Minnesota Association of Townships  announces 2022 Scholarship Winners Five high school juniors awarded

The Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) is proud to announce the winners of its 2022 Scholarship Program. Five high school juniors were selected, and each awarded a $2,000 scholarship. 
 All students currently enrolled in 11th grade and attending a Minnesota public, private, or parochial school, or a home-study program, were eligible to apply for this program. Applicants submitted a written essay using critical thinking on the topic of promoting awareness of township government. Winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges this past summer and announced at MAT’s annual conference in November 2022. This year’s judges were Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, State Senator David Senjem, and Margaret Lett from Benafica. Since its inception in 2001, the MAT Scholarship Program has had over 2,000 submissions and 97 winners.
 The 2022 essay topic was: Promoting Township Government. The question was, “The Minnesota Association of Townships has the responsibility to promote public understanding of the heritage and future of township government and its role in the state and federal systems. What are some ways that MAT could promote awareness of township government and inspire township residents and boards to become involved?”
 Winning essays, headshots of the winners, and more information can be found on the Minnesota Association of Townships’ website, www.mntownship.org or https://www.mntownships.org/about/scholarship-program.
 MAT Executive Director Jeff Krueger said, “All of our winners did an outstanding job of addressing the topic with imaginative ideas and exceptional arguments. We are very proud of this scholarship program and what it has done for the many young people who have received our help to further their educational efforts,” said MAT Executive Director Jeff Krueger.
 2022 Minnesota Association of Townships Scholarship Winners:
 Elliot Espenson
From Christiania Township, Jackson County
Elliot Espenson is a junior at Windom Area High School and lives in Christiania Township in Jackson County. Elliot is the daughter of Jason and Cindy Espenson. Elliot’s interests and hobbies include volleyball, swimming, track and field, hunting, watersports, and spending time outdoors exploring nature. Elliot plans to further her education and become a large animal veterinarian. Elliot loves rural America and the small-town way of life. 
 Gabriel Lawver
From Garden City Township, Blue Earth County
Gabriel (Gabe) Lawver is a junior at Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial (LCWM) School and lives in Garden City and Vernon Center Townships in Blue Earth County. Gabe is the son of Andrew and Jennifer Lawver. Gabe’s interests and hobbies include 4-H, Honor Society, golf, cross county, math league, robotics, and volunteering at church. Gabe’s future goals include attaining a college degree in Business and Political Science. Gabe attended Boys State in June 2022 to learn about Minnesota’s government.
 Madalyn Putnam
From Marysville Township, Wright County 
Madalyn Putnam is a junior at Howard Lake Waverly Winsted School and lives in Marysville Township in Wright County. Madalyn is the daughter of Gloria Putnam and John Putnam. Madalyn’s interests and hobbies include Girl Scouts, art, baking, reading, animals, walking, and movies. Madalyn plans to attend College of St. Scholastica to obtain a teaching degree.
 Mikell Schoonover
From Duluth, St. Louis County 
Mikell Schoonover is a junior at Minnesota Connections Academy and lives in Duluth, MN in St. Louis County. Mikell is the daughter of Serenity and Bill Schoonover. Her interests and hobbies include reading, writing, learning, the environment, faith, calendar collecting, and watercolor. She also dabbles in plant care and geology. Mikell’s future goal is become an environmental scientist to learn more about the earth and travel it, specifically working to solve Lake Superior’s invasive species issue.
 Olivia Oolman
From Mantorville Township, Dodge County County
Olivia Oolman is a junior at Kasson-Mantorville High School and live in Mantorville Township in Dodge County. Olivia is the daughter of Elizabeth and Dale Oolman. Olivia’s interests and hobbies include soccer, hiking, swimming, traveling, reading, and baking. Olivia’s future goals are to go to college to pursue further education to have a career that she loves.
  There are approximately 914,000 township residents in 1,780 townships in Minnesota.