At UPS for DownS we are excited about the opportunity to give young people in
our community assistance in pursuing their life goals. This year we will be
awarding $15,000 in scholarships. A total of six individual will scholarships of
$2,500 each will be awarded through our memorial scholarship program.
It is our honor to announce the 2013 UPS for DownS Memorial Scholarship award
Katie MacDonald Memorial Scholarships:
Disability Related Field of Study – Elizabeth Holbrook
Elizabeth is a senior at Niles West High School and will be pursuing a degree in
Special Education at Bowling Green State University. She decided to dedicate her
professional life to working with individuals with special needs as a result of
her experiences as a Special Olympics coach, an Elite Stars Athletics coach, and
counselor for Maine-Niles Association for Special Recreation.
Disability Related Field of Study – Theresa Versaci
Theresa is a senior at Montini High School and will be pursuing a degree in
Speech and Language pathology at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign.
She has dedicated many hour to volunteering on behalf of the special needs
community with Easter Seals, Special Olympics, and the "Dance for Special Needs"
program at the Dance Centre in Lombard.
Individual with Down syndrome – Miah Yader
Miah is a 2012 graduate of Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. She will
attend the College of Charleston Reach Program in South Carolina and pursue her
dream of working in the hospitality industry. Miah is a voracious reader and is
never without a book. Among her many accomplishments are giving the keynote
address on inclusion to a youth group of 2,700 at Purdue University.
Individual with Down syndrome – Sarah Schaffer
Sarah is a senior at Freestate High School in Lawrence, Kansas. She will be
attending Johnson County Community College in the fall. Among Sarah's many
achievements are being a percussionist in the band and manager for the girls'
basketball team. Additionally, as a participant on the girl's track team she is
proud to say she finished every race.
Eric Martinez Memorial Scholarships:
Sibling – Kaleigh Avery
Kayleigh is a freshman at Taylor University in Indiana. She is studying
Biology/Pre-Medicine. Her younger brother, Christopher, has been an inspiration
throughout her life. Amongst her many life ambitions is using her healthcare
training to serve the needs of disadvantaged individuals with disabilities
Individual with Down syndrome – Samir Dabrowski
Samir is a graduate of Hersey High School and is currently attending the Career
Skills Institute at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. Samir is a member of
the UPS for Downs Adult Club and the UPS for DownS Next Chapter Book Club. He
competes in powerlifting with Special Olympics and is a member of the Elite
Stars Dance Team. In his spare time, Samir volunteers weekly at Lutheran General
There were many deserving candidates who applied. Thank you to the Scholarship
Selection Committee for your hard work.
Congratulations to the extraordinary young people who are our scholarship
recipients for 2013.