The New Melle Fire Rescue firefighters have a private account, the Firefighters Fund, which is funded from time to time with donations from the public or from small fundraisers of their own. This account is in no way funded from any tax dollars.
The New Melle Fire Rescue volunteer and paid firefighters decided for the eleventh year in a row that they wished to offer a scholarship opportunity from their Firefighters Fund, which could be applied for by any resident within the geographic district covered by NMFPD. The opportunity was open to anyone, regardless of age, who was applying for any higher education program. While this scholarship could be applied to a full-time college education program, it could just as well be applied to a technical school curriculum or an EMT course, etc.
In addition, the full-time paid firefighters of New Melle FPD decided to chip in and offer an additional donation from their own separate fund, again a private account that is in no way funded from tax dollars. They were motivated to do this based on the significant public response to the program in previous years, and their additional donation enabled the department to match last year’s scholarship total of $1,000. This year, the $1,000 will again be offered as two (2) $500 scholarships, benefiting two (2) recipients.
A firefighter-based committee recently reviewed the eligible applications received. The review process this year was a significant challenge, as always. The applicants had outstanding records of academic achievement, along with profiles of numerous extracurricular and volunteer activities. Many accomplished all that while working part time as well. But after deliberation, the committee determined that the recipients of the two $500 scholarships offered this year are Darby Schmidt who lives on Highway F in Defiance, and Dava Hummel who lives on Old Log Cabin Trail in Marthasville.
Darby Schmidt is enrolled to attend Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS in the field of agribusiness with a minor in marketing; she then has plans to pursue her masters degree in Agricultural and Consumer Sciences, with hopes of having a career in marketing for an agricultural firm. She is a graduate of Francis Howell where she was very active in DECA, FBLA, cheerleading and student council, with many special recognitions. She was also very active in 4-H, having been raised and working on the local family farm. In addition to various 4-H awards, she also served as the 2010 4-H St. Charles County Queen. Even while working hard in school and extracurricular activities, and at the farm, Darby found time to volunteer her time to many places in the area such as her church, Our Lady’s Inn, kids’ day camps, etc. Darby views her greatest academic achievement to date as having been selected as a delegate for the Missouri Agribusiness Academy.
Dava Hummel is a junior at Southeast Missouri State, enrolled in the biology field, Pre-Physician Assistant Program. It is her goal to use that bachelor’s degree as a base to become a Physician Assistant. Dava’s passion for providing value to patients in the healthcare field began in her junior year of high school when she participated in the St. Luke’s hospital career program for students. Now she pursues her goal with a strong college grade point average, and as a member in college honors societies, while she also finds time to volunteer through the Student Medical Society to help with blood drives, bone marrow donation programs, etc. She also volunteers in the ER department at Southeast Hospital. If that’s not enough, she is currently pursuing her EMT certification in order to get a job at an ambulance station and get better firsthand experience in emergency healthcare provision.
We have some talented, hard-working people in our community, and Darby Schmidt and Dava Hummel are surely two of them. The New Melle Fire Rescue firefighters congratulate Darby and Dava on their commendable successes to date, and wish them all the best in future collegiate work. They also wish to thank all of the other scholarship applicants for their submissions, and wish them the best in their future endeavors as well.