By Ralph K. Spencer, D'Evelyn Education Foundation Board of Directors
The $1,500 LeAnne Hollemans Roscow Award will be presented to a member of D’Evelyn’s 2018 graduating class at the annual Senior Banquet at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel on May 16. LeAnne died on April 15, 2004, while awaiting a second heart transplant. She was diagnosed as an infant with cardiomyopathy but survived her first 16 years with the help of medication and pacemakers. She was blessed with the receipt of a new heart at age 16 but, after 20 months of experiencing the strength of a healthy heart, complications and an ultimate rejection resulted in her untimely death.
What makes this award unique is the way the recipient is selected and what the award is NOT based upon. A nominating committee comprised of three D'Evelyn teachers submits a maximum of three seniors' names (a first choice, second choice, and third choice), complete with a paragraph describing each nominee, to the D'Evelyn Scholarship Selection Committee (a group of 5 adults who have no current connection to our school). This group is responsible for selecting not only the winner of the LeAnne award but the recipients of 22 diverse scholarships (none of which are teacher nominated) worth $19,500. This award is NOT based upon academic scores and does NOT require that the nominee be college bound, unlike any of the aforementioned 22 scholarships!
What made LeAnne an extraordinary student can be determined by the criteria established by the Hollemans Roscow family and approved by the DEF Scholarship Committee in January 2005. In order of importance, the following key qualities must be observed by nominating committee members in the nominee that each one is considering for this award: 1) Marches to the Beat of a Different Drummer - someone who has different views, interests, or values than his or her contemporaries and is willing to express those ideas despite the risk of being ostracized. While these ideas are not embraced by the majority, they merit respectful consideration. A person who frequently comes to the aid of the 'little guy;' 2) Creativity - someone who can be characterized by their originality and expressiveness; 3) Leadership - someone with the capacity or willingness to lead, a person who recognizes a need and steps in to organize a solution. The nominees should demonstrate this quality but not necessarily be one who has been selected, appointed, or succeeded to any office.
Who will be the 2018 recipient of this truly unique award given in memory of such an extraordinary student? Those of you fortunate enough to attend this year's Senior Banquet will see firsthand the beneficiary of the Hollemans Roscow family's generosity. I wouldn't miss it for anything, and I hope none of our seniors (and their families) don't either!
The D'Evelyn Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. The Board of Directors oversees the finances, legal issues and long-term strategic plans of the organization