February 13, 2023
Rodrock Vision Scholars Continue to Shine
For more than 25 years, the Rodrock Vision Scholarship has been offered to graduating seniors who’ve demonstrated a commitment to their Rodrock communities and the ability to responsibly set goals and achieve them. Some 140 students have been gifted scholarships during this time, helping make their future educational plans a reality.
This special opportunity continues for the Class of 2023 who call our communities home, with applications due on April 17th. But while we await the steady stream of applications from talented seniors, we thought we’d visit with some former Vision Scholars to see how they’re continuing to make their mark on the world.
Emma (Roush) Stiles – Originally from Birchwood Hills - A Rodrock Community
Emma graduated in 2014 from Blue Valley West and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. Incredibly, she balanced this demanding line of study with a successful career on the University’s dive team.
“I am an All American in Diving, a 5x Conference Champion, and a 3x diver of the year,” Emma says. “I was also awarded the Winter Scholar Athlete award in 2017 and the Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2018. All of the money from my scholarship went toward tuition, since I was out of state and tuition was rather expensive, even with having a part athletic scholarship.”
Emma graduated UMass Amherst in 2018, returning to Kansas where she was accepted into the KU Med Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy in May 2022 and now works as a therapist at Saint Luke’s South Outpatient rehab, treating orthopedic and neurological conditions. Emma is also cross-trained in Inpatient Rehab and Acute Care, allowing her to treat patients in all settings.
“I’ve been married for almost 2 years, and we have a German shepherd named Lily,” Emma adds. “I also have a small photography business on the side. I am grateful for the scholarship money I was awarded, as it helped me live out my dreams!”
Renny Ma – Originally from Estates of Parkhurst- A Rodrock Community
Renny graduated Shawnee Mission High School in 2016 with a series of accolades, before graduating Magna Cum Laude from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health. While her Vision Scholarship went toward undergraduate tuition, Renny had yet greater plans, next attending the University of Michigan for a Master of Health Services Administration.
“Professionally, I am an Administrative Fellow at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida,” Renny says. “The Administrative Fellowship Program is a two-year rotational program that allows fellows exposure to various areas of the organization, including the clinical practice, research administration, finance, strategy, and human resources, among other areas. Personally, I am celebrating a year of eating plant-based! I have discovered a wide variety of delicious recipes ranging from crispy garlic tofu to vegan cinnamon rolls. I also enjoy playing pickle ball.”
Cole Smith – Originally from Wellington Park - A Rodrock Community
Cole graduated from Rockhurst High School in 2017 and that summer headed off to Cadet Basic Training at the esteemed United States Military Academy at West Point.
“Tuition is free at West Point, but there are initial costs for military equipment and all the necessary academic resources,” Cole says. “My Rodrock scholarship helped cover all of those initial costs and allowed me to go into my summer training and first semester at West Point with great equipment and all the supplies needed to succeed in my studies.”
Cole graduated from West Point in May of 2021 with a degree in Sociology and was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army.
“I currently serve as an Assistant Operations Officer in the 199th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, Ga.,” Cole says. “In my free time I work as a strength and conditioning coach, and I am an active member in my church.”
These former Scholars continue to show the amazing character and fortitude they illustrated in their scholarship applications all those years ago. And impressively, each has found his and her own unique way to give back to their communities, still representing the values represented by the Rodrock Vision Scholarship program. We wish these incredible Scholars the best of luck as they continue to pursue their passions!