ABERDEEN — Residents from throughout Bingham County gathered here Thursday night to celebrate top students during the 2019 Bingham County Mayors Scholarship Awards Gala at Aberdeen’s Performing Arts Center.
The backstage area was filled with people enjoying refreshments before the Latin American-themed program — hosted by the City of Aberdeen — began. Aberdeen Mayor Larry Barrett was the master of ceremonies for the evening, and he welcomed everyone in attendance.
Leonor Serna, a 2018 scholarship winner, then gave a speech to the crowd.
“Aberdeen is a small town, but this is my small town,” Serna said. “This is a town that loves everyone. It gives everyone the same opportunities.”
Serna, an Idaho State University student, said she is on pace to earn three bachelors’ degrees in 2020, aiming toward a Masters degree in Spanish. She talked about obstacles she has faced in her life, but she encouraged scholarship recipients to reach out to those who can help them along the way.
“Many unexpected things are going to happen,” Serna said, but she encouraged them to focus on their goals.
Danza Azteca Quetzalcoati of Blackfoot performed before the mayors scholarships were presented.
All monetary support for the scholarships is a direct result of Bingham County Mayors Scholarship contributions made by the general public and corporate sponsors including Blackfoot Anesthesia, Bingham Memorial, Idaho Central Credit Union, Idaho National Laboratory, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Cox’s Honey, The Candy Jar, and Premier Technology.
The complete list of scholarship recipients is as follows:
ABERDEEN HIGH SCHOOL
Carina Cardona (Bingham Memorial)
BLACKFOOT HIGH SCHOOL
Spike Adams (Bingham Memorial)
Daniel Andrade (Blackfoot Anesthesia)
Olivia Arave (BBCYC)
Wyatt Astle (INL)
Breanna Beck (Blackfoot Anesthesia)
James Cannon (Bingham Memorial)
Jacob Christiansen (Idaho Central Credit Union)
Evan Evening-Moss (Sho-Ban Tribes)
Jayson Haddon (Premier Technology)
Katelyn (Katie) Jensen (Blackfoot Anesthesia)
Cassie McDaniel (Blackfoot Anesthesia)
Araceli Rojas (Bingham County Mayors and Chairman)
Benjamin Sayre (Bingham County Mayors and Chairman)
Matthew Yancey (INL)
SHOSHONE-BANNOCK HIGH SCHOOL
Jalisa Jack (Sho-Ban Tribes)
FIRTH HIGH SCHOOL
Grace Christensen (Bingham Memorial)
Gerardo Garcia (Premier Technology)
Tanner Killpack (INL)
Jaylyn McKinnon (Women In STEM)
Morgan Reynolds (Bingham County Mayors and Chairman)
SHELLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Karlie Callahan (Idaho Central CU)
Kodie Dye (Cox’s Honey)
Emily Jensen (Idaho Central CU)
Madison Jolley (Blackfoot Anesthesia)
Nathan Larkin (Cox’s Honey)
Calvin Oats (The Candy Jar)
SNAKE RIVER HIGH SCHOOL
Kenya Leavitt (Bingham Memorial)
Abby Morgan (Idaho Central CU)
McKenna Peck (Idaho Central CU)
College of Eastern Idaho scholarships for $500 each went to Gerardo Garcia of Firth, Kaitlynn Melton of Shelley, and Alex Staten of Shelley.
Idaho State University scholarships for $2,000 each went to Kylee Barker of Firth, James Cannon of Blackfoot, Carina Cardona of Aberdeen, Grace Christensen of Firth, Mikayla Dickinson of Shelley, Miranda Gillins of Blackfoot, Alexa Hansen of Snake River, Jacob Jennejahn of Blackfoot, Katie Jensen of Blackfoot, Kassidy Johnson of Firth, Kenya Leavitt of Snake River, Jessica McGary of Firth, McKenna Peck of Snake River, and Hailey Steinmetz of Blackfoot.