Friday, June 01, 2018

Allison Vander Plas, Mankato West High School senior, was awarded the $2,000 J. Scott Sanders M.D. Memorial Scholarship. Vander Plas is attending University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the fall and plans to become a high school social studies teacher with a special education license.

The scholarship honors J. Scott Sanders, one of Mankato Clinic’s most beloved physicians, pulmonologists and critical care specialists, who died in May 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer. Mankato Clinic Foundation has developed the J. Scott Sanders M.D. Memorial scholarship for high school seniors. Dr. Sanders’ character was renowned in all aspects of his life, which resulted in an unforgettable and lifelong impact on others.

To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must write about how character has been important in achieving their accomplishments to date, how it will be a key cornerstone of their future and how they recognize character in others.

In her essay, Vander Plas wrote about speaking up in support of Muslims at a Republican Caucus meeting. She considers herself conservative, but at 18 she was the youngest person in the room. A proposition on Islam in school was introduced. She wrote that people said hateful things about Muslims. Vander Plas stood up to defend her Muslim friends, testifying to their good nature and kindness. “I spoke to bring up the truth that no one else had the courage to say. I did it for those that weren’t there to defend themselves, and I did it to remain accountable to myself,” she wrote.

Barbara Sanders, widow of J. Scott Sanders, presented the scholarship and commended Vander Plas for her courage and character.  “Reading these essays from young people gives us such great hope for the future,” Sanders said.                                                                       

To be eligible for the scholarship, the applicant must be a high school senior and reside within the Mankato Clinic service area, which includes Mankato, North Mankato, St. Peter, Lake Crystal, Mapleton and nearby communities. In addition, the applicant must plan to obtain a secondary education following high school graduation. One $2,000 scholarship is awarded annually. 

For more information visit /j-scott-sanders-md-memorial-scholarship-form.

Barbara Sanders (left) presented the J. Scott Sanders M.D. Memorial Scholarship to Allison Vander Plas, Mankato West High School senior.