2024 KKD Winners

  Graduating from Pennfield High School in Battle Creek will usher in a good number of changes in Emma Brown’s life. She’ll head to Concordia University in Chicago, Illinois, to study Exercise Science. As a high school student, Emma led fundraising for the Student Advisory Committee, was a member of the National Honor Society, and played first chair flute in the band. Inspired by an internship in the Physical Therapy department at Bronson Hospital, Emma hopes to apply her degree and experiences to a career in health and fitness as a nutritionist, personal trainer, physical therapist, health coach, and even a yoga instructor. Emma has a deep and profound understanding of the human experience, and rather than going back and changing anything in her life, she knows she’s learned from every experience, good or bad. She realizes that every choice she’s made has made her who she is today, and she wants to continue looking forward and focus on becoming the person she dreams of becoming instead of looking at the past.
  Once Audrey Strapp graduates from Gahanna Lincoln High School, she will be attending Ohio State University to study Business/Accounting. She hopes to become either a financial analyst or a financial manager someday. While going to high school, she was involved in many school activities, including Varsity tennis, National Honor Society, School House Mentor (Captain), and School Ambassador. Along with those activities, she was also active in her community by volunteering at G.R.I.N., church nursery, Sunday School Teacher/Aid, Nationwide Children’s Marathon, dance camp, and Ronald McDonald House. She prides herself in her hard-working mindset, softheartedness, and friendliness.
  During his high school career, Miguel Pita-Ruiz prioritized his education. His efforts resulted in high ACT and SAT marks and a 4.0 GPA. After graduating from Douglas County High School, Miguel plans to pursue a degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His activities in high school included robotics and art club.
Anna Roethlisberger is planning to follow her dream of laying a solid foundation in health care by pursuing Athletic Training at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. Later on, she wants to become a Physician’s Assistant. She hopes to enhance her skills in injury prevention, evaluation, and rehabilitation while attending school. Attending Mattawan High School, Anna excelled in National Honor Society and women’s lacrosse. Her biggest accomplishment is being a part of the Alpine Ski Team, where she achieved 4th place in conference (Freshman), champion in conference (Sophomore), academic all-state (Junior and Senior), three-time MVP, and 2024 Giant Slalom Team State Champion. She contributed to her community by volunteering for the Mattawan Area Food Pantry and Mattawan High School Concessions. Perseverance and determination are her greatest strengths when faced with obstacles or setbacks.
  After graduating from Lincoln East High School, Regan Barnard will move to Omaha, where she intends to study Kinesiology at the University of Nebraska/Omaha, run track, and eventually become a Physical or Occupational Therapist. As someone whose life revolves around sports and constant movement, Regan is curious to know what Michael Jordan would have done with his life if basketball hadn’t been an option. In addition to her athletic prowess, Regan won an academic letter as a student who made the honor roll all four years of high school. She also used her leadership skills as Captain of the Lincoln East girls basketball team and was a four-year letter winner who was named All-Conference in both basketball and track. In middle school and high school, Regan was chosen to participate in the University of Nebraska’s NHRI Leadership Mentor program, which is a leadership development program.
After graduating from Pius X High School, Seth Berens plans to study Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. While in high school, Seth was part of the Academic Decathlon and was a national qualifier one year and earned a varsity letter the next. He ran cross country and played football his freshman and sophomore years, was on the swimming and diving team all four years, serving two years as co-captain, and ran track, qualifying for state one year and earning varsity letters for two of the years. Seth was a Marshal for Squires, a member of God Teens, and his proudest achievement, Seth attained Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. Among Seth’s career goals is owning his own company that builds cars that run on hydrogen instead of gasoline. He’d also like to be part of a team that builds and competes with dune buggies that run on hydrogen.
After graduating from Pius X High School, Collin Howell is planning to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University to study Accounting and continue his golf career. While attending Pius X, Collin was involved in the golf team and a student manager for the boys’ basketball team. He was an active part of the community by volunteering in numerous different positions, such as; St. John’s Fish Fry, Lincoln Youth Golf League, St. John’s Firework Stand, Youth 7th Grade Basketball Assistant Coach, St. John’s God Teen Youth Group, and Meals on Wheels. Among the many originations that Collin dedicated his time to, his most profound experience was when he got to volunteer at the Korn Ferry Golf Tournament. He has had a love for the game of golf throughout his whole life; watching professionals play taught him how much fun and commitment the game is. His greatest strengths are being kind to others, telling the truth no matter the consequences, and being a responsible and reliable person.
Once Abbey Kohn graduates from Lincoln Southwest High School, she plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to double major in Textiles, Merchandising, Fashion Design, and French. While in high school, she was a member of the track & field team and Health Occupation Students of America. She received 4th place at state H.O.S.A in Anatomage. Her goal is to obtain a job in the fashion industry while using her skills in the French language. Her greatest strengths are her desire to learn new things, attention to detail, and having new experiences.
  Preslie Spurling’s strong passion for kids and her love of watching them grow and learn will take her to Nebraska Wesleyan University to study elementary and special education. At Lincoln East High School, she participated in several varsity choir groups while volunteering in the community as an assistant dance teacher and youth volleyball coach. She currently works for a child development center, which has made her passion for teaching kids even stronger.
  Dan Vo’s plan immediately after graduating from Pius X High School is to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earn a degree in Software Engineering, where he will continue to fuel his curiosity about software. During his time at Pius X High School, he was involved in athletics that included tennis and track & field. Academically, he was involved in National Honor Society for his Junior and Senior years. He was actively volunteering throughout his community at Cathedral of Risen Christ, Lincoln Guardians of Freedom Airshow, Matt Talbot Food Pantry, Catholic Social Services Food Market, and North American Martyrs School. Dan is proud of the innovated ways he answers solutions and collaborates with team members.
  Kyley Petersen envisions a future dedicated to nurturing children’s learning. Following graduation from Waverly High School, she aims to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Wayne State College or the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Subsequently, she plans to further her education by obtaining a Master’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to establish a private practice or contribute to an elementary school environment. Throughout her high school journey, Kyley engaged in various activities, including sports such as basketball and volleyball, alongside extracurricular activities like Future Business Leaders of America, One-Act Play, National Honor Society, and Student Council. Additionally, she generously volunteered in her community, supporting groups such as the Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach and community food drives, among others.
  Samantha Scott has her sights set on graduating from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She plans to eventually earn her doctorate degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. During her time at Roncalli High School, she participated in many activities such as; volleyball, track & field, National Honor Society (Vice President), theater, Honors Choir, and Roncalli Singers. Samantha was actively involved in her community as a volunteer for Girl Scouts, Walk to Prevent Suicide, leaf raking, Sierra Club Dinner, Janet Plant Fundraiser, and Solo and Ensemble. Her most memorable experience was volunteering for Vacation Bible School and impacting the lives of the kids who attended. She is very determined and willing to help others.
  Brayden DePuy plans to pursue Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, after graduating from Paw Paw High School. In the future, he hopes to work for an aviation or automotive company. While attending high school, he excelled in Varsity football and Varsity Power Lifting, where he lettered in both and was named Team Captain for Power Lifting. Brayden has many strengths that consist of problem-solving, creativity, multitasking, and the ability to work under pressure.
  Paige Riley will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the fall to continue her education in Vet Science. During her time at Milford High School, Paige was involved in volleyball, track, band, FBLA (Vice President), FCCLA, and Student Council (Secretary). She gave back to her community by volunteering at the Food Drive, Unified Sports, Christ’s Place Church, Field Day, and Volleyball camp. In the future, she plans to volunteer at a local animal shelter to help cats and dogs find homes. One of Paige’s greatest strengths is staying true to herself and seeing the good in all people.
  After graduating from Potterville High School this spring, Eric Vue will be attending Michigan State University to further his studies in Pre-Pharmacy. After finishing at Michigan State University, he would like to transfer to Michigan College of Pharmacy to follow the steps of his mother and become a Pharmacist. He actively participated in athletics while attending school. He was part of the Varsity Soccer, track, marching band, and cross-country teams. Eric strived in academics and was proudly a member of the National Honor Society, where he was elected Treasurer, and Student Council where he was the Class Executive. He volunteered for his community at Hmong Family Association, where he took pride in organizing activities for youth at the annual New Year’s festival. Eric takes pride in himself as a person who is always willing to be there for others.
Liam Evans‘ plan after graduating from David Douglas High School is to complete his general education classes at Mount Hood Community College and then transfer to Portland State University to major in Technical Filmmaking and Computer Science. During high school, he was a proud member of the Wind Ensemble (Band) and Stage Run Crew (Technical Theater). His community volunteering activities included SOLVE Street Cleanup and SnowCap Food Distribution. Liam has a passion for writing, music, filmmaking, and history. Those passions have helped him excel in writing short stories, creating stop-motion films and scripts, and learning to play the guitar.
After graduating from Seward High School, Ona Stutzman plans on attending Concordia University but is still unsure about what her course of study will be. She will also be continuing her athletic career by being a member of the Concordia basketball team. While attending high school Ona was a Varsity letter winner for softball, basketball, and track & field. She was involved in FCA, Junior Jays Mentoring Program, and National Honor Society through her school. Ona gave a lot of her time to her community by volunteering at various places. These places are the People City Mission (Lincoln & Omaha), Youth Basketball Camps, Vacation Bible School, Youth Softball Camps, Youth Group, New Horizons Ministry, and Life-Care Alliance. 
  After graduating from Seward High School, Emily Bujarski will be attending the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, to pursue Art Education. Art has always allowed her to express herself and be creative, which is something that she loves. During high school she was part of the soccer and cross country (manager) athletic teams and extra-curricular activities that include Skills USA and Key Club. Emily was also involved in numerous musical activities including marching band, musical, wind ensemble/symphonic band, One Act, and mixed choir. She gave back to her community by volunteering for Multi-Cultural Fair Day, Blue River Pet Rescue, nursing home, Canned Food Drive, and Soup Dinner. Her greatest strength is being able to be creative through art and music, which has helped her gain confidence.
  Megan Zahnow plans to follow her dream of working with injured athletes by majoring in Exercise Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she will earn her Bachelor’s Degree. She then wants to apply to a physical therapy doctorate program. As a student at Vicksburg High School, Megan was involved in numerous activities such as; cross country, track, indoor track, marching band, symphonic band, and National Honor Society. She strived to become a captain of multiple activities. She gave back to her community by volunteering at Middle School cross country and track meets, Club Competitive Gymnastics, church youth group (Team Leader), Florida Hurricane Relief, leaf raking for the elderly, and children’s programs at her local church. Megan’s greatest strengths are her hard work, dedication, and perseverance throughout life. She prides herself in the practice that she puts into each new skill.
After being a patient at a local physical therapy establishment, Carleigh Bodfield is following her dreams of becoming a Physical Therapist at the University of Nebraska-Wesleyan. Her goal is to help people in difficult challenges and watch them surpass hardships, just like she did. She wants to major in Pre-Physical Therapy at Wesleyan and then transfer to UNMC for Graduate School. While a student at Waverly High School, she was involved in numerous school activities, such as yearbook, softball, journalism, Academics Honor Roll, and National Honor Society. She also was an active member of her community by being involved in her local youth group, Big Sister, babysitting, and Youth Group Outreach. Carleigh prides herself on being able to communicate with others, be a good team member, and her ability to adjust to changes.

