Black Hills State University’s Make a Difference Initiative (MADI) announced BHSU student Elly Storm as the recipient of the 2024-25 scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to a deserving student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement, a commitment to making a positive impact, and exhibits a strong desire to make a lasting difference within the local community. This is the first year the scholarship provides full, in-state tuition coverage. 
Among numerous applications featuring community project proposals, the selection committee chose Storm and her “Paws for Mental Health” project. Storm’s project works with the BHSU Psychology club and Northern Hills Humane Society to support the shelter through volunteerism. The initiative also serves BHSU students by providing emotional support during finals week through engagement with shelter animals currently awaiting adoption. 
“We had some wonderful submissions for the scholarship this year. The committee selected Elly Storm's application because of its thoroughness. Storm has a history of volunteerism and follows in the footsteps of her grandparents,” said Dr. Cheryl Anagnopolous, committee head and Professor of Psychology at BHSU. 
Storm is a senior at BHSU and maintains a 4.0 GPA while actively participating in the Psychology club as the elected treasurer, the Psi Chi chapter as the secretary, the Cognitive Psychology Lab as a researcher, and the BHSU Career Development team as a peer mentor. The MADI scholarship aims to support promising students in their pursuit of higher education and to empower them to become future leaders and change-makers in their communities.  
In addition to Storm, students Alyssa Diaz and Arianna Loux-Scherer were selected as recipients of the MADI summer program. The MADI Summer Awards are given to students to help promote the Make a Difference Initiative Scholarship. The projects have included preparing press materials, ongoing work on the webpage, and developing a newsletter featuring the work of our scholarship recipients. Diaz will be working alongside the MADI committee to update and improve their website and increase traffic, while Loux-Scherer will be working to create newsletters and posters to promote applications to future MADI scholarships.  
“This summer program is a great opportunity to get familiar with MADI and to meet more people within my department,” says Loux-Scherer. “I hope I can continue to be involved with this program in years to come.” 
Diaz spoke about “leaving the world a better place than you found it,” which echoes the thoughts of the scholarship’s founder, Dr. James Hess. 
For more information about the Make a Difference Initiative and its future scholarship programs, please contact Dr. Cheryl Anagnopolous at