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Hard work pays off

Molalla High School senior puts a lot of time into applying for college scholarships, and thats on top of all her other activities.


Amanda Rieskamp with Nordstrom scholarship presenter, Ellen GreeneMolalla High School senior Amanda Rieskamp has discovered that earning scholarships for college is practically a full-time job, but it can be well worth the effort.

Rieskamp recently was awarded a $10,000 Nordstrom Scholarship, which recognizes students across the country for their exceptional scholastic achievement and community involvement.

The daughter of Greg and Michelle Rieskamp, Amanda said that even though finding and applying for scholarships is hard work, her mother helps her with a lot of the details.

“I’ve applied for other scholarships, and right now I am working on five or six, including the VFW Voice of American, Elks and KGW scholarships,” Amanda said. “For me to go to college, I need scholarships. That’s the only way I’ll be able to go, so I work hard at it.”

Amanda said she learned about the Nordstrom scholarship from a girl she went to school with at Country Christian. “I saw her win it, and I kept it in mind,” she said.

She applied in February for the scholarship, which required writing two essays and getting a teacher recommendation.

“When I was named a finalist, I had to do a Skype interview with 10 scholarship committee people interviewing me from Nordstrom in Seattle,” she said. “Then I had to wait until October to find out if I won. Now, I just found out I will receive $10,000 plus a MAC laptop. That was a big surprise, the laptop. Definitely cool. I’ve never had a laptop before.”

A 4.0 student, Amanda serves as the student body vice president and senior class president this year. She’s also active in sports, a four-year member of the varsity basketball team, including her senior year, and this coming softball season will make three years on the varsity softball team.

“I am really involved in the Key Club — that’s my passion,” she said. “This year I’m president of the Molalla High School Key Club. It’s a service organization, and we do volunteer service in the community.”

She joined Key Club as a freshman, and then in her sophomore and junior years, she served as lieutenant governor at the district level, in charge of nine other schools in the district.

“It was a great experience,” she said. “The district includes schools in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska. Key Club is a great way to meet people and build leadership skills.”

She has so far earned 400 service hours at Molalla High School, far more than the average, and all through volunteer work in the community and at school.

“With Key Club, I encourage members to volunteer a lot,” she said. “You can develop some great friendships and learn a lot about your community through volunteering.”

When she’s not working on school projects, she holds down an after school and weekend job at Pat’s Acres near Canby, where she helps with customer services and clerical duties in the business office.

“I started there my freshman year, and I love working at Pat’s Acres,” she said. “It’s a family business and they make my hours really flexible so I can work my job around my school activities.”

She has applied to Oregon State University and Corbin University, but said she would consider attending a private college if she can get a good scholarship. She plans to major in political science.

“I like to write, but OSU doesn’t have a great journalism program,” she said. “But they do have a good political science program, so I think that would be a good background for what I am thinking of pursuing.”



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  • 21 Oct 2014

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  • 22 Oct 2014

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