2023 Workforce Development Winners

Dylan Pirnie got into aviation when he took power mechanics. Because he liked his power mechanics teacher a lot, he wanted to take more of her classes. Those other classes just happened to be aviation related. Near the end of the year, he learned about the Duncan Aviation internship, so he asked his teacher about it. It was an offer he couldn’t refuse; free work experience and the high chance of getting a job. 

Benjamin Harwood is graduating senior from North Star High School. He has a passion for aviation and is pursuing a career as a pilot. He will attend Ignite Flight Academy in the fall. 

2023 KKD Winners

After graduating from Otsego High School, Wilhelmina Hawes plans on attending Michigan State Lyman Briggs College to study and major in astrophysics, then pursue a master’s degree. After graduation, her goal is to work for NASA and pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics. In high school, she earned several honors and awards during her time on the marching band, jazz band, and pep band. She was also on tech crew and achieved 4th Dan Black Belt for Tae Kwon Do.

Emma Price sets her sights on graduating from Spring Arbor University with a degree in Elementary Education. During her years at Harper Creek High School, Emma took every opportunity to participate in co-op education programs at several area schools to earn an MI-YDA (Michigan Youth Development Associate) certificate, a Paraprofessional certification, and valuable work experience. If that wasn’t enough, she was an Advisory Board & Leadership team member of the Calhoun Area Career Center and a member of the International Travel Club and National Society of High School Scholars. She gave back to her community by volunteering her time for church mission trips, the local food pantry, and other community activities.

Hayden Huskey plans to fulfill a life-long dream of helping people solve problems in innovative ways by studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln. As a student at Johnson County Central High School, Hayden was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore; served on Student Council all four years (serving as President his senior year); was active in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) all four years; performed with the school choir and received numerous honors and awards; had the lead in the school musical his Junior year, earning the Best Male Vocalist award; earned a letter the three years he competed as a Cross Country runner his freshman, sophomore, and junior years; and was a member of BUDS, mentoring and helping special education students with their social skills. As a youth suffering from Alopecia areata, Nick has developed mental strength, possesses great drive and determination, and believes that it’s not what happens to you in life that matters, it’s how you react to it.

Taden Fix has his sights set on graduating from Southeast Community College with a degree in the Health Sciences. During his years at Norris High School, Taden participated in cross country and soccer, being named to All-Conference in both. His various community and church activities included Holland Church Youth Group, picking up litter around the Hickman/Firth community, creating and delivering care packages to Goldcrest Nursing Home, and making blankets for the Child Advocacy Center.


Ethan Beach’s plan immediately after graduating from Cedar Valley High School is to complete technical courses at Mountainland Technical College to earn certification in welding. Afterward, he plans to attend the University of Utah to pursue an Engineering & Business degree. All four years of Ethan’s high school years were full of activities, both athletic (football), academic (National Honor Society & Honor Roll), and civic (Future Farmers of America). He participated in and had leadership roles in many community and social groups, including Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout), Rescue Mission of Salt Lake City, and church youth groups.

While attending Harper Creek High School, Grace Babcock was very active within her community. She participated in Varsity Tennis, Student Council, Volleyball, Basketball, Marching Band, Golf, and Link Crew, while also making her dual enrollment classes through Kellogg Community College a priority. She volunteered at Kambly Living Center, the Youth Volleyball Program, and the Youth Basketball Program. After graduating, Grace plans on attending Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek before transferring to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

After graduating from Harper Creek High School, Callahan Gothberg has plans to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Battle Creek, where he will study Youth and Student Ministries. Throughout his time in high school, Callahan participated in Varsity Tennis while founding and leading the Bible Study Club. Callahan also volunteered at the Food Bank and as a Youth Worship Team Leader.


After graduating from Lincoln Southwest High School, Hayley Corbridge plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study Communication Sciences and Disorders. While in high school, Hayley was consistently an Honor Roll student, was in the Nebraska Now Program, and was an office assistant. She also spent a lot of her time volunteering in her community. Hayley was a member of the Nebraska Contemporary Dance Theater, Pure Movement Dance and Southwood Lutheran Youth Group. She also volunteered at Pink Gorilla races and Southwood Serves, was a dance assistant, and nannied. She was also a shift lead at Dairy Queen and a Starbucks partner. Hayley’s goal in life is to become a Speech and Language Pathologist focused on pediatrics. She has always loved kids and wants to help them succeed in life.

After graduating from North Star High School in Lincoln, Thi Dinh plans to study Marketing and continue her education in Miami, Fla., where she is currently deciding on a school. While in High School, Thi participated in Theatre, Cheer, the Key Club, and National Honor Society. She also made it a priority to give back to her community by volunteering with the Salvation Army and Center for People in Need.


