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Giving Wings to Students’ Dreams BIG TEN CONFERENCE


CHELSEA RAKER of Auxiliary 2966, Department of South Dakota, will pursue a major in Pre-Medicine at Dakota Wesleyan University, with plans to continue on to graduate school. Chelsea has always known she wanted a career in the medical fi eld. She discovered the rewards of helping others through her work at a nursing home. “I love being involved with our residents and understanding their needs,” she wrote in her application.

In addition to school work, she has been involved in sports and has held down one or multiple jobs since the age of 12. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that I won’t go on to do something successful with my life,” she wrote. “I know that I’m capable of achieving what I have my heart set on, and anything less than my best isn’t an option for me.”


SPENCER RYAN KEILICH is the son of member Jennifer Keilich, Auxiliary 5095, Department of Connecticut. Spencer has been accepted to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to earn a fi ve- year bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering – Cell and Tissue Engineering. “This interest was sparked by a traumatic event in my own life and one of the most intriguing fi eld trips of my life,” he wrote. First, Spencer learned that cells in his abdomen had begun to mutate into cancerous ones, and they were removed while in the atypical stage, leaving with him with a new perspective. A year later, listening to a genetic engineering seminar on a mathematics fi eld trip to Wesleyan University, he realized a passion and “a calling” for cell and tissue engineering. He has worked with animals for the Connecticut Veterinary Center and already learned a great deal about medicine. Spencer’s aspiration is no less than to save lives.

LAVERN RACHELLE DEHRAB, a member of Auxiliary 12065, Department of Louisiana, plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for a master’s of science degree in Communicative Disorders. LaVern studied three years to become a speech therapist before putting her dream on hold to provide for her family working as a teacher. She once made a promise to her young daughter who had the desire to become a plastic surgeon to help burn victims. “I promised her then that together all of our dreams could come true,” she wrote. LaVern hopes to earn her degree in the next two years, prior to her daughter’s high school graduation and college preparations. “I know that completing this advanced degree will allow me to earn more, attain my dream career, and keep my promise to her.”


HEIDI M. WHITE, daughter of member Linda R. Wilhelm, Auxiliary 541, Department of Arizona, will pursue an associate’s degree in nursing at Yavapai College in Prescott, where she has been admitted to the Pre-Nursing Program. After 14 years of nurturing four children, her intentions for her education go beyond academic achievement. “My fi rst goal is to refocus my energy from my children’s dreams and goals to my dreams and goals,” she wrote. “My second goal is to show my children that at no matter what age, we can still pursue an education. My third goal is to help my family be more fi nancially self-reliant.”

She and her husband have worked

hard in the face of extreme fi nancial hardship since 2008, and will continue to do so. “I fi rmly believe education is the answer,” White wrote. ■ MS

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