CALUMET - The eight Lighthouse Learner students from the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium and Keweenaw have just completed their third of the eight years required to complete the program. Now entering eighth grade, program participants who meet all requirements will receive a full scholarship to Michigan Technological University upon graduating from high school.
Thursday evening, the students, families, teachers and staff who make the program possible gathered together to celebrate the achievements of the past year. Olivia Frantti, Emilie Jacques, Jenna Kivela-Heinz, Heidi Langley, Chaz Olson, Wyatt Olson, Madison Rajala and Autumn Weidman each took time to thank their parents, teachers and program benefactor, Barbara Herveat Horton, after receiving a certificate for completing the year of 2012-13.
As each student received their certificate, program teachers Charmaine Parsons and Julie Fenton shared some of the activities each individual student is involved in beyond being a Lighthouse Learner. These included athletics, academic teams, advanced classes and community service projects, among others.
Meagan Stilp/Daily Mining Gazette
From left, Olivia Frantti, Autumn Weidman, Jenna Kivela-Heinz, Madison Rajala, Heidi Langley, Emilie Jacques, Chaz Olson and Wyatt Olson stand after a celebration marking the Lighthouse Learners third complete year. The eight students have been part of the program since fifth grade and if they continue to participate they will receive a full scholarship to Michigan Technological University upon high school graduation.
"It's really kind of overwhelming when I look back at all the things that these students did in one year," said Darlene Dahl, program director.
To be a Lighthouse Learner, students must attend 30 sessions throughout the school year and three throughout the summer, a week at Summer Youth Programs at Michigan Tech, a week of spiritual learning and independent learning components in additional to normal coursework and a myriad of extracurricular activities. With the help of Jen Martin from Michigan Tech, the students are also able to spend time participating in Tech programs and touring the campus and departments. This year, program attendance was more than 97 percent.
"I am blessed to be fortunate enough to do this program,' said Horton during an emotional speech at the end of the program.
Horton's endowment will provide a full scholarship for active participants - those who miss less than 10 percent of Lighthouse Learners activities - including tuition, housing, books and fees at Michigan Tech.