2008 Awards Ceremony
Kids’ Chance of Arkansas is a program designed to provide scholarships to dependent children of workers who have been killed or left permanently and totally disabled by job-related injuries or illnesses that are covered under the Arkansas workers’ compensation laws.
On July 24, 2008, the Kids’ Chance of Arkansas Awards Ceremony was held at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, AR. First Lady Ginger Beebe greeted the 2008 scholarship recipients, families, sponsors and guests as they arrived. She spoke briefly to the group, welcoming them to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and encouraged those attending to explore the garden areas that are new to the mansion this year.
Ron Lensing, Board Member and Secretary of Kids’ Chance of Arkansas, gave a brief history of the scholarship program and introduced the Board of Directors. Retiring board members, Betty Demory, Dan Farley, and Ken Olsen, were presented with plaques acknowledging their service and commitment to Kids’ Chance for the last seven years.
Julie Bowman, Arkansas’ Insurance Commissioner, served as guest speaker for the event. Prior to assuming her position with the Arkansas Insurance Department, Ms. Bowman served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. It was during this tenure that she was instrumental in starting the Kids’ Chance scholarship program in Arkansas.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the 2008 Kids’ Chance of Arkansas sponsors. The realization of a college diploma for some would not be possible if not for generous sponsors. Steve Strange, Sr. and Steve Strange, Jr., of American Management Corporation, accepted their 2008 certificate and made a surprise announcement. Their family pledged $10,000 in continued support of this worthwhile scholarship program. KC thanks AMC for their continued support and commitment. For a full listing of this year’s Kids’ Chance sponsors, return to the Kids’s Chance main page and click on Sponsors.
Tawanna Ogeta accepted the sponsor appreciation certificate for Skippy this year. Skippy has been a financial supporter of the Kids’ Chance of Arkansas scholarship program for several years. Skippy provided canvas goody bags filled with Unilever products for each of the recipients again this year.
Each year, five scholarship recipients are asked to speak at the ceremony. They not only share about the tragedy that has touched their lives, they share about their dreams for the future. One of this year’s recipients, Kristen White, said, “Continuing my education represents freedom and a sense of stability I have never known. It symbolizes proof; proof to myself that I can rise above and become whatever it is in this world that I want to be. And also proof to everyone who believes in me, that their faith was not a wasted effort, but a sincere blessing.” Kristen will attend Arkansas Tech and major in Creative Writing Education. She hopes to become an English teacher some day and says, “I know I have the capacity to be a positive leader and role model for those who are willing to learn and make their chances for a brighter future a reality.” (For a full list of recipients and a short bio of each, return to the KC main page and click on 2008 Recipients.)
The young people that apply for KC scholarships each year are all seeking help with funding their education. However, a scholarship is not the only thing they receive. They are given encouragement by the fact that a group of people can see their potential and want to invest in it. The front of the Kids’ Chance brochure contains a quote which also defines the purpose of this organization.
"All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should
have an equal opportunity to develop our talent."
President John F. Kennedy
2008 Scholarship Recipients
Pictured from left to right, front row: Kristen White, Lauren Duke, Amanda LeMay, Nicole Stacy, L. J. Bryant, Michelle McElroy, and Arkansas’ First Lady Ginger Beebe. Second row, Allyson Brewer Pittman, Linzey Stacy, Sierra Anderson, Clint Engle, and Landon Sullins Not Pictured: Amber Baker, Janell Brinkley, Haley Coleman, Caleb Craig, Justin Foyil, Cherish Gray, Wesley Hansen, Lauren Hughes, Hayley McDaniel, Hollis Proffitt, Shannon Raley, Melanie Rivers, Ashley Ucetta, and Taryn Walker