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2022 ISCA Scholarship Winner

Payton Vander Woude
Lewis Central High School

A light in a very dark time was Mrs. Johnson, my third grade counselor at Lewis Central Elementary School. That year my dad had died and I went through some of the darkest times of my life. I did not know how to deal with my emotions, I did not know how to move on, I did not know how to cope with the pain, and I did not know how to continue being a kid. I struggled significantly that year and I will continue to struggle as my life goes on. But Mrs. Johnson made the pain and sadness bearable. I remember the lunch hours where I could just talk about anything and everything with her. I remember the hugs that felt like a warm blanket on a cold day. The laughs we shared after sharing the stories that comforted us. The safeness I felt when she surrounded me. The look in her eyes that made it seem like everything will be okay. She stood by my side in a very dark time. She taught me it's okay to not be okay. But above everything she made a very impossible time in my life a little less impossible. So thank you, Mrs. Johnson. I am forever Grateful.

Congratulations to Payton! After high school, Payton plans to attend Oklahoma State University to study Hospitality and Tourism Management with a specialization in Event Management.

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