Grads earn scholarships through service

Clarkston News Editor
The Clarkston Area Optimist Club awarded $1,000 scholarships to four Clarkston High School seniors: Riley Kloostra, Marissa Lockwood, Andrew Ross, and Sarah Snyder.
“Our winners are all high academic achievers, Summa Cum Laude graduates,” said Gerry Schmidt, chairman of the Scholarship Committee, at the June 7 Scholarship Awards Breakfast. “But the committee wasn’t looking at GPAs. Our interest focused on leadership and citizenship, a volunteer spirit.”

From left are Optimist scholarship winners Marissa Lockwood, Sarah Snyder, Riley Kloostra, and Andrew Ross. Photo by Phil Custodio
From left are Optimist scholarship winners Marissa Lockwood, Sarah Snyder, Riley Kloostra, and Andrew Ross. Photo by Phil Custodio

Riley Kloostra will attend Michigan State University as a Marketing Major.
“As an athlete, she participated in track and cross country. She was president of DECA and a state finalist in two state championships,” Schmidt said. “Riley’s interest in marketing made this club a good fit for developing problem solving skills and mentoring underclassmen.”
She volunteers with the National Honor Society, Blessings in a Backpack, local animal shelters, reading to elementary school children, and Grace Centers of Hope.
Marissa Lockwood will attend Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.
She was active in Marching Band as clarinet section leader, soloist, and four-year state finalist, Outstanding Senior Award winner, All State band/orchestra participant, and she also gives clarinet lessons.
“Beyond her passion for music, the Optimist Scholarship Committee was interested in the volunteer work Marissa did in the NHS and years she has been involved in mission trips with her church,” Schmidt said. “Marissa was also a youth group leader for middle school children at her church. These experiences demonstrated the interest she has developed for helping people in need.”
Andrew Ross will attend Cedarville University in Ohio as a Computer Engineering Major.
“Andrew is a very well-rounded young man, from state Solo and Ensemble first division winner, jazz band member, to varsity letters in swimming and cross country,” Schmidt said.
He was a Business Professionals of America regional finalist and a Clarkston Foundation Math Award winner. At Senior Awards Night, he was awarded the Math Department Achievement Award.
“With all these varied interests, music, swimming, cross country, Andrew found time for volunteering with NHS, member of the month award, and the CHS Optimist Club. He is also a teacher’s assistant in the children ministry of his church,” Schmidt said. “Early on, Andrew learned he has a passion for helping others.”
Sarah Snyder is heading to the University of Michigan as a Mechanical Engineering Major.
“If you look up ‘over achiever’ in the dictionary, there is a picture of Sarah,” Schmidt said. “Of 600 graduates, she finished in the top 10. Winning the Clarkston Foundation’s Math Award wasn’t enough for Sarah, she had to go back and win their Science Award, too.”
She was also a finalist at the Michigan Math Competition, and was active in Marching Band with the clarinet, and Concert Band and Ensembles throughout high school.
“Sarah not only lettered in track and cross county, she was captain of her cross country team,” Schmidt said. “The Scholarship Committee’s interest focused on her volunteer work with the NHS and CHS Optimist Club. Her three-years of experience as a teacher in youth ministry speak volumes of her commitment to having an impact on young people.”