Glenwood Springs High School student receives Boettcher Scholarship |

Glenwood Springs High School student receives Boettcher Scholarship

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Glenwood Springs High School senior Kerry Rippy has some big decisions to make in the coming months.

Nearing graduation her sights are set on college in the fall, not too different from a lot of high school seniors. But recently being named as a Boettcher Scholarship recipient, the decision of where to attend college has become a little more complicated.

“I haven’t decided if I’m going to take the scholarship yet,” Rippy said.

But it sure does make a nice plan “B” for the Glenwood Springs native who is also a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Rippy was interested in attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. But with the Boettcher Scholarship, which pays for tuition, fees, books and a portion of the scholar’s living expenses for eight semesters or 12 quarters at any Colorado college or university, her thoughts and prospective colleges have broadened.

“I was leaning toward Vanderbilt because of the research facilities and the size of the campus,” she admitted. “But I didn’t have my heart set, because I knew the Boettcher thing could happen.”

Now that it has happened, she isn’t sure of what to do.

“If I take the Boettcher, I’ll go to CU because of the biomedical and physics research facilities they have,” Rippy said.

The one thing she is certain about is that she is going to college, with or without accepting the Boettcher. She just isn’t sure of how long, or for what subject.

“Either a masters program or maybe a Ph.D.,” she said. “But I still don’t know what I want my major to be.”

She has tossed around the option of becoming a physician, but she really likes the research side of medicine.

“Becoming a medical doctor isn’t out of the question,” she said. “But I would prefer to stay more in the research side of things.”

Rippy already has the credentials to attend whatever school she desires. During her high school career, she’s maintained a 4.0 GPA, was a varsity swimmer for the Demons, and participates in several school-based clubs.

“Kerry is an extraordinary student among a group of highly exceptional students,” said GSHS principal Paul Freeman. “She is not just a brilliant academic, but she is also a remarkable servant of the community. The young lady gives a tremendous amount, but you wouldn’t know it because she doesn’t make a fuss about it, she just gets on.”

Freeman knows Rippy’s character. She didn’t like discussing why she thought she deserved the scholarship, but Freeman knows why she does. Besides her commitment to several high school clubs ” like mock trial and the National Honor Society, to name a few of her favorites ” Rippy has volunteered with YouthZone in Glenwood Springs for several years and has been a board member with the Project TITANS through YouthZone. Project TITANS matches teens with local nonprofits in the valley to serve on the board of directors.

“It’s pretty cool,” Rippy said. “The nonprofits get a teen’s perspective, and we get to learn about how the organization operates.”

Her commitment to school clubs and community involvement is a huge reason why she was chosen for the Boettcher Scholarship. And Freeman said it says a lot about the school and community of Glenwood Springs as well.

“The Boettcher is a remarkable feat, and we are lucky to have had two recipients in the past three years,” Freeman said. “I think it says something about the education available in Glenwood and a lot more about the parental support and talents of our students.”

The Boettcher Foundation grants 40 merit-based scholarships to Colorado high school students each year. The foundation began in 1952 as a statewide competition recognizing scholarship, leadership and achievement in young men and women. The program has sought to reward outstanding high school seniors who demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to Colorado. Since the program’s inception, it’s awarded more than 2,000 scholarships. Currently, the foundation provides approximately $3 million in scholarship support annually, making the program one of the largest merit-based scholarship programs in the nation.

In 2006, Jon Jay from Glenwood Springs High School and Mitch Kosht from Rifle High School were Boettcher Scholarship recipients.

Selection is strictly merit-based, allowing all seniors in Colorado to compete based upon their individual accomplishments. This year’s scholarship winners were selected from more than 1,100 qualified applicants. They are judged on the basis of their academic performance, demonstrated ability, outstanding character and their participation and leadership in both school and community activities, which Rippy has displayed.

But when it’s all boiled down, Rippy is just trying to get through the rest of the school year. Her decision will come when the time is right.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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