Since 1989 with the support of its members, OPEDA has recognized academic achievement through awarding scholarships to USDA employees and their family members. The John W. Peterson Scholarship is given in recognition of the dedicated service of Mr. Peterson as the 24th President of OPEDA. The Steven "Tom" Stefani Scholarship honors the heroic service and ultimate of sacrifice of this young U. S. Forest Service Range Conservationist, while he was on a voluntary assignment with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Afghanistan.
OPEDA is proud to recognize two promising students, Emily Larson and Kayla Stone. Let’s wish them our best in their future endeavors!
Kayla Stone graduated from Cair Paravel Latin School, Topeka, KS in May 2016. She is the daughter of Randy and Lori Stone. Randy works for USDA Rural Development as a Civil Engineer. Kayla has been accepted into the Athletic Training Program at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, beginning her studies this fall. Throughout her high school career, Kayla excelled at volleyball and basketball so she is excited to experience Athletic Training from the trainer’s perspective. Kayla plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training, and then pursue her dream of becoming a Pediatric Physician’s Assistant.
To be considered, Scholarship Applications must include the following:
1. A completed OPEDA Scholarship Application Form for the 2016-2017 School Year
2. A typed, double spaced essay, not to exceed two pages, on the topic: “Public Service is a Unique Challenge with Many Rewards.”
3. One character reference. This should be a letter (no more than 2 paragraphs contained on one page) from a non-related adult e.g., teacher, coach…etc., describing how the writer has come to know the applicant and what the strengths of the applicant are.
4. A sealed original of most recent high school or college transcript showing a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.
5. A list and brief description on a separate page of awards and extracurricular and community service accomplishments.
Important Note: Applicant must be at least a college freshman or equivalent by fall term 2016, and must submit the requested documents to the following address postmarked no later than June 30, 2016, to be considered:
Organization of Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 23762, Washington, DC 20026-3762
Applicants are also advised to call or email the OPEDA Office to ensure that their application has been received and is being considered. 202-720-4898 email@example.com
Emily Larson, the daughter of Rural Development’s Vickie Larson, graduated from Mt. Pleasant Community High school, Mt. Pleasant, IA in May 2016. Emily is currently preparing to attend the University of South Dakota majoring in medical biology with a minor in chemistry. After receiving her major Emily plans to go to medical school and is exploring many specializations including surgery, family practice medicine, and pediatrics. This year she will be participating in marching band, the sorority rushing process, and hopes to do much more. Emily currently enjoys working as a CNA (certified nursing assistant). Emily has filled her fall schedule with science courses and has expressed how extremely excited she is to begin this new chapter in her life!
OPEDA will be accepting scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 school year beginning March 2017. OPEDA members in good standing and their family members (broadly defined) attending college are eligible to apply.