In July, the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program honored nearly 200 student volunteers with $1,000 scholarships toward higher education. Two youths from the Austin area were chosen from more than 37,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact in their local communities. “Kohl’s is proud to recognize the 182 regional winners nationwide for their dedication to making their communities a better place to live,” said Bevin Bailis, Kohl’s senior vice president, communications and public relations. “We commend these bright volunteers for being inspiring examples for others as they have made a difference in their own communities and touched the lives of others through their efforts.”
Winners were chosen based on initiative, leadership, generosity and project benefits and outcome. Local students awarded the scholarships were:
Keeley Cooper, 11, of Spicewood, Texas. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Keeley was determined to help make a difference in the lives of the children she encountered during her treatment sessions at the hospital. Keeley learned the hospital needed backpacks for children to carry their personal items during their hospital stays, and she set out to garner donations by sharing her personal cancer journey with her peers. To date, Keeley has collected more than 300 backpacks for the hospital.
Vianey Villalpando, 17, of Martindale, Texas. After a friend’s car crash, Vianey was determined to educate students about the risks of distracted driving. Vianey, with the help of educators and city leaders, used a national teen driving campaign to heighten public awareness. Their efforts raised $25,000 for the school.