George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship
The George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship was established in 1988. George Watters was an outstanding and well-respected representative of the petroleum marketing industry. Following his death several years ago, the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers Association established this scholarship to properly recall George’s leadership and integrity in the field. The Nebraska Petroleum Marketers, a member of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, seeks to unify petroleum marketers throughout the state to effectively further the common interests of the petroleum marketing industry.
Every year, the NPCA awards individuals with a minumum $1,000 GLW Memorial Scholarship. Recipients must meet all the following criteria:
- Applicant must be the dependent of a current member or employee of the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers Association.
- Must be a current graduating high school senior from any high school in Nebraska.
- Must attend a college or university in Nebraska.
- Must be in the upper one-third of the graduating class and must demonstrate leadership qualities and have expressed a desire and intent to continue education leading to a degree.
- Financial need will only be utilized as a tie-breaker in the selection process.
2023 Scholarship Winners
Madeline Pulver, Kenesaw High School
Father: JP Pulver, Bosselman Engergy, Inc.
The biggest challenge in my life is also the biggest motivator in my pursuit of becoming a nurse. I become uneasy not being able to help when someone is in need. My grandfather had Huntington’s disease, and as a child I was unaware of exactly how this illness was going to affect him. Over his battle with the disease, I began to understand the severity. As his symptoms became more apparent, I felt helpless to assist him in any way, but still displayed a positive attitude around him and others. It became clear to me that the effort of being strong for the sake of my family and others had to take priority over any feelings of inadequacy I faced. Toward the very end of his life, I took him a rooster pheasant feather, knowing that he had been an avid pheasant hunter in his younger years. My gift brought both a sparkle and tear to his eye, and to my eyes as well, knowing just how much my action meant to him. It was then that it occurred to me that even a small gesture can make a major impact on the lives of others. Understanding that Huntington’s disease is an autosomal dominant disorder makes it a reality that I could possess the defective gene for this disease. Having a negative attitude about that fact is not going to benefit me or anyone else, so being positive about the future and pursuing my goals is of utmost importance. I will be starting college in the fall of 2023 to earn my nursing degree. I am certain that my studies will instill within me the skills that I need to pursue a career of nursing. A nursing career offers both pros and cons. For example, I will often counsel patients after receiving a devastating diagnosis, celebrate with patients when they receive good news, and above all become a trusted person in their life. I want to go to college so I can get my degree in nursing, so I am able to be this special person in our society’s life from day to day. While working in the NICU, I will have tiny patients, but a huge impact. A huge goal of mine is to be able to help parents and families know that they are not alone and that their children make a difference in the world. This job often has very hard and complex matters to address; however, it is very important work to get done. I will accomplish these different importances and goals by working with my peers to do our absolute best work. I will also be very observant in what rounds I do. I will need to take detailed notes and communicate very thoroughly with my co-workers, especially when my shift is over, and I am transferring my tiny little patients to their next nurse. I cannot wait to see where these goals take me.
Katelyn Stark, Burke High School
Father: Eric Stark, Nebraska Iowa Supply
I have many goals for the upcoming years of my life. In college I plan on majoring in nursing. After I graduate from college with my undergraduate degree, I hope to immediately further my education in order to achieve my dream of becoming a certified nurse practitioner. The death of my grandmother from pancreatic cancer early in my high school career inspired me to pursue a career in nursing. I not only want to help patients who are sick and suffering, but I also want to offer comfort & support to their families as the nursing staff did for my family and me when my grandmother was so sick. Although her death brought me to the realization of what I want to do in my life, it also presented challenges. I have always been a hard worker and wanted to do my best, but throughout the period when my grandmother was sick, I did not have the time or motivation to put forth my best effort in school. Much of my time was spent in the hospital with her or at home thinking about her. My grandmother’s death affected me greatly, but I persevered. I knew that in order to become someone she would be proud of, I had to keep working hard in school. It would be rewarding to receive a scholarship for the time and effort I have put into my education. The less loans I have to take out during my undergrad, the better due to the fact that I plan to continue my education immediately after I graduate with my B.S. in Nursing.
