BHSU Students Awarded Make a Difference Scholarship

The Make a Difference Scholarship Initiative Board recently announced Black Hills States University students Lexie Bendigo, Julia Mendel, and Ezekial Duvall are this year's recipients of the annual award.  
Established in 2012 by BHSU Professor Dr. James Hess, the Make a Difference Scholarship was created to inspire and support students at BHSU in their pursuit of making a difference in the Northern Hills Community. Over the years, past recipients have spearheaded various impactful projects such as book houses, collaborations with the Northern Hills Training Center, murals at the Spearfish Rec Center, and most recently the Free Store located on the BHSU campus, which offers students access to essential items like clothing, food, and school supplies, completely free of charge. 
Bendigo, Mendel, and Duvall were each given a portion of the annual scholarship. They were selected based on their exceptional volunteerism, past experiences, and demonstrated commitment to the scholarship’s mission. From May to October 2023, the three students will collaborate on updating and rebranding the scholarship, as well as planning workshops for the upcoming Fall 2023 semester. Additionally, their responsibilities will include fundraising, public relations, and artistic and creative design to ensure the continued success of the Make a Difference Scholarship.  
"I am so honored and excited to be a part of this project. Thank you so much to the Make a Difference Committee for letting me be a part of this opportunity,” Mendel said. Duvall echoed this sentiment by adding, “I am honored to have been chosen to receive this award. I hope that I may help spread awareness about the Make a Difference Scholarship so that the community may prosper from amazing future projects." Bendigo, the third award recipient, said, "I am so happy to have received an award from the Make a Difference Foundation. I support the mission of Make a Difference so much, and I am super excited for the opportunity to work on updating the scholarship." 
Dr. Cheryl Anagnopoulos, Chair of the Make a Difference Initiative Scholarship Board, expressed enthusiasm about the recipients and the future of the scholarship. "The Board was very excited to award Lexie, Julia, and Ezekiel with stipends for this summer as we significantly update the scholarship. We look forward to unveiling the new developments at the beginning of the school year. We believe that the changes will be beneficial to students and the community. These updates maintain the spirit of the scholarship founded by Dr. Hess and will continue the work that was so meaningful to him."