By Steve Robinson | April 27, 2018 - 10:13 pm
Posted in Category: Heyworth Buzz

When “Senior Awards Night” at Heyworth High School ended Wednesday night, there had to be the usual relief by those just days from graduating that they could see the light at the end of the tunnel as they anxiously awaited their college or vocational careers.

And thanks to the “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship Fund, two HHS seniors received a little help to getting those careers started. The “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship Fund was established to honor Noah Wiseman who was an HHS freshman when he died in 2014 at age 16. Approached by family friend Julie Day, Noah’s parents, Clay and Sue Wiseman, along with Noah’s older brother, Kyle, and his wife, Jill, established the “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship Fund as a means of honoring Noah, who was an HHS freshman when he died.

Each year, the committee members, which include the four Wisemans, Day, and her husband, Jeff, create an essay question for the students to write about. Committee members deliberate themselves on the subject of the question before a question is finally selected by the committee to present to students, Clay and Sue Wiseman explained.

Sue Wiseman said a total of 18 students submitted essays. Committee members read the essays reducing that to the top three, the top two earning the scholarships.

This year’s question: “What life lesson will you take with you from Heyworth High School?” This year’s “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship winners are friends who knew each other in grade school and strengthen their bond of friendship in junior high and high school: Riley Ryburn and Amber Tomlin.

Riley Ryburn: Riley, daughter of Lori Becker, Heyworth, and Phillip Ryburn, Murfreesboro, Tenn., explained, “The main thing I learned was life is going to give you, like, obstacles and ups and downs and it’s up to you to get back up.” For Riley, that has meant being part of helping her mother with some health issues related to cancer. She said she has had to help with her mother’s care at times. She said her gist of the essay she wrote is that getting back up after such setbacks is what she learned while attending HHS.

Riley knew Noah Wiseman when they were in junior high school, living in the same subdivision. Riley said she wrote about how caring for her mother led her to the career path she’s seeking in nursing. To that end, she will use her scholarship money to attend Southeastern Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Her career goal at this point is to become a Nurse Practitioner. She is graduating HHS with a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

“I’m really grateful for this,” Riley said of being a scholarship winner. “I don’t think Noah’s family knows how much it means to me.”

Amber Tomlin: For Amber Tomlin, the lesson she said she came away with from her HHS years was that “life is short and people should live it while they can and not wait until something goes wrong to appreciate what you have.” Her view is seen through remembering classmate A. J. Hanlin, who died in a traffic accident in 2014. For Amber, before Hanlin’s death, “Everything was running smoothly,” she said. “I hadn’t experienced any, like, big deaths or illnesses or anything in my family. So I was kind of naïve to think that ‘I’m young and lifer is perfect.’”

But when Hanlin was killed, explained Amber, daughter of Patrick and Lisa Tomlin, she said, “Reality hit me.” Amber is planning to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where she will major in Nursing.

With healing being the duty a nurse or nurse practitioner has a role in, it seems appropriate that these friends aiming for parallel paths should be honored with these scholarships.

How “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship Began: When they conceived of the scholarship, the Wiseman family’s goal was to raise enough money to give out one $5,000 scholarship. But the outpouring of support that first year allowed there to be two scholarships totaling $5,000 each to be awarded.

When the Wisemans agreed to establish the scholarship, Sue Wiseman explained, she and her husband had a few conditions before setting about honoring their son in this manner. The first was any money collected must never come to the Wiseman house. The second condition was that the contest be closed to senior members of HHS’ football team in its first year, 2015, because Noah was on the football team at the time of his passing. Since then, it has been awarded to any member of the school’s senior class.

Day, later joined by her husband, Jeff, stepped up to help make good to the Wiseman’s request regarding cash handling.

The Wisemans helped establish the committee that first year in 2015 but did not judge the essays which were turned into HHS’ counseling office and renumbered so as to keep the writer’s identity a secret until it was time to select a winner. Wiseman family members did not serve as judges that first year because of their familiarity with the boys on the team. An independent panel judged the essays. The Wisemans, their son and daughter-in law served as judges starting with essays submitted for 2016.

When they began raising funds for the scholarship, the Wisemans thought $5,000 from friends, neighbors, and strangers would be a nice start for the first year. To their delight, they raised $10,000 – enough for two scholarships. Heyworth’s school board approved the scholarship, and HHS’ guidance office collects the essays and assigns a number to each essay to protect the writer’s anonymity so the judges have no idea which students have written them.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 10:13 pm and is filed under Heyworth Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.