One of the best parts of being a regional marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific is the community outreach. On Friday, April 26, I helped orchestrate a really special kind of outreach for our 2019 Students of Integrity Scholarship program: Surprise our video-essay winner with $5,000.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think a Friday gets better than getting – or giving – a $5,000 check. And it was all the more rewarding to present that check to Kennadi Peterson, a senior at Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) in Central Oregon.
The BBB Foundation awards six $1,000 written essay scholarships for each of the areas we represent (Oregon, Washington, Idaho/Western Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii and Montana) and only one $5,000 video essay scholarship. We try to set up a surprise celebration for the video-essay winner.
This year, I say we absolutely succeeded.
Having already coordinated with the administrators and teachers on day and time, I set out for Redmond from Portland Friday morning, while BBB NW+P Marketing Director Jamie Dillon set out from Boise. The RPA administrators coordinated with Kennadi’s family so they could also show up unannounced for the award presentation. We staged a brief interruption during Kennadi’s Spanish class and all huddled together before entering the room with the check, balloons, cupcakes and even T.V. cameras. The room was filled with disbelief and joy!
Kennadi, who will be attending Oregon State University – Cascades to pursue a degree in business, is a thoughtful and ambitious student. She is a valedictorian for her graduating class, has already traveled parts of the world on service missions and is involved in numerous extra-curriculars. She is truly deserving.
I’m so glad I could take a small part in this day. Being there to congratulate Kennadi before she starts a new adventure at college was meaningful to me because I remember celebrating similar moments with my own friends and family, as well as what it felt like to have outside encouragement.
I have no doubt Kennadi will excel and become an integral part of the business-consumer marketplace BBB works so hard to support.