2022 Scholarship Winners
Laura Kuhr, Mead High School
Mother: Michelle Kuhr, Sapp Bros
I have decided that I want to major in engineering. I believe that this is a great fit for me because not only do I love math and science but I want to help make the world a better place by doing those things. I want to make the most of my college education and put it to use when I find a job. My goal for my job is to make sure that I am doing what I love while also helping the environment and others. A personal goal that I wish to fulfill is to live the life I want and not the ones that others expect me to take. I want to be the one going out in the world and making a change, not to leave it up to someone else to do it for me. The accomplishments that I have received above continue to push me to better myself. Not all of them are first place kind of awards and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I figure out what I am going to change for the next year. Lately, I have not been getting the desired amount of playing time in basketball. To fix that I am pushing myself inside and outside of practice so that I can get to where I want to be. I am not a quitter and I never will be.
Kylee Hasselmann, Grand Island Central Catholic
From kindergarten through eighth grade, I went to school with the same 40 kids. I made some really close friends and have many great memories of most of them, but as I got older I drifted away from several students who I was around the most. High school came along and I was at Grand Island Northwest, and things went downhill. I didn’t really fit in with the group of girls I was involved with in sports: volleyball, basketball, and track. I decided that the best option for me was to transfer to an entirely new school where I only knew about a handful of kids.
Because I am an independent person, finding new friends can be a challenge at times. I had to re-introduce myself to all my new classmates at Grand Island Central Catholic. Everyone in the school was very welcoming and nice to me. I tried to get involved in as many extracurricular activities as I could, starting with a member of Future Business Leaders of America and eventually working my way up to the National Honor Society. I decided to get involved in everything I could because I wanted to show my talents to my teachers and coaches so they could see what I was capable of, both academically and athletically.
This new experience taught me how to interact with the world around me and how to adapt to new situations. This change will help me be better prepared for the career path that I want to pursue: business, and more specifically, Accounting. Numbers have always fascinated me from first learning how to add, subtract, multiply and divide, to now making sure that debits equal credits.
My leadership skills gained throughout high school have taught me how to be assertive and speak up. I have grown in my ability and to influence others to be good leaders themselves. Youth Leadership Tomorrow really helped me learn how to get to know others and how to interact with those around me. My public speaking skills have drastically improved, and now I feel more confident about being in front of a larger audience and speaking. For example, I now lead middle schoolers every Wednesday night through faith-related activities to grow closer to God. Being a leader for them is something that is important to me because I want those middle schoolers to have someone to look up to as a leader as they grow up.
Being involved in all of the activities that I could at Grand Island Central Catholic and around the community has helped shape me into the person that I am today. The opportunities that I was given have opened my eyes to the business world and all the opportunities available. The business industry attracts me because it allows me to use the skills that I love: numbers, helping others, and showing leadership, in my everyday life. One day I hope to use my knowledge and gifts with numbers to help better corporations in the future.
Chloe Mettenbrink, Grand Island Senior High School
Growing up I always struggled to read. I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was nine years old. I was pulled from class because of my reading challenges. Many of my classmates did not understand my learning needs. When my special education teacher arrived to my classroom for our pull-out instruction, I would leave class with other students with autism, down syndrome, and other learning disabilities. I began to form bonds with the kids in my special class.
When I was in fifth grade I was reading at a second grade level. I struggled but I knew I could improve with the right help. By the end of my fifth grade year I was reading at grade level. Despite my learning disability, I have been able to find strategies to help me be successful. Now, as a high schooler, I am a part of the National Honors Society, Student Council and many other student leadership groups. I devote a lot of my time to my studies and work extremely hard to earn good grades. The end result of this dedication and perseverance is extremely rewarding.
Due to my academic journey and style of learning, individuals with special needs became close to my heart. I believe in the friendships we formed and the unique connections we have. Even though my disability may not be as extreme as others, we understand each other’s situations and how we are each unique. We know what it feels like to be looked at by our peers. We know we are different.