While attending Pius X High School, Kara Higgins was actively engaged in her community, participating in Spectrum Varsity Show Choir, Rolling Thunder Band, Aca Bella’s Women’s Choir, Pius X Choir, Pius X Jazz, the Archery Team, the Sign Language Club, and the Sewing Club. Kara also volunteered at Godteens Fellowship, Marian Camp, and Totus Tuus Youth Camp throughout her time in High School. After graduating, Kara plans on attending Concordia University in Seward, Neb.


Cecilia Howell will attend Nebraska Wesleyan University this fall, majoring in nursing and minoring in Spanish. While at Pius X High School, she was involved in many activities, including Campus Ministry, show choir, Pius X Players Theater, God’s Teen Youth Group, Pro-Life Club, Chic-Fil-A Leadership Academy, Archery Club, and the National Honor Society. She also volunteered her time at Camp Kitaki SKY Camp, Meals on Wheels, and Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach.

After graduating from Lincoln High School, Mana Jacobo plans on attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln but is still unsure of her course of study. During her time at Lincoln Hish, Mana was involved in swimming/diving, track/field, cross country and National Honor’s Society. Mana gave back to her community by volunteering at UNL and Lincoln Parka and Recreation swim meets and working on the Link Crew.

Gracyn Jozsa plans to study pre-physical therapy at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in the fall. She’s known since she was in 8th grade and shredded her ACL that she wants to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist so she can help people, easing their pain while making them comfortable. While attending North Star High School, Gracyn played violin in the Varsity/Chamber Orchestra all four years, acted in Theatre, served as Captain of the Color Guard, marched in the North Star Marching Band, and sang in the Senior Choir. Gracyn was inducted into the National Honor Society her Senior year, and she gave generously of her time, volunteering at various church activities at St. Patrick’s, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach, and helping with children in elementary classrooms in Lincoln. As someone who is dedicated to continuously setting goals and learning all she can, Gracyn would love to ask composer Franz Schubert what he wanted the final movement of his Unfinished Symphony (Symphony No. 8) to sound like.

After graduating from Lincoln Southwest High School, Reid Nelson plans on attending the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., where he will study mechanical engineering. He is pursuing this course of study because he enjoys math and science and is very good with his hands. While at Southwest High School, Reid played tennis, where he was Team Captain his senior year.


Once McKenna Pry graduates from Blue Ridge High School, she plans on attending North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., to study biology and play softball. After her four-year degree, she would like to attend Clemson Veterinary School with the end goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian so she can help farmers that live in her area. In high school, McKenna was on the softball team, BETA Club, National Honor Society, and Future Farmers of America. She also volunteered for the Greer Soup Kitchen, went on a mission trip to New Orleans, made Christmas cards for nursing home patients, and volunteered in the Operation Christmas Child warehouse.

Zachary Stewart attended Portage Central High School in Portage, Mich., and he’s planning to attend Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where he will study Biomedical Sciences/Pre-Med and eventually become an Orthopedic Surgeon. Making the most of his high school years, Zachary played on the Varsity Basketball team, lettering all four years and was President of the Table Tennis club. He was active in Link Leaders, was inducted into the National Honor Society, and received an IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma. Among the many organizations Zachary has given his time and talents, his favorite was the Miracle League, which allows children with special needs to play softball. Zachary has learned to cherish every moment he has with the people he cares about because he knows that one way or another, that time will end. He feels this knowledge has made him a better person because he makes sure the time he spends with his loved ones is always quality time.

After graduating from Lincoln Southwest High School, Caden Cram intends to work on a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. Like most kids, he’d had career dreams when he was younger. However, Caden had an epiphany and realized his career needs to be related to something he’s passionate about, like sports. As a student and student athlete, who was an Academic All-State all four years in golf, Caden believes in always doing the best he can, regardless of the challenges that spring up in life. He learned at a young age that mistakes are tools to learn from, not missteps that define you, and he’s used the mistakes he’s made in life to become a better person. He’s also one of those rare young men who realizes that it’s not a cliché: Our time with those we love is fleeting. Caden believes he has to make the most of his time with his grandmother and his parents every single day. He has watched his grandma shower unconditional love on him and his family, her friends, and even people she doesn’t know, and he tremendously admires her selflessness. His greatest strength in life is listening, and he knows listening is the best way for him to soak in information.


After graduating from Vicksburg High School, Sophia Carrier plans on attending Lake Michigan College to pursue an associate’s degree in Pre-Engineering. She will then obtain her bachelor’s degree at a college yet to be determined. While in high school, she led her volleyball team as Team Captain or Co-Captain all four years and was a member of the National Honor Society. She gave back to her community as a volunteer for the Salvation Army, children’s hospital, food pantry, and church youth group.

Once Elijah Ware graduates from Scotch Plains Farnwood High School, he plans on attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., to study business. In high school, Elijah received excellent grades, putting him on the Honor Roll all four years. Elijah was also on his high school soccer team, volleyball team, and track team. He was also an active member of a Bible club, salsa club, and was the team innovator and designer for the logos and t-shirts for the Raiders Robotics club. In his community, he was a camp counselor, tutor, media volunteer at his church, and he volunteered at several food, clothing, and toy drives. Elijah says he is blessed to be adopted into a loving and successful family, and that the people related to him by blood never applied themselves. Going to college and pursuing his education means a lot more to him than just getting a job and being successful. Going to college means Elijah would be the first out of three generations to go to college. He feels a large amount of responsibility to set an example as to how far in life hard work, perseverance, and determination can take you.

After graduating from Waverly High School, Conner Beachler plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney to study Computer Science. While at Waverly, Conner was on the football and trap teams, was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in the Global Voices and Robotics clubs.

The Asian Center

During last summer’s heat wave, Duncan Aviation’s Human Resources team bought and donated 150 16-inch oscillating pedestal fans to the Asian Center. Warehouse Team Lead Ryan Young and Shipping/Receiving Specialist Randy Kozak delivered and unloaded six pallets of boxes so clients of the center who needed a break from the heat could receive a free fan.

For the past couple of years, the Duncan Aviation Family Trust has sponsored a table, donated supplies, and provided hangar space for the center’s annual Curry Clash where chefs from 15 local restaurants are invited to prepare an Asian-inspired dish and the public buys entry tickets as a center fundraiser.

The Upholstery Shop also donated an industrial sewing machine. “We had one not in use, donated it, and set it up,” says Curt Eliker, Assistant Manager of Interior Modifications and Completions. “In addition to the sewing classes the center provides on their own machines, we hoped some of the center’s clients could get some hands-on training on the industrial one, sharpen their skills, and perhaps apply at Duncan Aviation.”

Good Neighbor Community Center

The GNCC provides humanitarian support to low-income families and refugees resettling in Lincoln. Duncan Aviation provides a variety of support to help.

“We have donated proceeds from company fundraisers, held clothing drives, and volunteered there,” says Leon. “We’ve hosted facility tours and last year, we hosted an on-site career fair specifically for GNCC clients who are seeking employment.”

As a new member of the GNCC advisory board, Leon is learning about the center and the board’s fiduciary duties and helping gauge interest in job-seeker career classes (resume writing, job searches, submitting applications, and interviewing) and job-shadowing at Duncan Aviation.

“We volunteer with their citizenship classes, preparing students who are taking their citizenship tests,” says Leon. “Soon, Duncan Aviation team members will volunteer to teach the ELL (English Language Learner) classes for their refugee and immigrant population.”

The SMT, managers, our Facilities team, and various team members have also helped with clean-up tasks, repaired and painted the building, maintained vehicles, donated updated kitchen appliances, and helped update the center’s HVAC system.

2022 Workforce Development Winners

Trinity Hamilton graduated from Lincoln North Star High School, where she participated in the Marching Band and archery team. Her favorite subjects are Math and English. Trinity has been an intern at Duncan Aviation since January 2022. She’s excited to start school at the University of Colorado in Boulder in the fall and major in Aeronautical Engineering.

