Scholarships boost Catholic education in Alaska

In an effort to promote Catholic education, three Anchorage youth were awarded scholarships for winning essays on the theme: “Jesus loves us; How do we spread that love?”

The Catholic Daughters of the Americas court in Anchorage organizes the annual student essay scholarship. This year the Daughters partnered with the Knights of Columbus council at Holy Family Cathedral, which allowed for an increased number of award winners.

“Because of their generosity we are able to award three students instead of one this year,” wrote Catholic Daughter Kerry Whitney in an email to the Catholic Anchor. “They graciously gave us $1,000 and were thrilled to participate.”

Whitney praised the winning students for their effort.

“Each one of the winners are outstanding young Catholics,” she said. “We only wish we had millions [of awards] to give, as each and every student that participated is a winner to us.”

Whitney said the Catholic Daughters want eventually to partner with more Knights of Columbus councils to promote Catholic education across the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

“Just imagine if all of our Knights of Columbus councils wanted to join with us to promote Catholic education for our youth,” she said. “Catholic youth are our Catholic future!”

During the June 12 award ceremony at Holy Rosary Academy $500 awards were handed out to 7th grader Michael Chennault and 8th grader Ciara McMorrow who will use their scholarships to help pay tuition costs at Holy Rosary Academy. A third scholarship was awarded to 8th grader Mark Connelly, who attends Mirror Lake Middle School. Connelly’s scholarship may be used at his family’s discretion for ongoing Catholic education.

Along with the student essays, judges took into consideration church and community activities and also required three letters of recommendation from a religious (priest, deacon, religious brother or sister), religion teacher and an adult outside the family.

Whitney called the three winners “wonderful role models for their peers.”

Whitney said she was grateful for the Knights of Columbus council at the cathedral and looks “forward to offering more scholarships and perhaps larger amounts next year.”

“Our purpose for this scholarship is to support and encourage Catholic education,” she explained, “to make it a bit more possible for all.”

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