Forming friendships with other students with learning disabilities and special needs has become a big part of who I am and my journey. It has led me to the job I have now. I work at the Children’s Rehabilitation Clinic and am surrounded by kids with learning disabilities and special needs. I may help them every day but they help me in even bigger ways. I have learned to be understanding, patient, and kind because of the way they show kindness to others. There is nothing more pure than the hearts of special needs children and how they perceive the world. It has been a rewarding and remarkable experience to surround myself with special needs children.
My connection with special needs children and my own academic challenges have prompted me to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. After completing my program as an Occupational Therapist Assistant, I plan to continue on and become specialized in a specific area of occupational therapy. The challenges that I experience and the struggles that I see in the kids that I work with drives me to give back and show others that truly anything is possible when you work hard. Confidence to know that I believe in the patients and the opportunity to provide them the encouragement they need have become important to me. Helping patients with disabilities exceed their limitations and advocating others in seeing abilities in disabilities is my goal.
Cylee Jameson, Thedford High School
Father: Richard Jameson, Sandhill Oil and past NPCA President
My future ambitions are to attend Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska where I can receive my business administration degree. I have full intentions and commitment to continue my basketball career at the next level in Seward. At college, I want to learn, change, and grow into a person that is most beneficial to the people around me. Whether this be volunteering at a local business, contributing to classroom discussions, or teaching someone something they have never done before. I want to show people what they have the ability to do. Once completing college, I want to go on to cosmetology school where I can pursue my second passion. After completing a 14 month program, I will open up my own business where I can provide every beauty service to my customers. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a love for hair, makeup, and beauty. I can remember when this started, which was when I would watch my mom get ready for the day every morning before taking me to school. It would bring me so much satisfaction and fascination that I think my mom even knew that it was something that I would enjoy doing for a long time. Each time I do my friends and family’s makeup when they go out, I never cease to amaze myself when I see the finished product. Apart from the things that I do to contribute to my passions outside of school, I love the classroom. It gives me confidence in myself to do challenging things in school. This includes things like undertaking three college courses in a semester, or balancing the work with my sports and other everyday distractions. These challenges boost me to bring more energy into my future ambitions because I know what I am capable of doing and becoming. Being the daughter of a business owner, I have grown up learning how to successfully run one, and the joys of being able to do so. It allows for a person to have their own niches outside of their business like serving on the board of a community foundation, or just being someone who can be there for their community when their name is called. It allows you to help people in need of jobs and also improve the lives of the people that you are providing your service to. Running a business of my own is not just an aspect for the owner to hold to themselves. For me, owning a business shows unity and growth in the community, to make the community withstand any hardships because it makes the people involved have the dearest interest in how it performs. When I am able to do so, I will continue to learn, change, and grow into the person who is best fit for the people around me.
2021 Scholarship Winners
Tyler Downey, Fremont Senior High School
Mother: Mandy Downey, Sapp Bros. Travel Center
I am very honored to receive this scholarship. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to use this money to continue my education at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. My life has been far from easy and I have faced hardships throughout my journey. With the help of the money I have received, I can work towards achieving my goals of making the world a better place for myself, but those around me as well. I know that UNL is the right fit for me to pursue my dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer. UNL offers a variety of internships, clubs, and organizations that can get me involved in the real world. Using the money I have been awarded, I will start my own story by attending UNL. Thank you to George Watters, and all of the people involved in the scholarship opportunity.
McKenzie Johnson, Central Valley High School
Mother: Christina Johnson, Bosselman Energy
Dear George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship Committee, I cannot thank you enough for your generosity in selecting me to be a recipient of this scholarship. Receiving this scholarship means so much to me and I will use this opportunity to excel in the 2021-2022 academic year, and for many years after. Being granted this scholarship not only helps me tremendously, but also my family. You all have helped me in so many ways that you won't be able to completely know, and I promise that I will use this scholarship to become the best person I can be so I can give back to others in my career just as you all have done.
Alivia Baucom, Rock Port High School
Mother: Elinor Baucom, Sapp Bros.
Thank you all so much for the opportunity for me to receive this scholarship. I plan to further my career in the nursing field while working in Nebraska. I will be attending Doane University as well. This award will help me immensely, and I want to thank you all again.