Although Sydney Miller was only at Lincoln North Star for her senior year, she has become very dedicated to the mechanical side of aviation throughout attending the Duncan Aviation Workforce Development Program. Sydney plans on going to Iowa Western to study Aviation Maintenance and hopes to work for Duncan Aviation in the future.

Logan Skrdlant recently graduated from Lincoln North Star High School. His father’s side of the family are mechanics and he got into aviation because of a trip out to Duncan during his sophomore year of high school. He has taken many aviation classes at North Star, including power mechanics and the old aviation classes. He was also a student assistant to Mrs. Woodward, the North Star Skilled & Technical Science Instructor. Logan will be attending Iowa Western to study Aviation Maintenance.


2022 KKD Winners

After graduating from Lincoln Lutheran High School, Max Bartles plans on attending the University of Concordia in Seward, Nebraska, to study Exercise Science. During his time at Lincoln Lutheran, Max was a member of the Student Council and National Honor Society. He also received multiple honors and awards while playing for the Lincoln Lutheran football, basketball, and golf teams. Max gave back to his community by volunteering for the People’s City Mission, Messiah Church, youth basketball camps, and helping lay rocks for an elderly family. While at Concordia University, Max wishes to play either football or basketball and upon graduation wants to get a job as an Athletic Trainer at a place where he loves the community and people.

After graduating from Calhoun Christian School, Vincent Barto plans on attending Lansing Community College and will study to become an A&P Mechanic. While at Calhoun Christian School, Vincent was a captain on the football, basketball, and baseball teams. He was also a leader of the aviation class and was a peer mentor for 4 years. To give back to his community, Vincent volunteered for the Food Bank, Alternatives of Battle Creek (Pregnancy Care Center), and was on the Lakeview Youth Association Little League Baseball team where he was a three-year captain. Vincent joined the aviation program that was offered by his high school and discovered a huge interest in aviation maintenance. He would like to get his A&P license through Lansing Community College and come work for the Airframe Department at Duncan Aviation as an A&P Mechanic. Vincent says he would like to become a good leader and help young men and women want to work in aviation.

After graduating from Lincoln Southwest High School, Daniel Brajic plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study Mechanical Engineering. While at Southwest High School, Daniel played for the Southwest soccer team as well as for 2 club teams, the Capital Soccer Association and Sporting Nebraska FC. He was also part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Daniel volunteered for the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church and for the CSA Shoot-Out Tournament. Daniel plans to use the skills and knowledge he will gain while studying Mechanical Engineering to make a difference in the rapidly changing automotive industry. Daniel says as our world and the industry continue to evolve, he hopes to contribute to the fight against climate change by helping to produce more efficient means of transportation. He wants to inspire change among large corporations to create vehicles that are not only efficient, but also fun and practical for all needs.


After graduating from Seward High School, Zachary Brown plans on attending Peru State College in Peru, Neb., to study Kinesiology. While in high school, Zachary was on the baseball and wrestling teams and also participated in SkillsUSA, FBLA, FCA, and Mixed Choir. Zachary spent his time volunteering for the Godparent Program, People’s City Mission, and was a Patrol Leader for Boy Scouts. After Zachary obtains his undergraduate degree, he plans on enrolling in a graduate program to earn his graduate degree with the ultimate goal of opening his own gym in order to help people reach their fitness goals and live healthy lifestyles.

Desiree Feller graduated from Cedar Valley High School in May 2022, and is on track to finish her Associates Degree from Utah Valley University where she was enrolled as a high school student. In the spring, she plans on attending Brigham Young University-Hawaii to earn her Bachelor’s Degree with a major in English. While at Cedar Valley High School, Desiree was in concert choir and the spring school musical. She received the Best Interpreter award for the American Sign Language program and was also a teacher aid. Desiree volunteered her time as a LDS Youth Leader where she was the President and 1st Counselor. Desiree’s ultimate goal is to become an editor for a publishing company where she hopes to help authors edit and distribute books. Reading is something she’s always loved, and editing is something she is excited about.

Alora Ferguson recently graduated from Malcolm High School where she was active in competitive speech, the one-act play, choir, cross country, and the Future Business Leaders of America. She was on the honor roll all four years and named to the National Honor Society. Alora volunteered with Foodnet Distribution and clothing giveaways through Northwest Lincoln Church of Christ throughout her high school career. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney for two years and transfer to the UNMC College of Dentistry in Gehring, Neb., in the goal of ultimately becoming a pediatric dental hygienist. 

Reagan Gadeken will attend Southeast Community College this fall majoring in the program for Physical Therapist Assistants and plans to work at a local outpatient clinic upon graduation, providing physical therapy care to the community. Throughout her time at Kenwood Christian School, she was active with Indian Hills Community Church through Girls of Grace ministry and as lead acoustic guitarist in the youth group band. She was also a teaching assistant with Piccoli Dance Theater. 

Quentin Hayes will study architecture next fall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is considering starting his own firm upon completion of the program to design homes that are green-based and energy-efficient. He graduated from Raymond Central High School in May and was active in art and band for four years and jazz band for three. 


Dominik Kluthe graduated this May from Lincoln Southwest High School and plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln next fall where he will study mechanical engineering. In high school, he lettered in trap shooting and participated in the sport all four years. 

Sawyer Kunc graduated from Wilber-Clatonia and plans on attending Southeast Community College in Milford, Neb., to study Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Technology in the AAS Program. While at Wilber-Clatonia, Sawyer was a 4-year letter winner and 2020 All State member on the football team, 3-year letter winner and state medalist on the wrestling team, and a 2021 Yardage Winner and 2021 Top Trap team for the 4-H Trap Shooting team. Sawyer spent a lot of his time giving back to the community by volunteering for the Duck & Dumpling Run, Turkey Trot, Wilber Legion Bingo Stand, Wilber Legion 9/11 clean up, Wilber Fire Department clean up, Wilber NRD, Wilber Czech Days, and FAA Wilber roadside trash clean up. While Sawyer was visiting his father at Duncan Aviation, he became interested in NDT after watching a technician use his expertise to examine an aircraft. Sawyer is interested in working at Duncan Aviation after completing the Nondestructive Testing Technology program because his dad has worked at the Duncan Aviation facility in Lincoln for more than 20 years.

After graduating from Milford High School, Morgan Krystine McCullough plans on studying Nursing at Bryan College of Health Sciences. While in high school, Morgan was on the volleyball team and participated in speech, musical, FCCLA, and Key Club. Morgan spent a lot of time volunteering in Youth Group, Et-Cetera, People’s City Mission, and Vacation Bible School. She also volunteered as a Sunday School teacher, volunteered at Parent Foster classes, and was a teacher’s assistant. One of Morgan’s long-term goals is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, which she plans to accomplish by finding a nursing mentor who will guider her through her classes and provide her with the help she needs to graduate. She understands the demands of nursing school, so other goals of hers are to better manage her time, get out of her comfort zone, and gain new experiences.

After graduating from Norris High School, Trevor Ozenbaugh plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha to study Finance/Accounting. While at Norris, Trevor was on the football and track and field teams, and was in the Irvin Bottner Chapter of the National Honor Society. Trevor was extremely active in his community. He was in the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church Youth, volunteered for the roadside clean-up on 68th Street, live streamed Shepherd of the Hills Church Services, served food at Gathering Place in Lincoln, packed food for Shepherd of the Hills Church Food Pantry, and helped with Norris football and track and field youth camps. Trevor’s main short-term goal is to be successful in his career as quickly as possible out of college. He plans on doing this by earning a double-major in finance and accounting, graduating from college early, and being in as little debt as possible.

