Two Oklahoma high school seniors have been named Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholars for outstanding leadership, civic involvement and academic talent.
Lindsay Beck, Stroud High School, and Erika Vinson, Warner High School, will each receive a $2,000 award through the Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholarship program.
The Chancellor’s Scholars Program was created in 1990 with private funds. The program was renamed in 2006 to honor Brisch, one of Oklahoma’s former higher education chancellors, who served as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for 15 years. Brisch retired in 2003 and passed away in February 2006.
The 2014 Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholars were selected from 51 nominations made by high school principals statewide.
“The State Regents congratulate each of these students who have distinguished themselves both academically and by giving back to their communities,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These students join an elite group of young Oklahoma leaders and will bring a vibrant, energetic presence to our campuses. We wish them the best as they begin their college experience.”
Beck has served her community in a variety of efforts including coordinating “Pink Out Week,” a week dedicated to raising cancer awareness, during which $3,000 was donated to the American Cancer Society. Beck also raised $175 to ship gift boxes filled with supplies and treats to troops overseas. She started a clothing drive for a local clothing ministry and collected more than 1,000 items of clothing for 100 needy families in the community. Beck led a canned food drive and collected 1,047 items that helped 77 local families. She also tutored 10 at-risk children after school, mentored pre-K children during her lunch break and served as a mentor to at-risk children in her community. Beck has volunteered with the American Red Cross by helping organize the skeet shooting tournament for firefighters and loading water onto trucks to keep the firefighters hydrated.
Beck is student council president, National Honor Society reporter, Junior Chamber of Commerce president, Future Career and Community Leaders of America parliamentarian, homecoming queen and senior class treasurer. She is an ACT EPAS Scholar and Oklahoma Girls’ State delegate. Beck is also a member of the superintendent’s honor roll and the Oklahoma and National honor societies. She is a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and senior class valedictorian. Beck will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
Vinson has initiated and implemented several services in her community to help others, including the Warner Public Schools Food Pantry, in which nonperishable food items are collected, inventoried and distributed to families in Warner during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. She also initiated and implemented Santa’s Workshop Clothes and Toy Drive, which provides toys and clothes to elementary students in need during the Christmas holiday. The drive helped 450 children and 80 families. Vinson has been an active leader in community sports, serving as a coach for the Warner Special Olympics team, the first-grade spirit tumbling team, the Little League cheer squad and the mini-cheer clinic. Vinson also delivered stuffed animals and Christmas cards and sang Christmas carols to the residents at the York Manor Nursing Home. She has supervised and taught preschool at Journey Church nursery, tutored elementary students after school, and picked up trash in neighborhoods and along roads during Warner’s town cleanup day.
Vinson is an Academic Pursuit Team district runner-up, student council representative, Outstanding Technology Student, Distinguished Young Woman, Teens for Christ Bible study leader, yearbook editor and page for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She has received academic excellence recognition in English, Spanish, biology and geometry; is a member of the superintendent’s honor Roll and the National and Oklahoma Indian Student honor societies; and is senior class valedictorian. Vinson will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall.In the 20 years since its inception, the Chancellor’s Scholars Program has provided scholarships for 90 deserving students. Private gifts, including professional honoraria from the current and past chancellors, support the program, which honors not only Brisch but the office of the chancellor and all individuals who serve Oklahoma in that position.