Miami County Bar Association awards scholarships

For Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Bar Association is pleased to announce that it has awarded its 2019 Bar Association scholarships of $1,500 each to five distinguished Miami County area graduating high school seniors. The Bar Association’s Scholarship Committee meets annually each April to review scholarship applications submitted by graduating seniors with the help of their guidance counselors from Miami County’s nine public high schools, Troy Christian High School and Lehman Catholic High School. The Committee then evaluates the applications and handwritten personal statements of the student applicants to make its awards.

This year’s five $1,500 scholarship recipient are:

• Kaitlyn D. Balkcom, a senior at Bethel High School and the daughter of Kevin and Heather Balkcom of Bethel Township. Balkcom is ranked first in her class and carried a 4.409 weighted GPA at Bethel while serving as a member of the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and her class representative to student council and competing in cross country and track. She plans to study psychology and neuroscience at Bowling Green State University.

• Lauren M. Christian, a senior at Covington High School and the daughter of Jennifer Christian of Covington. Christian carried a 3.669 GPA at Covington and received the Covington High School Academic Excellence Award two years running, 2017-2018, while competing in volleyball, basketball and track and setting school records in the shot put and discus throws. At the same time, she served in Vacation Bible School, Key Club and 4H. This fall Lauren will be attending Oakland University where she plans to study occupational therapy with an eye toward helping the disabled, particularly those with Down Syndrome.

• Marie O. Cook, a senior at Miami East High School who lives with her parents William and Kelly Cook near Conover. Cook carried a 4.365 weighted GPA, is ranked third in her class, and is a member of the National Honor Society at Miami East. She has also been involved in marching and concert band, Girl Scouts, Vacation Bible School and student council at Miami East, and she was the winner of the Piqua Lewis-Bayer Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. Cook plans to earn a degree in biochemistry in pursuit of the pre-med curriculum at the University of Toledo.

• Next is Hallie E. Berberich, a senior at Milton-Union High School whose parents are Joseph and Kimberly Berberich of West Milton. Berberich carried a weighted GPA of 4.508, is ranked first in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society at Milton-Union. Hallie was also a standout player and team captain for the soccer squad while participating in student government, the Varsity M Club, the Interact Club and the Business Professionals of America. Shel also was employed part-time while active in her church Youth Group and volunteering for the nursery and children’s ministries. In the fall, Hallie plans to attend Miami University, Ohio where she will study accounting.

• Josalyn C. Abrams, a senior at Troy High School who is the daughter of Nicholas Creech and Stephanie Watercutter of Troy. Abrams is a co-valedictorian of her class, carried a weighted GPA of 4.633 and is President of the National Honor Society at Troy. She was also the Coordinator of the American Sign Language Club, participated in Acapella Choir, and performed in three school musicals including as the lead role of Donna in this year’s Troy High School production of Mama Mia! A gifted musician who sings and plays guitar for her church’s worship band, Abrams also competed in soccer all four years of high school and earned GWOC All-Team honors. She plans to attend the University of Dayton in the fall, where she will study chemical engineering.

The Miami County Bar Association is also pleased to announce the awarding of two scholarships in the amount of $600, each from the J. Andrew Fulker Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in cooperation with the Troy Foundation as a lasting tribute to the memory of Troy attorney J. Andrew Fulker, who died in an auto accident in 1989.

The Scholarship Fund assists deserving law students who are residents of Miami County. The Scholarship Committee of the Miami County Bar Association selects recipients from year to year to receive grants that will apply to law school tuition. Scholarship eligibility requires that an applicant be admitted for full-time attendance at a college of law or law school in a program designed to lead to a Juris Doctor or similar law degree.

This year’s recipients of J. Andrew Fulker Memorial Scholarships are Taylor R. Baumeister of Piqua and Clayton E. Marsh, also of Piqua.

Baumeister, the son of Brett and Anna Baumeister, will attend the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2018 where he maintained a 3.71 grade point average. In the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, Baumeister served as Tribunal President of Interfraternity Council; VP of Conduct, Pi Kappa Alpha and Standards Chair. He participated in Mock Trial, the Cincinnati Youth Poverty Summit and was a volunteer for the Karen Wellington Foundation. Locally, he volunteered in the Down the River Down a Beer Festival.