After graduating from Mead High School, Demmy Patocka plans on studying Elementary Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Demmy was extremely active in high school. She was on the volleyball team where she earned multiple awards and honors, and was also on the track and basketball teams. Demmy was involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, FCCLA, FFA, and was a student aid. Demmy gave back to her community by being a coach for the Mead Little Raiders Youth Volleyball team, did road side clean-up for the FFA, volunteered at the Mead Fire Department Game Feed, Blooming Smiles, Mead Days, FCCLA Canned Food Drive, FCCLA Clothing Drive, and Backpack Program. Because Demmy is taking dual credit courses through Southeast Community College, she is on track to graduate from college in fewer than four years. Upon graduating, she plans on entering the workforce as an early childhood elementary teacher. As a teacher, she hopes to utilize her passion for teaching and love for children to create a safe and effective learning environment. She wants to leave an impact on every student she encounters by showing them compassion, kindness, and encouragement during their time in the classroom.

After graduating from Super Middle/High School, Taygun Rothchild plans on attending Central Community College in Grand Island, Neb., to obtain his General Education Credits, then transfer to a different university to finish out his education in Media Arts. In high school, Taygun was on the basketball, golf, and cross-country teams. He was also in band and Community Service Club. Taygun volunteered at concession stands, helped mow, and often helped the elderly. He wants to pursue work at a radio broadcasting station as a radio personality.

Avery Saltzman kept herself busy participating in and leading several activities and student groups at Milford High School, including Student Council Class President, yearbook editor, musicals, plays, FCA, volleyball, speech, show choir, and band. After graduation, she plans to attend Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb., to earn her degree in graphic design. 

While in West Boylston Middle/High School, Thomas Scalera participated in many activities, including the National Honor Society, IEA, varsity tennis, varsity football, band, wind ensemble, DECA, TriM Music Honor Society, and play tech director. His community activities kept him equally busy with several 4-H club activities, summer bands, music academies, and festivals. After graduation from West Boylston Middle/High School, he plans to study history, law, and/or music. Thomas has not decided where to further his education. He was accepted to 4 large universities in the northeastern United States and eagerly awaits responses from 4 more. 

Sylvia Swager has her sights set on graduating from Madonna University with a 4-year degree in American Sign Language and earning certification as an interpreter. She plans to work as an interpreter while pursuing a master’s degree in psychology with the career goal of becoming a therapist for deaf children. During her years at Climax-Scotts High School, Sylvia took nearly every opportunity to participate in activities including National Honor Society, Students Against Drunk Driving, drama club, student council, marching band, softball, volleyball, cross country, and track. Her various community and church activities included volunteering for blood drives, Catholic Heart work camp, youth group, altar server, and as a math tutor. 

After graduating from Crete High School, Travis Sweeny plans to attend Kansas Wesleyan University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical education. His career aspirations are to become a physical education and health teacher and coach. Travis was a varsity letter winner in cross country, tennis, and soccer; a member of the National Honor Society; Multicultural Union, Future Business Leaders of America, Positive Attitude & Leadership by Students, Student-Athlete Leadership Committee, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, C-Club, Spanish club, student tour guide, and stage crew for the musical. His many community activities include tutoring after school; volunteering in the homeless shelter by making care kits, tying blankets, and handing out meals; supporting his community by raking leaves, shoveling snow, filling backpacks, and painting the elementary school playground. 

After graduating from Orem High School, Hector Walker plans to attend the University of Hawaii to earn a degree in Political Science. While growing up in a diverse household where politics were openly discussed, he sought to learn all he could learn about various topics to understand and intelligently participate in these discussions with his family and others. While in high school, Hector was a member of the National Honor Society, student council, and wind symphony. He also ran track & field.  


2021 KKD Winners

Martina Braunsroth has excelled throughout her high school career and looks forward to the challenges of the future. She plans to attend Concordia University in Seward where she will major in Music Education. Martina attends Bishop Neumann Catholic High School in Wahoo and participates in choir, show choir, marching band, concert band, drama, speech and the school musical production. She has volunteered with the Summer Reading Program at the Wahoo Library, the church choir and the Nebraska Czechs of Prague, serving as a Czech Princess from 2018-2019.


Connor Buschini plans to major in Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., after graduation from Plainwell High School in Kalamazoo. In high school, Connor was involved in basketball, football, tennis, the National Honor Society and the Red Cross Club. He held team captain positions in football, basketball and tennis. He has also volunteered with the Red Cross, highway trash pick-up, and various church and sports outlets.

Corbin Fix will graduate from Norris High School in May and plans to major in Aviation at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Corbin’s high school activities include choir, show choir, musicals, and trap shooting. His volunteer activities have included a shoe drive, delivering care packages to a nursing home, serving food at the Cortland American Legion pancake feed and making/delivering blankets for the Child Advocacy Center.

Ryan Gouldin will begin his college career at Cloud Community College in Concordia, Kansas, where he hopes to play baseball and earn an associate’s in Business Management. Ryan then plans to transfer to a four-year college/university to earn his bachelor’s degree. While attending Norris High School, Ryan has been involved in baseball and Future Farmers of America. His volunteer activities have included working baseball camps, mowing for his church, and helping with Vacation Bible School.


Shelby Hein plans to attend Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., next year where she will major in Elementary Education. While attending David City High School, Shelby was involved in volleyball, basketball, track and field, the dance team, student council, FFA and the National Honor Society. She has been involved in many volunteer activities for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Red Cross with activities like Box Out Hunger, Scare Away Hunger, hat/mitten drive, and Feed the Farmer.

Abby Houk plans to study Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During her time at Milford Jr/Sr High School, she was involved in many activities, including band, softball, basketball, track, school musical, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and Close-Up. As a senior, she served as the Future Business Leaders of America Club Vice President and the Student Council Student Body President. Her varied community activities have included Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sports Express Softball Maintenance Crew, Community/Business Partnership, among many others.

All Averey Kahler has ever wanted to be is an advocate for someone with a listening ear. Therefore, after graduating from Milford Jr/Sr High School this spring, she is pursuing a degree in Human Services at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE. Her high school activities centered around music and art. She participated in band, pep band, marching band, Art Club, and Art Class. She was awarded the Best In Show at the Nebraska State Art Contest in the category of self-portrait.

After graduating from Lincoln East High School, Keinan Lentell plans to play baseball and major in Business and Finance at Barton Community College in Great Bend, KS. During high school, he participated in football, basketball, and baseball and was named to the Academic All-Conference for baseball. He participated in his church’s youth group and spent time volunteering at the People’s City Mission and nursing homes.



After graduating from Gull Lake High School, Cassidy Neff plans to attend Grand Valley State University to earn a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She will continue her education to receive her master’s with the ultimate goal to work in the field of Speech Pathology. In high school, she was named to the Academic Team All-State and Conference 1st Team Player for basketball. She also played varsity soccer and participated in Distributive Education Clubs of America, National Honor Society, Portage Soccer Club, and Strictly Skill AAU Basketball. Her varied community activities have included attending or volunteering for various athletic camps and the Special Olympics.

During all four years at Lincoln High School, Bach Nguyen participated in the Honors/International Baccalaureate program. While in this program, he decided to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a degree in Pre-Health with the ultimate goal to become a physician. His high school activities included marching band, varsity wind ensemble, show choir band, and soccer, where he was named to the NSAA Academic All-State. He volunteered in the community as a tutor at the Lefler Honors Cadre and delivered food for the Asian Community Center.

After Elvin Nguyen graduates from Lincoln High School in May, he plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering. At Lincoln High, Elvin was on the tennis team and received a varsity letter and Academic All-Conference award. He is also in the photography club, ping pong club, Key Club, Link Crew, and National Honor Society. He has volunteered for the Buddhist Youth Group, Upward Bound, and Adopt-A-Highway. Elvin has a growing passion to work with technology and software, and aims to secure an internship with a respected company as a software developer. His career goal is to create products that can positively affect lives, improve autonomous driving to reduce preventable car accidents, strengthen cyber security networks, and to improve voice assistants to make daily life easier.

