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Diocese announces Bishop’s Scholarship recipients

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)

Two high school seniors from the Diocese of Sioux City have been selected as recipients of the Bishop’s Scholarship to attend Briar Cliff University. 

“I am so grateful for a Catholic university in our diocese and want to do everything I can to support it with things like these scholarships,” said Bishop Walker Nickless. “For several years we have made these scholarships available to our Catholic students who want to go to a Catholic university.”

To be considered, students must be recommended by their pastor, have achieved a high level of academic success in high school and demonstrate leadership in their community and their Catholic faith.  

“Every year I am more and more impressed with the caliber of candidates who apply for this scholarship,” said Bishop Nickless. “In particular, this year I am pleased that there was a great interest. The two candidates chosen are exceptional in their desire to continue their education in a Catholic college, such as Briar Cliff University.”

For the 2014-2015 school year, the bishop offered scholarships to Ashley Henkenius and Joseph Heinrichs.  Both students have accepted the scholarship and will be attending Briar Cliff University this fall.

Great honor

Heinrichs is a parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Estherville and a 2014 graduate of Estherville Lincoln Central.

“I had heard how prestigious this scholarship was and really wanted to see if I could do what it took to get it,” he said. “The scholarship money and a personal relationship with the bishop also played a role as well.”
It is a “great honor,” Heinrichs said, to receive the scholarship.

“I'm sure there were other highly qualified applicants and to realize I was able to receive this scholarship is very special to me,” said the recipient, who is planning on majoring in psychology at BCU. “I'm glad I'm able to represent my church, family and community well.” 

Heinrichs acknowledged that finding time for God in college isn't always the norm, but “at a Catholic college I knew I would fit in great and be able to keep my faith close to me without as much trouble.”

Attending Briar Cliff will be his first opportunity to attend a Catholic school, which will provide him with a chance when it comes to the Catholic faith.

“The church on campus will give me a great opportunity to attend Mass as much as possible and I've also heard the people are great, so I'll be welcome,” said Heinrichs.

Growing in faith

Henkenius is a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Lake City and a graduate of South Central Calhoun High School. She said her parents actually convinced her to apply for the Bishop’s Scholarship.

“I wasn’t going to apply because I didn’t think I had any chance of receiving it but my parents kept persisting me to do it and I’m glad now that they did,” said Henkenius. “Receiving this scholarship is truly an honor and blessing to me.”

The recent high school graduate wanted to go to a college where she knew she could grow in her relationship with God.

“When I went on a college visit back in the fall, I knew this college would offer me just that,” said Henkenius, who plans on majoring in nursing in hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner. “Also, I wanted a college that would help me learn more about my faith.”

She said she is looking forward to seeing the difference between going to a public school and a Catholic school, since this will be her first opportunity to attend a Catholic school.

“Briar Cliff will provide me with a place where I can grow in my faith,” said Henkenius. “It will be a place where I will be free to voice my religious views and can talk openly about the Lord with others. I’m also looking forward to the on-campus church.”

Dinner with the bishop

Bishop Nickless looks forward to the biannual dinners with the Bishop’s Scholarship recipients.

“I get a chance to follow them in their education,” he said.

The bishop added a highlight of the dinners is being able to discuss various issues with the students.

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