Thank You Letter: Aurya Downey

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Feb 172023

My name is Aurya Downey, I attend the University of South Carolina Beaufort. I have had a
great college experience, I am so glad I made the decision to go to the east coast and play
soccer while pursuing my degree. I have been able to meet so many new people from all over
the world that have become close friends, both in soccer and within the community. I also really
enjoy getting to experience the southern culture, it is very different from the northwest. In South
Carolina there is a lot of history throughout the area along with beautiful Spanish moss,
alligators, and the white sand beaches are a bonus too! I’m very excited to be graduating early
this spring with an undergraduate degree in Pre-Med Biology and continuing my education at
Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida where I will continue my soccer career and earn a
masters in Health Science before I attend medical school. The Meridian Public School
Foundation has been a huge help in supporting me in all I do and helping me be able to obtain
my goals. I want to say a huge thank you and I really appreciate all the support over the years!

 Posted by at 10:59 am

Update from Alumni Hannah Waterman

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Jan 182023

Hannah Waterman Activities Since Graduation
The 4.5 years since my graduation from Meridian have been filled with amazing opportunities,
lessons, and amazing experiences. In Fall of 2018, I started my college education at Seattle
Pacific University.
During my sophomore year, I was on my dorm’s Hall Council and served on the Student
Senate. A major focus of this leadership was establishing Strike Out Hunger on campus. This
program aims to help students facing food insecurity by providing meal grants at the campus
dining hall. I worked alongside campus dining, University communications, the Dean of Students
for Community Life, and individual student organizers. Students, staff, faculty, parents, and
community members can recommend a student for the grant. In its several months, the program
provided more than 200 meals for students in need. I also sat on the Student Budget Committee
and brought student priorities to the University’s budget-writing process–focusing on increased
campus accessibility.
Covid-19 cut my sophomore year short, but I was able to spend time with family in Whatcom
County. I also had the opportunity to intern on then State Representative Sharon Shewmake’s
reelection campaign. I learned the tenants of voter outreach, the importance of honest
communication, and what I want from a future political career. This continued through
November 2020, when Dr. Shewmake won reelection.
During this time, I was elected Executive Vice President of the Associated Students of Seattle
Pacific, SPU’s student government, for the 2020-2021 academic year. My junior year consisted
of chairing the student senate, working alongside other student executives to reckon with SPU’s
complex history and its present, and of course, my normal classes. I started my Honors
Research Project, in which I focused on barriers marginalized students face when seeking out
internships and how unpaid internships often create an undue burden for low-income students.
Ever since my senior year at Meridian, I knew that I wanted to intern at either the State
Legislature or Congress. In the summer of 2021, I interviewed with several offices in both
Washington State and Washington, D.C. and was offered a position in each. Ultimately, I
accepted an internship in Senator Maria Cantwell’s Washington, D.C. office. So instead of
starting my senior year of college with classes, it started with a flight.
I was in D.C. from September to December of 2021. In Senator Cantwell’s office I answered
constituent calls and mail, conducted research projects for the office, prepared press clips, and
completed any other errands needed. I got to deliver bill amendments to the Senate floor, tour
the Capitol while it was closed to visitors, attend the White House Christmas tree lighting, visit
museums I had only dreamed about visiting, and become uniquely familiar with how Congress
and the federal government work. I realized that the passion I first discovered in history and
civics classes translated to the real world.

In January I started again at SPU. I worked on my Honors Research Project, took classes I had
waited years for, and served as a student senator for the School of Business, Government, and
In late spring I started working part-time at a public relations firm in Seattle in their market
research division, presented my final Honors Research Project, took my last finals, and
prepared for life after graduation. I am proud to have graduated Cum Laude with degrees in
both Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy and Law and Honors Liberal Arts
with a Classical Studies minor. Since graduation, I’ve been working as a political research
analyst full-time and discovering what life after school is like. I am excited for what the future
holds, and so thankful for my time at both Meridian and SPU.

 Posted by at 8:04 am

2023 MPSF Newsletter

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Jan 182023

“Education is simply the soul to society, as it passes from one generation to another.” G.K.

From 1997 through 2022, The Meridian Public School Foundation has been able to provide
1065 scholarships, totaling $1,303,720 to Meridian High School seniors and alumni. From our
inception in 1997 to 2010, scholarships were allocated only for current Meridian High School
graduates. However, in 2011, the Board voted to include alumni in the application process. In
the last two years, the foundation has awarded a quarter of a million dollars to seniors and
alumni. Currently, the foundation has 15 Endowments and 1 Trust. Our Laurel community has
limited economic base, so this is a testament to the generosity of our donors, many of whom
are (were) our alumni and/or district personnel. Through prudent financial management and as
minimal overhead as possible, the foundation has been able to make the most of these
The application process and awarding of scholarships happens each spring. In March, students
can apply online. The Scholarship Committee then reviews the applications and schedules
individual interviews via “zoom”. The benefit of these virtual interactive video meetings allows
the Foundation to obtain a well- rounded student narrative and their post- secondary goals.
The interview with the alumni facilitates the tracking of the student’s academic progress and
personal growth. Most of the recipients express a desire to return to live in Whatcom County
and continue to be a part of the Meridian Community after their post-secondary graduation.
Current Meridian School District teachers, who were foundation scholarship recipients, are:
Robert Kratzig, Bryant Michaelson, Shannon Claeys, and Lainey Brennen. Current MPSF Board
Members, who were former recipients, are: Brady Emmons, and Maggie Miller (Chambers).
For over 20 years, the primary MPSF fundraiser is an annual Golf Tournament, held on the last
Saturday of June at a local golf course in the Meridian Community. This year’s tournament will
be hosted at North Bellingham Golf Course. The monies raised cover 10-12 scholarships. This
tournament is particularly important this year to maintain our funding allocations. During our
boys and girls home basketball games, our Foundation Vice President, Mark Terpsma, is hosting
a table with information about MPSF Scholarships and the Golf Tournament. He is ready to
meet community members, parents, and students to help provide information on MPSF and its

upcoming tournament. Further information is also available on Facebook, and our website.

The following letters are from former scholarship recipients willing to share their recent
post-secondary experiences since graduation from Meridian High School.
The views expressed are of the individuals and do not reflect the views of the foundation, its
board members, or our donors.
Paul Kratzig
MPSF President

 Posted by at 8:02 am

2023 MPSF Fundraiser Golf Tournament Saturday 6.24.23 @ North Bellingham Golf Course

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Jan 122023

2023 MPSF Annual Golf Tournament Registration Information

Saturday June 24th~N. Bellingham Golf Course~Scramble Format~8:30am~Continental breakfast~Awards luncheon

The Meridian Public School Foundation’s sole purpose is to benefit the students of the Meridian School District. The Foundation provides college scholarships for both graduating Meridian students and for Meridian alumni. Last year the Foundation awarded several scholarships to graduating seniors and to Meridian alumni! The MPSF Annual Golf Tournament is one of our biggest FUNdraisers with an emphasis on FUN!  You don’t want to miss it!!

** If registering online please complete ALL steps below!

Step 1) Complete THIS form

Step 2) Click the paypal links below or make check payable to “Meridian Public School Foundation”  and mail to 525 Beard Rd. Lynden, WA 98264.

  • $125 for individual ($135 if paying via paypal w/fees) PAYPAL US HERE
  • $250 for a tee sign ($260 if paying via paypal w/fees) PAYPAL US HERE

PAY via PAYPAL here —>

 Posted by at 4:56 pm