Lindsey Nguyen made the most of her high school years at Pius X by participating in the school’s cheer team, med club, and outdoors club, and she was inducted into the National Honors Society. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in Biology, and her ultimate dream is to become a Pediatric Dentist. As a child, her teeth made her insecure, and she wants other children to smile confidently and never have to experience feelings of anxiety over their teeth.

Lars Pedersen has kept himself busy while at Lincoln Southwest High School. He placed first at State for three events in the Science Olympiad and is Vice President for the National Honor Society. He also participates in the Debate team, Math Club, Quiz Bowl, Lincoln Youth Symphony, show band, marching band, school orchestra, and choir. He was awarded the Outstanding Instrumentalist twice in All-State Orchestra. Lars has volunteered for Scouts BSA, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, concessions at Husker sporting events, server at Matt Talbot, and was a percussionist at Pinewood Bowl. Lars plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a Physics degree. Physical Science has been his primary passion since high school, so he’s made it his goal to focus on physics in college to gain a better grasp on the subject and its many disciplines. He also plans on staying involved in music and the Lincoln Civic Orchestra.

Logan Petersen enjoys problem solving and working on motors, and has a love for animals and great respect for the law and keeping the community safe. This is why he plans on attending Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, after he graduates from Malcom High School to become either a K-9 Police Officer or Automotive Mechanic. While at Malcom High School, Logan participated in Future Business Leaders of America, Skills USA, and participated on the football, basketball, and track teams. Logan is driven to complete his academic requirements and start his career by the time he is 19-years-old.

Lauren Prososki has kept busy while at Raymond Central High School. She is on the softball, basketball, and track & field teams. She also participated in One Act, speech, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, concert band, marching band, jazz band, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has volunteered for Adopt-A-Highway, served meals at The Gathering Place, was a student leader for Vacation Bible School and has volunteered at the People’s City Mission. After graduation, Lauren plans on attending Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, and pursuing a career in Non-Destructive Testing in the aviation industry.

Once Benjamin Ramsey graduates from Lincoln Southeast High School, he plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to obtain a bachelor’s degree and to use his education to benefit others around him. While at Lincoln Southeast High School, Benjamin was on the marching band, concert band, pep band, and National Honor Society. He was an Honor Roll recipient for four years, and was awarded an Academic Letter and Academic Pin. He has spent extensive time volunteering for the Nebraska Human Resources Institute, Youth Group, People’s City Mission, Everett Elementary School, and Vacation Bible School. Being a member of the National Human Resources Institute has allowed him to continue to develop and further his leadership skills and also gain deeper insights into people and what leadership truly is. His work ethic, dedication, honesty, and integrity set him apart.

Maggie Jo Richter’s goal is to graduate from Elmwood-Murdock High School while maintaining her class rank and 4.0 GPA, and to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a possible degree in either Horticulture, Natural Sciences, Microbiology, or Botany. She wants to learn more about the natural world and help people throughout her career. While in high school, Maggie has been in the One-Act Theater Program where she was a Team Leader and won four Outstanding Actor’s Awards. She also participated in the UNL Math Day, Spanish club, science club, quiz bowl, science bowl, choir, and band. She has spent time volunteering at the Lofte Community Theater and picking up trash along the highway for Elmwood Christian Church.

After his May graduation from Lincoln East High School, Hudson Scherer plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Science, and he then hopes to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. His high school career featured a stellar academic performance, including making the Honor Roll and getting inducted into the National Honors Society, volunteering at People’s City Mission and Matt Talbot Kitchen, and participating on both the tennis and baseball teams.


Vincent Vo has his sights set on a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. As an introvert, Vincent felt profoundly challenged when his family moved after his sophomore year, and he transferred from a class of 1,790, which afforded him some anonymity, to a school 100 miles away with a class size of 360. Vincent forced himself from his comfort zone and joined the band at the new school, and he even became Co-Captain of the school’s University Interscholastic League (UIL) Science Team. He’ll start college with credit from four AP classes.

After graduating from Seward High School, Jackson Kyle Warren plans to attend Doane University and major in Education, ultimately obtaining his Master’s Degree. Jackson participated in his school’s soccer, track, wrestling (Captain and letterman), and football (three-time letter winner) teams and volunteered at area youth football camps and youth wrestling tournaments. His career goals include teaching and coaching middle-school children and focusing on helping them have healthy bodies and minds.

During Holly Wilen’s high school years at Palmyra High, she was captain of the Varsity Volleyball and Basketball teams and participated in Track & Field. She sang in the school choir and was inducted into the National Honors Society, all while she volunteered at youth basketball and volleyball camps, the Masonic Eastern Star Home For Children, and in her youth group. Although managing time is a challenge with all of her activities, she’s not planning to slow down when she attends the University of Nebraska-Kearney to major in Communications. Holly believes you need to continue to juggle school and social responsibilities with family and friends because you don’t grow when you’re comfortable.


2020 KKD Winners

Alex Andrew’s strong academic success and work ethic will give him a multitude of success for years to come in his personal and professional life. He plans to attend Western Michigan University where he is still unsure of his future studies but is leaning towards Chemical Engineering. He attends Harper Creek High School where he participates in the LINK crew, the Men’s Swim and Dive team, and Harper Creek Swim Club. He’s also volunteered his time for the food bank, adopt-a-highway, school fundraising events, and as a volunteer for various swimming and diving meets.

Tyler Andrew’s success in school and other activities will lead to endless opportunities in the future. He plans to attend Western Michigan University where he plans to study Biology. He’s interested in the medical field but wants to keep his options open. He has a passion for travelling and looks forward to experiencing other cultures. He attends Harper Creek High School where he participates on the swimming and diving team. He is also involved with the Harper Creek school board, LINK crew, Harper Creek Congress, and National Honor Society. He has served in his community through Red Cross blood drives, various swim meets, supervising children during parent-teacher conferences for various schools in the area, and for a police K-9 fundraiser.

Kyra Creamer strives to be a lifelong learner and carry her success into her future career as an educator. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Omaha where she will study elementary education. She attends Dorchester High School in Dorchester, Nebraska, where she participates in volleyball, basketball, track, choir, student council, National Honor Society, speech, and Future Business Leaders of America. She also volunteers her time with the American Red Cross Blood Drive, Lincoln City Mission, her youth group, and helping out at the concession stand at various athletic events.

Emily Dang has a full heart and a gift for success and helping others. She plans to attend Creighton University where she will study Nursing. She attends Lincoln Pius X High School where she participates in student council, ambassadors, Gold Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Medical Club, the Writing Resource Center, and as the student manager for the girls soccer team. She’s also volunteered for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement, as a camp counselor for the Villa Marie Home and School for Exceptional Children, and at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Colton Johnson has a strong passion for technology and for serving others. He has a strong faith, hoping to not only work in the technology field but also someday as a pastor in order to serve his church and community. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he plans to study Computer Engineering. He attends Norris High School in Firth where he participates in marching band, concert band, pep band, speech, football, mock trial and trapshooting. He is an Eagle Scout and has volunteered for Vacation Bible School, Boy Scouts, Adopt-A-Road Program, and various maintenance and renovation projects within his community.

Danielle Klenke has excelled throughout her athletic career and academic career which will lead to continued success. She plans to attend the University of Sioux Falls where she will study biology and play Division two collegiate softball. She attends Seward High School after transferring from Friend High School where she attended for three academic years. While in high school, she has participated in softball, basketball, track and field, student council, class officer, National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, One Act Performances, and musicals.

Stephanie Kluthe is a driven person whose goals and dreams are to one day become a forensic scientist. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she will study Forensic Science, Entomology, and Criminology. She attends Lincoln Southwest High School where she participates in archery, key club, and Silverhawks Helping Other Silverhawks. She also enjoys boxing at TJ Sokol Boxing. She’s volunteered in the community with the Capital Humane Society and her boxing gym.


Keelie Kraft’s kind heart, compassion and determination have given her profound success. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she will pursue her passion for animals and study Veterinary Science or Animal Science. She attends Lincoln Southeast High School where she participates in the orchestra and with the school newspaper. The school orchestra she is part of has won numoerous statewide competitions and earned numerous Category 1 awards. She’s also volunteered her time in the community with Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach.

