottest social scene comes the awesome responsibility of watching over the sfaety of hundreds of swimmers. It was a good experience for me, relating the rules to the public and being an active member in my community. I liked the challenge of responsibility and plan on taking more advanced courses in lifeguarding and CPR applications.

I am also active in the teen group at Grace Lutheran Church. Recently we helped out at a local soup kitchen in our neighboring community. As I become an adult I'd like to find more ways to help the less fortunate in my community.

I consider starting colege as the beginning of my adult life. I am looking forward to the challenge of attaining an engineering degree as well as living on my own. As I study, however, I also want to enjoy a social campus and be involved in my university through sports and other organizations. I want to make my parents proud, but understand achieveing these goals is going to reqire determination and hard work. I am fueled by excitement of job options that are out ther efor an engineer in today's work force. I am also looking forward to some day starting a family of my own, and raising them under the morals that have structured me throughout my short lifetime. With my firm strength in God and trust in his will these plans can be accomplished.

In retrospect I don't think I would have applied myself any differently through my high school career. I hpe that I have been a positive influence on my home, school, town and church, and that my scholarhsip, leadership ad abilities reflect how proud I am to be a part of this community. I think I have grown and learned a vast quantity, but i will readily admit that I don't know it all. I'm very excited about embarking on the new frontier of my life that will be the college experience.

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