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Lydia Berning, Spencer Bizon awarded Mt. Angel Chamber scholarships

The Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce has awarded its Junior First Citizen Award and the Maureen Ernst Memorial Scholarship to John F. Kennedy High School seniors Lydia Berning and Spencer Bizon, respectively.

The students were surprised at the high school by their parents and chamber leaders.

The awards included $2,000 toward each student’s education. 

Berning and Bizon said they hope to pursue degrees in medical imaging through Chemeketa Community College and then Oregon Tech.. Bizon added he wants to finish at MIT.

Chamber President Sarah Bauman said choosing an applicant among students in Mount Angel is tough because, even though there is a high bar to reach for community involvement and volunteerism, local teens are so accustomed to participating in local programs like Oktoberfest they push the bar even higher.

“We have a very community-oriented town, so you have to go above and beyond to get awarded,” she said.

Berning was noted for volunteering at her church, street cleanup at Oktoberfest, volunteering for school concessions, memberships in clubs such as FBLA, FFA and Habitat for Humanity, and serving as the current ASB President. She is also involved in sports and maintains a 4.0 GPA.

Bizon was noted for set-up and tear-down at Oktoberfest and volunteering at the information booth, volunteering with the Mt. Angel Hazlenut Festival (which was co-founded by Ernst, the namesake of his scholarship), and playing a role in student leadership during all four years at high school. He also maintains a 4.0 GPA and is involved in sports, including a track meet he rushed off to join right after the ceremony.

Bizon said he was grateful to the Chamber for the award and helping him get closer to a career in the medical field.

“This will help me move on in that path and I can’t wait to move on after high school,” he said.

Bizon’s mother, Jenny Bizon, said she trusts her son will do well in college because of his excellent study habits. She said he had earned the Chamber’s recognition.

Berning said she was grateful to the Chamber for its support and the affirmation of the many ways she has been involved in Mount Angel.

“Thank you for looking at all of my accomplishments and choosing me to be the recipient of the scholarship,” she said.

Berning’s father, Tim Berning, said she has worked hard during her school career, even through the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said, if his daughter sets a path toward a goal, he can be certain she will achieve it.

– Stephen Floyd

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