Jaxon Morrow’s hard work and empathy towards others will lead to continued success throughout his life. He plans to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln where he will study Business Administration.  He attends Lincoln Southwest High School where he participates on the wrestling team. Jaxon also operates his own business reselling shoes. He has volunteered in the Lincoln community for the Lincoln Jr. Hawks wrestling program and other various wrestling tournaments.

McKayla Most will continue to push through in order to be successful in many things throughout her life. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Omaha where she will follow her passion for being a future business leader and study Accounting. She attends Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo, Nebraska, and participates in National Honor Society, volleyball, basketball, track and field, drama, and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The FBLA reinforced her passion for business and accounting. She has volunteered at the Ceresco Community Library, Wahoo Community Library, youth volleyball and basketball camps, Relay for Life, and enjoyed a mission trip to Chicago, Illinois.

Vivian Nguyen strives for success in order to pursue her passion of one day becoming a pediatrician. She plans to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, or the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. While in college she plans to study Biology and looks to focus on a pre-med cirriculum. She also plans to volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and/or homeless shelters. While in high school at Pius X she participated in Medical Club, Club World Aid, National Honor Society, and Track and Field. She volunteered for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital volunteer program, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary fundraisers.

Daniel Nichols’ strong academic performance will lead to great opportunities in the future. Daniel has a big heart and looks up to his father for his strong work ethic. He wants to make he and his family very proud. He plans to attend Indiana Wesleyan University where he hopes to use his problem-solving skills and study Computer Science. He attends East Kentwood high school where participated in orchestra, National Honor Society, and Club Lacrosse. He also volunteered in his community for the nursery at his church and various community service projects with National Honor Society.

Harper Odom is full of brilliance and determination. He plans to take his skills as a well-rounded student to Nebraska Wesleyan University in the fall of 2020 with the goal of one day becoming an orthodontist. He attended Lincoln East High School where he participated in DECA as director of finance and then president. He also participated in National Honor Society, Computer Science Honor Society, and was an East High student ambassador. He also volunteered at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Meals on Wheels delivery, and the Leadership Lincoln Youth in Action Center.

Delaney Patocka excelled in sports and in the classroom. She will look to continue that same success into her future as a hopeful pharmacist. She plans to attend Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska, where she will study biochemistry and then hopefully will be accepted into medical school. She attends Mead High School in Mead, Nebraska, where she participates in track and field, basketball, volleyball, National Honors Society, Future Farmers of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), drama, and student council. She also volunteers in her community by coaching youth volleyball, roadside cleanup services, at various Mead fire hall events, and as a referee for youth volleyball games.

Paige Peterson has excelled throughout her high school career and looks forward to the challenges of the future. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Omaha where she is undecided on what to focus her studies on, but has an interest in health care. She also has a passion for travelling, enjoys speaking Spanish, and looks forward to studying abroad in college. She attends Wahoo High School in Wahoo and participates in National Honor Society, Dance team, Cheer team, Softball, Track, and unified bowling. She has volunteered at the Red Cross blood drive, Camp Invention, food drives, various youth sports camps, and the Bethlehem Lutheran Youth Group.

Alena Reeve continues to strive for success and help those in need. She plans to attend Goldfarb School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri. She will receive her bachelors in Science in Nursing and become a Registered Nurse. She attends Rockwood Summit High School and participates in the Early College Partnership where she has taken college credit courses while still in high school. At Rockwood Summit she has participated on the Falcon Performance team, show choir, Medical Club, and Phi Theta Kappa. She’s volunteered with the Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House, Confidence House, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Engaging All Students.

Audrey Scully has leadership skills and strengths many people admire. She plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, where she plans to do the 3-to-1 program and obtain a bachelors and masters in Health Care Administration. She attends North Star High School in Lincoln where she participates in volleyball, tennis, Future Business Leaders of America, and National Honors Society. She’s also volunteered within her community with the Special Olympics, North Star Movie Night, and by selling shirts for her school.

Carson Stauffer has a kind heart and a gifted athletic ability. These two characteristics will undoubtedly serve him well throughout his personal and professional life. He plans to attend Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, where he plans to study Special Education and continue his athletic career on the football team. He attends Milford High School in Milford, Nebraska, where participates in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, and the Youth Frontiers Kindness Activities. He has also volunteered his time with the community youth group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Heart Milford Community Service Day, Open Door City Mission in Omaha, Nebraska, the People’s City Mission in Lincoln, Nebraska, and mentoring a classmate with special needs.

Simon Swager has a thirst for knowledge, challenge, and living well past the status quo. He plans to attend Northern Michigan University. Simon has many interests, however for now he plans to study Elementary Education due to his passion for being around children and for the social sciences. Certainly as an educator he would serve those around him well. While at Climax-Scotts high school he participated in the Kalamazoo Mathematics and Science Center, National Honor Society, baseball, drama club, various plays and musicals, student council, marching band, and cross country. Within the community he has been a geometry tutor, mentored musicians in the middle school band, and been involved with various youth group and Bible school groups.

Madelein Woolard has the goal of working in our legal system and her prior success can certainly help make those goals a reality. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and study Criminal Justice or Communications while minoring in Spanish. She looks forward to joining the pre-law program and eventually attending law school. She attends Seward High School in Seward, Nebraska, where she participants in a variety of music activities, including pep band, marching band, symphonic band, choir, select choir, and wind ensemble. She’s spent her time volunteering for Awana Clubs.