With Sincere Gratitude,
McKenzie Moore, Mercy High School
Father: Richard Scott Moore, Western Oil
It is with the upmost gratitude that I say thank you for choosing me as the recipient of the the George L. Watters Memorial scholarship. Is with your aid that in the fall I will be attending at the university of Nebraska Omaha with hopes of obtaining a degree in biology and continue on to veterinary school. I am truly grateful for all the support, thank you again!
Ashlyn Wright, Central Valley High School
Mother: Angeline Wright, Trotters Whoa & Go
To the George L. Watters Memorial Scholarship Committee, I can’t begin to thank you enough for this scholarship! It is truly an honor, and one that I do not take lightly. This scholarship will not only benefit my education, but those whom I am able to help through my degree. With this scholarship, I am able to further my education at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. This award helps lift the anxiety of affording all the expenses of college, and I am so thankful for your kindness and help. I plan to further my education in a smart and healthy way, and will not let this award go to waste. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!
– Ashlyn Wright
Alyssa Dozler, Spalding Academy
Mother: Sharyn Dozler, Country Partners Cooperative
I would like to thank the family of George L. Watters for awarding me this scholarship in his memory. The scholarship will greatly benefit me in my future plans of attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and majoring in Pre-Health and Forensic Science. This award will be used for my education as an undergraduate student to help me reach my future career goal of becoming an Anesthesiologist. It is a great honor to be a recipient of your continued support, giving young adults opportunities to fulfill their dreams. Thank you again for awarding me this scholarship, it is truly appreciated!
– Alyssa Dozier
2020 Scholarship Winners
Madalyn Crouse, Thayer Central High School
Grandfather: Charles Kleveland, NPCA President / Uncle: Chas Kleveland, Footes Convenience Plaza
My name is Madalyn Crouse and I am from Chester, Nebraska. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Thayer Central in Hebron. Throughout high school I have been part of band, choir, NHS, Rhythmaires, FBLA, superior honor roll, letter club, and volleyball. I plan to attend UNL this fall to study actuarial science with a minor in accounting. My grandfather, Charles Kleveland, was the past president-elect of the Nebraska Petroleum Marketers Association. My uncle, Chas Kleveland, is owner of Footes Convenience Plaza in Kearney.
Maya Dehart, Central Valley High School
Mother: Wendy Wadas, Trotters Whoa & Go
My name is Maya Dehart. I'm from Ord, Nebraska and I graduated from Central Valley High school. I plan on attending Northeast Community College to pursue my passion and education for agriculture and will major in Diversified Ag.
2019 Scholarship Winners
Alena Carlson, Aurora High School
Father: Jerry Carlson, Aurora Cooperative
My name is Alena Carlson and I am a senior at Aurora High School. I will be graduating summa kum laude with a GPA of 4.05. Throughout high school I have been involved in Softball, FCCLA, National Honor Society, Junior Leadership Academy, Senior Leadership Team, Choir, and Band. Next fall I plan to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney and study Natural Resource Management.
Samantha Graham, Nebraska City High School
Mother: Christina Hilgerson, Speedee Mart
I am a high school senior who goes to Nebraska City High School, and is planning on attending Hastings College in the fall of this year for Business Administration/ law and Criminology. I am a very dedicated student when it comes to school. I take my time working on what I need. I keep all A's and B's throughout the school years. I also have been on honor roll for 7 years. My saying is this: go to school, get your education. Yes, it may not be the best 8 hours of your life, but some of this information really will help you in the future. All you have to do is go to school, pay attention, pass the class and get a good grade. If you do so, you get good grades and you can be on honor roll, which helps you get into colleges and get any scholarship.
Past Scholarship Winners
I will be attending Peru State College in the fall semester of 2016. I will be majoring in Wildlife Ecology with a minor in Biology. I hope to use these degrees to continue into the area of game and parks or other wildlife professions. I have always enjoyed being outdoors and some of my favorites activities include hunting and fishing. I would like to come back to the Sandhills area after college and work either at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, or the Halsey National Forest. While attending Peru State College I will also be participating on their football team. In the future I would like to help with coaching youth sports, because they have been such an important part of my life.