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Meet the 2017 Linden Scholarship winners

Added on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Written by Julie Borgen, Twin Cities Media Relations Director at The Salvation Army Northern Division

Six local students are celebrating after earning a $3,000 scholarship from The Salvation Army to help pay for college this fall, after 24 applied.

In the mid 1970’s, St. Paul native Pearl H. Linden and her two sisters left $1.25 million to several charities, including a $250,000 gift to The Salvation Army.

Their instructions for the Linden Scholarship were to use that money to help students who need it, but who also demonstrate community spirit and moral standards.

The one-time, non-renewable scholarship offers $3,000 for students pursuing a four-year degree, and $1,500 for students in two-year programs.

“The Linden Scholarship is a perfect example of how estate planning can work to create a lasting legacy that really makes a difference,” said David Overstake, director of planned giving at The Salvation Army.

Meet the six Linden Scholarship winners for 2017:

Sabrina Abdirahim

18-year-old Sabrina Abdirahim from Roseville plans to major in biology at Hamline University in the fall. After college she wants to go to medical school and become a pediatric nephrologist–a doctor that specializes in treating children with kidney disease.

During her high school career Sabrina was not only on the honor roll, she also earned numerous awards for student service and leadership, all while competing in dance, soccer and as a leader in Youth in Government.

Sabrina also juggled paying jobs, in addition to volunteering at The Minnesota Historical Society, Feed My Starving Children, at a local dance company, and for other organizations.

This ambitious and hard-working young woman says her parents emigrated to the United States from Somalia, and then separated when Sabrina was just four years old.

She says that being raised by a single mother, who was forced into marriage in her native Somalia at age 14, has made Sabrina even more grateful for the  opportunities she has found in America. She will put this scholarship to good use as she pursues her dreams.

Congratulations, Sabrina! 

Elias Crum

Elias Crum from Scandia is headed for Chicago in the fall, where he’ll enroll at Loyola University, with plans to major in biomedical engineering. After college he wants to go to medical school. Elias says he suffered with asthma and allergies as a child, and now wants to become a doctor to help others.

Elias graduated from Hill-Murray School on the A honor roll, also earning the highest honors for service at his school.

This service-minded young man has been giving back his entire high school career, volunteering as an instructor in the St. Paul Learn to Skate program for inner city kids, as well as for many other programs including Pathways for the Homeless, Common Bond and coaching a 4th grade girls basketball program.

In addition to academics and service, Elias has also worked as a golf instructor and caddy for the last several years.

He says he’s looking forward to continuing service work in college and will use his $3,000 scholarship toward becoming the kind of leader that can make a difference in the world.

Congratulations, Elias! 

Vue Pao Her

Vue Pao Her has had a long-time dream of becoming a doctor, and he’ll take his first step towards that goal at The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities this fall.

A graduate of Harding High School in St. Paul, Vue Pao was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate prorgram, where he had perfect attendance and ranked 10th in a class of 420 students.

He was president of the Earth Club, a member of the Math Team and in the Robotics Club, in addition to being in the National Honor Society and on student council.

Vue Pao also volunteered many hours with different organizations, including The Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, Phalen Water Fest and the St. Paul Art Crawl. He worked at a variety of jobs during high school, including as an actor and as a member of the Conservation Corps.

Vue Pao’s family of ten moved to the United States from Thailand in 2004. He says he looks forward to helping support them in the future, as they are now supporting him in his goals.

Congratulations Vue Pao!  

Tony Lee

As the child of Hmong immigrants, Tony Lee grew up bilingual, translating for his parents and crafting his identity as a first generation American. By all accounts from his teachers, he is a shining example and someone who is bound for a bright future.

Tony plans to attend the University of Minnesota in the fall, majoring in environmental science. He says protecting the environment is his passion and his hope is to help create eco-friendly communities.

He graduated from Central High School in St. Paul, where he was on the A and B honor rolls, participated in College Possible and was awarded as a “Scientific Questioner” for asking the most and best questions in school.

Tony has also volunteered for many organizations, including The Animal Humane Society, The Children’s Museum, College Possible and at a local elementary school.

During high school he worked both at department store and with Urban Roots, a youth empowerment and employment program that supports urban farming and conservation. Urban Roots has honored him with a leadership position and selected him to speak to the Minnesota legislature, advocating for urban farming.

Congratulations, Tony!  

Jerry Ostrem

Jerry Ostrem may only be 18 years old, but he’s already a seasoned veteran on mission trips to help others. Starting in 8th grade, Jerry has been traveling to impoverished areas around the country with his church, working on projects and supporting people.

After graduating with honors from Eagan High School in June, Jerry is headed for The University of Minnesota-Duluth where he plans to major in chemical engineering with a minor in business. He says his ultimate goal is to work s a chemical engineer in a lab, creating things that will help people and the environment.

During his high school years Jerry was not only an excellent student, he participated in many extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society, soccer, theater, Quiz Bowl, student government, the math and French clubs and band. He also served as first vice president and then president of Interact, a service club affiliated with Rotary.

Jerry also volunteered for dozens of organizations, including The Salvation Army, The Wounded Warrior Project, The Red Cross, Toys for Tots, and many others.

This busy young man also held jobs working at a grocery store, at his church, for the school district and in the box office for the Minnesota United FC soccer team.

Jerry says he’s looking forward to college and continuing to serve his community.

Congratulations, Jerry!

Win Vuong

Win Vuong has not yet decided what he’ll major in at Minnesota State University in Mankato, but one thing he’s sure of–he will continue seeking out opportunities to volunteer and serve the community.

A graduate of Burnsville High School, Win was awarded for his leadership and volunteering over 400 hours of his time for numerous organizations–he also won an award for giving 175 hours in a single year.

Win developed a passion for making pottery while volunteering with Bowls for BrainPower. The group sells the bowls they create to raise money for food that they donate to other students in need. In a single year, they raised more than $20,000 for the cause.

Win has been recognized for keeping a high grade point average while also participating in more than a dozen extracurricular activities, including National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, the science club, student council, the Breakfast Club, the year book and The Youth Service Advisory Council.

Win thinks he may want to work as an engineer or in the design field one day, but either way, he knows he will continue to seek out opportunities to volunteer and develop his leadership skills.

Congratulations, Win!