RENTON, Wash. - The WIAA, Dairy Farmers of Washington and Gesa Credit Union announced Emma Spence of Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) High School and Kalli Wiker of Sequim High School as the recipients of the ninth annual Smart Choices Scholarship, Friday.
The winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship to the schools of their choice. Spence will attend the University of Washington next fall while Wiker plans to continue her athletic and academic career as a member of the George Fox University tennis team.
In addition to the two $5,000 scholarships, the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Gesa Credit Union have teamed up to issue eight $1,000 scholarships.
“There is no doubt the students in this class have been challenged with the strangest and most unsettling high school experience,” said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. “We are so honored to partner with the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Gesa Credit Union and reward these students for their hard work and leadership during a very difficult time.”
Spence is an eight-time letter winner in soccer and tennis and was member of the 2019 Lakeside team that finished fourth in the 1A State Soccer Tournament after advancing to the quarterfinals the year prior. She has earned individual accolades for her achievements as well, being named to the NEA League All-Conference First Team in soccer three times.
Spence currently holds a 4.0 GPA and was a member of the Destination Imagination team which placed first at the Global Finals in 2019, competing against more than 7,000 students from 17 other countries. She has proven her leadership qualities by being elected ASB president during her senior year and organizing spirit days and contests during virtual and hybrid learning. Her involvement in the community is highlighted by the introduction of Generation Alive, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about human trafficking and foot insecurity, to Lakeside High School.
Wiker is a three-sport athlete at Sequim while also taking part in the school’s music program. She is a proven winner on the court, being crowned a 2A Girls Tennis Doubles State Champion as a sophomore after finishing second during her freshman season. The senior has put together a well-rounded athletic career, being named a second-team all-league selection in both basketball and volleyball and breaking Sequim’s 3-point record in basketball.
Wiker has maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking AP and honors credits, an accomplishment that has earned her the title of Valedictorian. In addition to her achievements in the classroom, she has given back to the next generation by volunteering in youth basketball and tennis camps as well as teaching at the Elementary Math Camp.
“Partnering with the Dairy Farmers of Washington and the WIAA to offer the Smart Choices Scholarship award provides Gesa a way to further impact students across Washington whose academic, athletic, leadership, and community service achievements have gone above and beyond,” said Angie Brotherton, Assistant Vice President of Community Relations for Gesa Credit Union. “We extend our best wishes to this year’s scholarship winners as they pursue their dreams of higher education.”
“Healthy lifestyles begin at an early age and the Dairy Farmers of Washington is proud to support these student athletes,” said Tony Veiga, chair of the Dairy Farmers of Washington. “The teamwork and leadership skills learned through sports and other WIAA activities will serve them well as future leaders in our local communities.”
Finalists - $1,000 Scholarship Recipients
Julia Causbie - Holy Names Academy
Cassadie Golding - Montesano
Yahir Gonzalez - Emerald Ridge
Brett Kelley - Bellarmine Prep
Jake Leitz - Wahkiakum
John Magira - Stadium
LouEllen Reed - Oakesdale
Alisha Shetty - West Valley (Yakima)