Logan High School senior Natalie Allen and Charleston Catholic High School senior Lindsay Kruska were awarded Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund (LPEF) full scholarships to West Virginia University at a special ceremony May 10 in the Governors Reception Room at the State Capitol.
The scholarships are four-year undergraduate awards worth about $42,000, and include tuition, room, board, books and fees, plus a stipend to travel abroad or another education-enhancing opportunity.
Allen and Kruska were introduced this morning by Gov. Cecil Underwood, WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and James R. McCartney, a member of the WVU Alumni Associations LPEF trust committee.
The recipients of the award were chosen by a representative of the WVU Presidents Office, the President of the WVU Alumni Association and the Trust Committee made up of Gen. Earl Anderson, James H.”Buck”Harless and McCartney.
“We are very proud that these scholarships will enable Natalie and Lindsay, two of West Virginias best and brightest students, to be a part of the WVU Class of 2004,”McCartney said.”They are exceptional students who now have the opportunity to get an exceptional education.”
Allen is the daughter of Marty and Kleta Allen of Logan.
Her dream of touring the world as a concert pianist has an interesting twist: She wants to practice medicine during her travels.
“While performing around the globe,”Allen wrote on her application,”I hope to work with needy children, giving them the medical attention they so desperately need.”
In addition to completing medical school, she also wants to earn a masters degree in music performance.
An accomplished pianist, Allen also plays saxophone and has twice performed in the WVU Honor Band. She has received two first place prizes and one third place award at WVMEA Mountain State Piano Competitions during her high school career. She teaches piano and tutors math in her spare time.
Allen has distinguished herself at Logan High by serving as the bands field commander and participating in student council, Key Club, Prayer Club, National Honor Society, marching, jazz and concert bands and the dance team.
Her academic honors include West Virginia Governors Honor Academy, Herff Jones Presidential Leadership Award, Bausch and Lomb Science Award and National English Merit Award.
Allen believes her role as president of the Nighbert Memorial Church youth group is her most important leadership position.
“Although my youth group is only a little less than 40 members strong, I am able to have a widespread impact through our donations and community projects,”she said.”For example, we assist the needy by visiting nursing homes and shut-ins, by helping with the food pantry and by donating toys and filling Christmas stockings with gifts and toys for young children through the Salvation Army.”
She will major in music and biochemistry at WVU .
Kruska is the daughter of Ralph and Claudia Kruska of Charleston.
The Catholic High School senior said she discovered the importance of leadership and determination when she was co-captain of her schools cross country team this past year.
Kruska has learned well how to channel the qualities of leadership and determination into the academic success she will need to fulfill her dreams of earning a chemical engineering degree and becoming a doctor.
She was a member of the National Junior Honor Society from 1996-1997; secretary of the National Honor Society from 1997-1999 and a National Merit Semi-Finalist in 1999. During the same year, she won the Bausch and Lomb Science Medal. Additionally, she is vice president of her Spanish Club.
When not studying, she volunteers as a candy striper at a local hospitalwork she considers to be informal training for her future medical career.
“Through my volunteer work at the hospital,”she said.”I have already become acquainted with some aspects of the medical field and have a strong desire to pursue medicine. I feel prepared and willing to accept any challenges that I will be presented with in college.”
As she looks to her future, Kruska sees herself as a”well-respected doctor, practicing medicine in a small community. I hope to be active in my church community and spend my time wisely in the community.”