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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton High graduate awarded foundation college scholarship

Aug 23, 2018 03:30PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Brighton High graduate McKayla Dumas received a Canyons Education Foundation scholarship for college. (Canyons Education Foundation)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

This fall, Brighton High graduate McKayla Dumas may be found in classes at Salt Lake Community College, thanks to the help of the Canyons Education Foundation. 

Dumas, who wants to earn her nursing degree, received the Canyons Education Foundation’s $1,000 Bright Star Scholarship. 

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I love everything about learning and am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn more.” 

Dumas was one of eight students who were awarded scholarships based on their abilities to overcome difficulties in their lives, said Foundation Officer Denise Haycock. 

“New to the position of development officer I can easily see where awarding scholarships to deserving students will be one of my favorite parts of this job,” she said about the scholarships that were awarded to many students who have already made great strides in their lives, from improving grades to overcoming trials in their lives. 

This is the third year Canyons Education Foundation has awarded scholarships. On April 19, the foundation awarded a record $11,000 in college scholarships.  

Dumas credits Stephanie Isley for helping her succeed in high school as well as learning about the scholarship. 

“I was in the hospital a lot of time and saw how the nursing staff spent time one-on-one with patients and got to know them, so I knew that was something I wanted to do. But, it also meant I had to make up a lot of classes after my surgery, so I was taking online classes at the same time — 14 credits. I was studying around the clock, but Ms. Isley, who told me about the scholarship, believed in me,” she said. 

Dumas wrote a one-page paper about why she deserved the scholarship and about her high school academic history and desire to attend college. Isley wrote a letter of recommendation. 

“I learned from my principal, Tom Sherwood, and assistant principal, Matt Shelby, that I was selected and they told the entire class. I was so happy,” she said. 

Dumas wants to work at Primary Children’s Hospital as a certified nursing assistant. 

“The kids are so optimistic and positive so I hope I can help them and make an impact in their lives,” she said. 

She also wants to be a role model for her 11-year-old sister, who also lives with her grandparents.  

“I spend a lot of time with her, reading and helping her realize how important education is. I want to set an example for her and show how she can also push through challenges,” she said. “I came back and took all those classes and made it on the honor roll. It was important to me to graduate. I’m the first in my family to walk at graduation. I’m proud of myself.” 

Dumas was presented a large cardboard check at the Canyons Education Foundation Spring Gala. 

At the gala, other Bright Star winners were recognized: Marthe Mfourou, Hillcrest High; Olivia Steadman, Alta High; Makayla Wright, Jordan High; Vanesa Beers, Jordan High and CTEC; and Sam Aamodt, Corner Canyon High. Celena Slesser of Diamond Ridge was awarded the $2,500 Rising Star Scholarship and Corner Canyon High’s Emily Arthur received the Mountain America Scholarship.