2019 KKD Winners

It has been a dream of hers to become an elementary education teacher, so Quincy Bashore will pursue Elementary Education at Indiana Wesleyan University. She loves helping others, and has a goal to own her own ice cream parlor one day. While at Olivet High School, Quincy participated in the Education Academy Leadership Program, student council, National Honor Society, band, theatre, Link Crew and varsity golf. She has volunteered in Youth Group, Operation Good Cheer, Cropwalk, and went on a Dominican Mission Trip.
Zoe Bohaty has always enjoyed working with people, which is why she plans on going to Southeast Community College and transferring to the University of Nebraska with a major in Academic Transfer/Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. Through her extracurricular activities at Bishop Neumann High School, she has participated in two mission trips to Chicago to work with the homeless. She was also part of the concert, marching, and pep bands, percussion and woodwind ensembles, drama/play/musicals, One Act plays, Campus Ministry/Neumann Fire, Elizabeth Ann Seaton, Future Business Leaders of America, softball, and track. Zoe has volunteered for the Lincoln Track Club, Food Bank, Cornhusker State Games, Before School Program, Omaha Rotary Club, Ceresco Library, and the Ceresco Fire Department.
  William Henry wants his actions to have meaning in the world and plans to pursue a career in health care. He plans to attend Western Michigan University in the fall, studying Interdisciplinary Health Services. At Pennfield High School, he played varsity soccer and track and was involved in Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honors Society. Community activities have included volunteer work with the Red Cross, North Avenue Youth Group, Empty Pew Project, and youth mission trips.
  Sarah Bujarski plans on continuing her education at the University of Kansas, where she will major in Chemistry on the pre-medicine route with the goal of graduating with her MD/PhD and becoming a physician. While at Seward High School, Sarah participated in marching band, symphonic band, jazz band, pep band, wind ensemble, swing choir, Key Club, 4-H Junior Leaders, Future Business Leaders of America, Skills USA, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She has spent time volunteering for the Awana Cubbies Program, Multicultural Fair, Ronald McDonald House, UNICEF, swing choir camp, concession stand, Pheasants Forever, The Waffleman, Futaba Dermatology Clinic, and at the Ridgewood Nursing Home.
Motivated by finding a new treatment for Alzheimer’s, Simon Dang plans on majoring in Biology with a focus on Neuroscience. While at Pius X High School, Simon ran track and field, played tennis, and was a member of National Honor Society. He has also volunteered at St. Elizabeth’s, was a track assistant, and teacher assistant.
Matthew Duhs wants to become a respected teacher and eventually an administrator. He will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and plans to study Secondary Social Science Education. During his time at Lincoln East High School, he was the dance captain and a varsity letter winner for show choir, section leader and varsity letter winner for orchestra, All-State, varsity letter award winner for concert choir, and varsity letter winner for theatre/International Thespian Society. He was recipient of Elk’s Outstanding Achievement Award and also participated in Tri-M Music Honor Society, jazz choir, Chamber Strings, East musicals and National Honor Society. Over the years he has volunteered at Vacation Bible School, Spartan Jr. Show Choir Camp, LPS Summer Strings Camp, and Esprit de Corps.
Morgan Framke will enter the field of business, and plans to study Marketing and Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also plans on pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration degree. At Pius X High School, Morgan was the dance captain and a letter winner for show choir. She also was a letter winner for Women’s Choir, Sotto Voce, and for two musicals. In addition, she ran cross country. Morgan has volunteered for Godteens, at a local nursing home, and at Matt Talbot Kitchen. She has lead painting projects at St. Peter’s grade school and rang bells for the Salvation Army.
Kennedy  Goldsmith wants to be a positive leader in her future work environment, and will study Biological Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University. While at Seward High School, Kennedy participated in National Honor Society, Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, volleyball, basketball, track and field, dance team, and Godparents Youth Group. Her volunteer experience consists of volunteering at the senior center, Godparents Youth Group, and Junior Jays Mentoring Program.
Macy Homes is looking forward to obtaining her undergraduate degree in Biology at College of Saint Mary, then transferring to Veterinary Medicine at UNL for two years, and then attending Iowa State for the final two years. Her ultimate goal is to own her own veterinary clinic. Macy broke six Wahoo High School Softball records, and also participated in club softball, bowling, track, student council, JuniorMates, and National Honor Society. She has volunteered for Teammates, 4-H, Red Cross, Car Seat Safety event, Wahoo Chamber, Saunders County, and Matt Talbot Kitchen.
Cole Huss will attend Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota next year with the goal of furthering his knowledge in the field of Biology so he can use what he learns to help the community and the world. While at Gretna High School, Cole was named the captain of his wrestling team, has placed 3rd and 4th at state wrestling, and played football. He also volunteered as a referee for youth wresting, a coach for youth wrestling camps, and served food to those in need.
Wyatt Loga has always had an interest in wildlife, which has led him to pursuing a degree in Biology at Concordia University-Nebraska with the goal of becoming a game warden or a conservation officer. While at Malcolm High School, Wyatt participated in band, basketball, football, track, cross-country, and Skills USA. In the community, he has volunteered for the Center for People in Need and the MYSA Tournament He has also helped with communion prep and cleaning, and concessions.
  Carson Neff enjoys working with numbers and spreadsheets and has therefore chosen to pursue a degree in Accountancy and Finance at Western Michigan University. At Gull Lake High School, he was involved in varsity track, junior varsity soccer, DECA, and the National Honor Society. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and has helped the community through highway clean-up, horse trials event parking, and ringing bells for the Salvation Army.
Angelina Hahorny plans on studying Psychology/Criminal Justice at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Whether it be working in probation and parole, helping released convicts get back into the community, lowering recidivism rates, or by becoming a forensic psychologist, she wants to use her knowledge of psychological patterns and trends in individuals to help prevent crime from happening. While at Lincoln East High School, she participated in theater and was on the Chinese Dance Team. Angelina has spent time volunteering for The Cat House, Nebraska Community Blood Bank and, Bright Lights.
Kylie  Marie Ohrt feels like she was put on this earth to change lives. She plans to attend Grand Valley State University to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Kylie has a passion to help people, and as an occupational therapist, she will be able to give people the push and support that they need to overcome any obstacles that may be hindering their quality of life. While at Lakeview High School, Kylie was involved in student government, Spartanaire Show Choir, Chamber Choir, Advanced Choral Ensemble, People of Equity, Lakeview High School Theatre, and school broadcast. She has also served the community through Masque, Masque Jr., Penguin Project, What A Do Theatre, and the Humane Society.
Mental health is very important to Morgan Osmera, so she plans on majoring in Human Services/Psychology at Southeast Community College. She is considering further schooling to obtain a master’s degree in order to become a certified psychologist. While at East Butler High School, she participated in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, and National Honor Society. She has won numerous Future Farmers of America awards, consisting of chapter degree, state qualifier for six years in career development events, highest GPA in agriculture classes and attended the National Future Farmers of America event in Kentucky. She has spent time volunteering at the Labor Auction, and Feed the Farmer.
  Joshua Palensky plans on entering the medical field at the University of Nebraska-Kearney with the goal of one day being able to help those in the community who are less fortunate. While at Raymond Central High School, he was a 4-year letter winner and 1st Team All-District for football, a 2-year letter winner and Academic All-State award winner for basketball, and a 2-year letter winner and Most Improved Player Award winner for track. He also participated in National Honor Society, Skills USA, Future Farmers of America, jazz band, Future Business Leaders of America, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Joshua has assisted with youth football camps and volunteered for Future Farmers of America.
Sara Robson’s goal is to obtain a degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Utah Honors College. She then hopes to pursue a PhD in Biology in order to become an immunologist. While at Westlake High School, Sara was the team captain on her softball team and section leader for the band. She also participated in student government, Health Occupation Students of America, and the Academic Decathlon. Over the years she has volunteered as a camp counselor and made hygiene kits and blankets for the homeless.
Whitney Scherer plans to study Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has always wanted to become a veterinarian so she can do everything in her power to help animals, and her ultimate goal is to start an animal rescue where as many animals as possible can receive veterinary care and be placed in loving homes. Whitney was a varsity letter winner and team manager on her diving team at East High School. She has volunteered for the Tabitha Rehab Center, People’s City Mission, Sheridan Lutheran Church, Little White Dog Rescue, and the Museum of Natural History.
Thomas Vue will be attending Michigan State University to study Human Biology, with the goal to attend medical school and become a pediatrician to provide medical care for the future of tomorrow. While at Potterville High School, Thomas participated in National Honor Society, student council, band, Peer Assistant Leaders, varsity soccer, Quiz Bowl, varsity track and field, Science Olympiad, junior varsity basketball, and robotics. He has also volunteered for the Community Food Drive, Giving Tree, Service Day, National Honor Society Snowball, assisted elementary staff, was a planner for homecoming, and assisted at a golf outing.
Samantha Warren will attend Morningside College to study Music Education. Her goal is to major in K-12 vocal and instrumental music education with an emphasis in instrumental music. While at Seward High School, Samantha participated in marching band, student council, National Honor Society, Seward High School Ambassadors, Seward High Singers, jazz band, One Acts, musical, and Seward High School Track. She has volunteered for the Masonic Marching Band, Seward Community Band, and Seward High School Ambassadors.
Josh Williams is interested in science, and aspires for a career in the medical field by pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science Degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Josh is also exceedingly fascinated by different cultures, which is why he has decided to minor in Asian Studies. At Southwest High School, he was involved in HOSA: Future Health Professionals, LSW Marching Band, National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors, Silverhawks Helping Other Silverhawks, LSW Wind Ensemble, LSW Jazz 1, PANgea: Steel Drum Band, and Science Olympiad. He has volunteered for the Community Blood Bank, The Hope Venture Run, Cavett Elementary Family Fun Night, LSW Tutoring, Childhood Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Teacher Daycare Event, Lincoln Food Bank, and Clark Jeary Senior Living Home.
Colby Young will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in Software Engineering with the goal of one day creating his own functional operating system. While at Cross County High School, Colby participated in robotics, One Act, jazz band, marching band, and honor band. He has spent his time volunteering for the Boy Scouts, Matt Talbot Kitchen, Tabitha Nursing Home, Midwest Covenant Home, and the Falls City Clothing Drive.

2019 Karen K. Duncan Scholarship winners. Pictured from the Duncan family is Todd Duncan (middle right).