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Thank You Notes From Scholarship Recipients

Dear Generous Members of the Bethel Educational Scholarship Team:

I am writing to thank you for the $500 Jordan Reifel, Sr. Scholarship I received from you in 2009 to go towards my college education.  I am thrilled and proud to inform you that just three years later, I received my Bachelor's Degree from Whitman College, making me the first person in my family to attain a college degree!
Throughout my time at Whitman I was exposed to hundreds of new opportunities including working for a drug and alcohol recovery community, becoming head of Sorority Recruitment, serving in the student Senate, tutoring 20 hour weeks at a local high school and participating in organizations such as the Christian fellowship on campus, flag football, ultimate frisbee and dance performances every semester.  My college experience was enlightening, demanding and transformatiional.  I was constantly expected to take an active role in all aspects of my life.  Passivity was not an option.  I now bring that same approach to life in my post-college decisions and opportunities.

I am currently working in Dallas, Texas, for Teach for America -- a highly selective non-profit that puts recent college graduates in low-income schools in an effort to close the achievement gap that exists between the children from high income backgrounds and the children from low-income backgrounds in our country.  My commitment in Dallas is a minimum of two years, but many teachers in this program stay for longer.  The vision of Teach for America is that "one day, all children in this national will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education."  I would noit have been able to join such a movement had I not received an education at a school that was committed to developing me not only as a scholar, but also as a leader with character and compassion.

There are many educational paths I am considering for the future:  Educational Leadership, School Counseling, Urban Planning and Low Income Health Services.  I may pursue advancing my educatiional during my commitment to Teach for America or shortly thereafter.  In the near future I also intend to live abroad for at least a year.  I believe being immersed in another culture will bring a wealth of perspective that cannot be learned from a textbook.  In the long-term, I see myself working for a non-profit that strives for equal access to excellent public education and/or health services.

Your investment in my potential helped me get to where I am today.  I plan to invest in my students in my students the same way as you did in me through my teaching, truly believing that educational inequality is the civil rights movement of our time.  All students, regardless of their socioeconomic status, deserve an excellent education. 

Thank you once again for your commitment to making higher education a reality for students from low-income backgrounds; it has surely not gone unnoticed.

Thank you gor your investment in me,
Autumn Knutson
Graham Kapowsin 2009
Whitman College 2012
Teach for America 2012


I am so honored to receive the BEST Scholarship. Honestly, I was surprised when my name was called because I assumed someone worthier than me would receive the scholarship. Thank you so much for letting me be the recipient. I plan to be a huskie at the University of Washington-Tacoma! Money is tight these days and I couldn't be any more grateful. Thank you oh so much.


Kyessa H


I would like to say thank you for sponsoring my award of the Bethel Educational Fund Scholarship in the amount of $750.

Being the recipient of this award means a great deal to me because, as you robably kno, times are tough for basically everyone and I believe that anything can help with the funding of college tuition, no matter how much it is.

In the fall, I will be attending Saint Martin's University. I plan on declaring a major in Chemistry and a minor in Criminal Justice. With this award, it will help make my dreams of completing college become more real.

I am greatly honored to have received this award. It makes me proud that I was recognized for all my accomplishments and hard work through my high school years. As some may say, it literally pays off to do well in school.

Once again I am very grateful upon receiving the Bethel Education Fund Scholarship. I will always remember and be thankful that I was chosen as the recipient of this award.

Thank you once again!


Justine C.


I would like to thank you for the scholarship given to me by the Bethel Educational Fund. The cost of tuition just went up for Washington State University, as well as many other schools, and I plan on paying my own way through college. The amount given me will help me immensely. College is such an important thing to me; I have always been expected to go to college. With a four year degree I can be what I want to be and have the knowledge to do so well. The most powerful thing that can be given to a person is knowledge and I plan on gaining as much as possible over the next four years. I have a bright future because I like to be educated and what you gave to me will only aid me in my endeavor for higher education. Your contribution will not go without appreciation. Someday too, I hope I can give back. I always dreamed of Bethel having its own pool (being as I was a varsity letter on Bethel's swim team, three years running and I love the water). I always thought it was sad that Bethel had such great athletes and there was never really a place for them to go. It is kind of sad that the weight room at Bethel High School is in a portable. As long as I can remember I have been at the YMCA and I know that a place like that out in Bethel would do wonders for the community. I hope to start something back in my home town of Spanaway like that and your scholarship will only aid me in that.

Thank Thank you,

Sara N.


Thank you for the scholarship. This means a lot to me as a student and as a person not because you are just giving me money, but because you are helping me succeed for the rest of my life. This scholarship will go towards my tuition at Washington State University where I will be studying computer science. I hope one day I can help you as much as you have helped me.


Nate J.


I am writing this letter to convey my sincere thankfulness and appreciation for the scholarship that you have given me. It is a wonderful feeling to know that there are people in my community who believe in and support my education. This scholarship takes me one step closer to the completion of my bachelors degree and for that I am forever thankful.

A donation such as this from my community strengthens my desire to stay an active community member and help those around me as long as I am able. I can never thank you enough for your support in my future and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities this scholarship presents. Thank you!

Hannah K.