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RMFU Awards Scholarships to Seven Outstanding Students

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer Luitjens Bahr (303.752.5800; jennifer.bahr@rmfu.org)

(Denver, CO) — The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) Foundation announces the recipients of seven $1,000 scholarships. The awards are given to students with records of outstanding scholastic achievements and community service. The scholarships are funded by RMFU, FUSA Insurance Agency, and memorials honoring long-time leaders in Farmers Union.

“These recipients are stepping up as future leaders of our communities. The RMFU Foundation is proud to present scholarships to seven exceptional young leaders to help them achieve their educational and career goals,” said RMFU Foundation Director Jennifer Luitjens Bahr. The recipients are listed below.

Nevaeh Green, Cheyenne, WY (Farmers Union Service Association Scholarship)

Throughout Nevaeh’s high school career, she has been active in organizations like Christian Youth in Action and The Mayor’s Youth Council. She has also participated in numerous community initiatives assisting with the organization of blood drives, city-wide giving events, and small business awareness activities. Nevaeh will be studying graphic design and innovation management at Oregon State university, and she looks forward to leveraging creativity and communication skills to contribute meaningfully to her field. With aspirations to intern with established design firms, Naveah hopes to translate academic knowledge into real-world impact, embodying a spirit of service and excellence. Nevaeh is the daughter of Cherise and FUSA Agent Markese Green.

Alli Hornung, Otis, CO (Charles Petty Memorial Scholarship)

Alli believes in and has practiced leadership and community service throughout her high school years. She has helped spearhead projects like the hygiene basket drive and the Giving Tree, aiding underprivileged youth. Academically, Alli maintains an excellent GPA and attained 25 college credits throughout her high school career.  She also is involved in extracurricular activities such as NHS, FBLA, and Student Council.

Creativity fuels Alli’s endeavors. She manages the school’s athletic media and assists in graphic design. Alli plans to pursue Graphic Design at Chadron State College, aiming for a career in Sports Graphic Design or independent marketing. She hopes to achieve professional success and build a family. Alli is the daughter of Chris and Sommer Hornung.

Mikaela Thiel, Fort Morgan, CO (Hazel Hemphill Memorial Scholarship)

Engaged in various organizations such as FFA, 4-H, church outreach programs, and community sports, Mikaela actively contributes to community development through initiatives like the annual Oyster Fry and church outreach events, fostering strong bonds with community members.

In school, Mikaela demonstrates leadership through roles in FFA, sports, and student organizations like Student Council and FCLA. She has assisted with her school’s Give Back Day and other classroom activities. Mikaela’s plans to pursue a degree in International Transportation and Trade at SUNY Maritime College. She dreams of owning a consulting company while also continuing her volleyball career. Mikaela is the daughter of Marty and Bridget Thiel.

Grant Becker, Brush, CO (Maurice Parker Memorial Scholarship)

Grant has been a dedicated volunteer in his community of Brush, CO for several years. He has coached youth basketball and contributed to initiatives like the Heath Becker Shoot-Out, showcasing leadership and commitment to youth in his community. At Brush High School, Grant excelled academically and athletically, participating in basketball, football, and track. His leadership abilities were demonstrated as team captain, while his role as teacher’s aide showcases organizational skills.

Grant aspires to become a commercial pilot, while pursuing a degree at Aims Community College or Morgan Community College. His goal is to accumulate flight hours and eventually fly internationally, reflecting his determination and passion for aviation. Grant’s journey serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the power of dedication and the pursuit of dreams that may have started in Brush but will take him on world-wide adventures. Grant is the son of Suzanne Becker.

Khira Gipfert, Peetz, CO (James G. Patton Memorial Scholarship)

Khira is deeply involved in her community, participating in town clean-up initiatives and serving meals to those in need. In school, she shines as a student-athlete, having played volleyball, basketball, and track throughout her high school years. Her involvement extends to numerous organizations including NHS, FBLA, FFA, Student Council, Teens for Tots, and Sources of Strength. Khira has held various offices in FFA, competed at state level in FBLA, and actively contributed to Student Council and Teens for Tots.

With a passion for sports, Khira plans to pursue a degree in athletic training or basketball coaching at Chadron State College in Nebraska. Her goal is to stay within the sports field, utilizing her compassion and dedication to make a positive impact as a sports medicine professional or trainer. Khira is the daughter of David and Tiffany Vallier.

Spencer Busick, Hesperus, CO (Bill Stevenson Memorial Scholarship)

Spencer is an example of dedication to both his community and academic pursuits. Recently, Spencer completed the AmeriCorps Farmer in Training program where he honed his regenerative agriculture skills. That experience brought opportunities to be involved in local programs addressing youth mentoring, and food and housing insecurity.  He volunteers for various local organizations that foster connections by sharing insights on regenerative food systems, agriculture, and rural community health.  While at Fort Lewis College for his undergrad degree, Spencer was instrumental in promoting student wellness, serving as Peer Connection Coordinator and advocating for inclusive programming.

Currently pursuing a Master of Behavioral Science in Rural Community Health at Western Colorado University, Spencer hopes to address healthcare disparities in rural communities. With aspirations to become a clinical psychologist and integrate therapeutic horticulture into practice, Spencer’s vision encompasses holistic health and community empowerment.

Brooke Noble, Pinedale, WY (Katheryn Pappenheim Memorial Scholarship)

Brooke believes in and has practiced leadership and community service throughout her high school years. She is involved in Sublette County 4-H, volunteers at the VFW and food pantry, and participates in Memorial Day services. Brooke is a VFW junior member and a lifetime member of the American Legion. During high school, Brooke was a member of the National ART honors program, chaired the homecoming float committee, and a member of the Student Council. She also participates in swim, track, soccer.

With a keen interest in understanding the human mind, Brooke plans to pursue psychology at Casper College. Her aspiration to help others reflects her dedication to community service and mental health advocacy. Brooke is the daughter of FUSA Agent Windy Noble.

These scholarships recognize the following Farmers Union Leaders: Katheryn Pappenheim, former Weld County Farmers Union education director; James Patton, former president of RMFU and National Farmers Union; Hazel Hemphill, former Morgan County education director; Maurice Parker, long-standing RMFU board member; Charles Petty, RMFU Vice President and New Mexico board member; and Bill Stevenson, former Director of the RMFU Cooperative Development Center.

The RMFU Foundation promotes the well-being of rural communities and farm and ranch families of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Foundation offers leadership training, youth and adult education opportunities, and provides professional services to groups and individuals involved in cooperative enterprises, local food initiatives, and hometown community initiatives.

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