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High School Senior Awarded Volunteerism Scholarship 2022 (1 of 4)

High School Senior Awarded Volunteerism Scholarship 2022 (1 of 4)

Each year the United Way of West Central Minnesota offers scholarships to students who volunteer. There’s a natural gap between what government and business do to contribute to the community. Volunteers and non-profits fill that gap. 33 students in our area applied this year, and four were selected to receive to scholarship sent directly to their college of choice. Our first awardee highlight is:

Natalie Beckendorf
Renville County West

Why do you feel it is important to volunteer?

I believe it’s important to volunteer because it makes an individual, community, and ultimately the world better. I grew up on a hobby farm outside of a small rural town; Renville Minnesota. Although this town is small in terms of population, the support and love for all is enormous. I have always been an active community member through school, organizations, church, and family activities. I have received support from volunteers the entirety of my life – whether it was simply high school students reading to my elementary class, elders judging my science fair project, and even church members leading vacation bible school. I am grateful for all the volunteers that helped me become the person I am today. I am eager to provide similar support to others.

Volunteering allows me to be an active citizen in my community. I have helped clean ditches for over six years which directly allows me to help provide a clean and safe environment for my community. Additionally, I am the primary coordinator in RCW FFA Parent’s night out event, in which we babysit children to allow a night off for parents. This grants me the opportunity to help kids socialize and learn about agriculture. I am very active in the FFA Greenhouse and community garden every summer, where I proudly serve local community members with an abundance of flowers and produce. I participate in the FFA corn drive, where I interact with farmers and businesses to collect a donation of corn or money. These funds are given to the True Friends organization, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, that provides life-changing experiences for individuals with disabilities. Since I was a kid, I have helped collect money for Heifer International (a program in which you can buy livestock for families across the world). I have also been a volunteer for vacation bible school. I also helped prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals to my community with the 212 Christian Youth Group. This was very rewarding, as I was able to interact with many community members, provide a meal, and help raise money for a mission trip. I have assisted in the shoebox project annually. This project collects essential commodities for people, I help package them in a shoebox and ship them to communities across the world. Lastly, for holidays my family and I create cards for our nursing home to show our love. Each of the service projects I have participated in has allowed me to become a better person by generously helping others. These selfless acts consistently make the world a better place. I am proud to come from my small town of Renville and incredibly thankful to help others through volunteerism.

Join us in congratulating and wishing all high school seniors all the best in their next chapters.

This year’s outstanding seniors:

33 applications, 4 winners being awarded at school presentations.
Scholarships will be awarded at $500 each and sent directly to the recipient’s college of attendance upon verification of enrollment.
If you’d like to find areas of need that you could contribute to click here to find a list of current needs.