Two Perry Township students were among 26 Marion County seniors chosen by the Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis to receive the Abe Lincoln Scholarship, which was designed to recognize students for their courageous achievements in the face of daunting obstacles and hardships. Four of the 26 students received awards totaling $41,000, while the remaining 22 students earned scholarships totaling $5,500. Caroline Kavanaugh of Perry Meridian High earned the first place scholarship of $16,000, and Yuke Walden of Southport High earned a $250 award.
In 2016, Caroline underwent brain surgery to remove a brain tumor that had been diagnosed eight years prior. She was in the hospital for 23 days and lost partial use of the left side of her body. As the two-year anniversary approaches, we celebrate Caroline’s ability to play violin beautifully, as well as the endurance she displays on the cross country team. She even volunteers and mentors, and she does it all with a positive attitude.
Coming from China, Yuke has had to push herself academically and socially to learn not only English, but the American culture. Remarkably, Yuke actually spent time living on her own as her mother worked out of state to provide for Yuke financially. On a daily basis, she cooked and cleaned for herself, while fulfilling her academic and extracurricular activities. Yuke holds the position of Captain on the Southport High School Dance team, where she has emerged as a natural leader. Between her sophomore and junior years, Yuke participated in IU’s Honors Program in Foreign Languages where she lived in Leon, Spain for the summer. That opportunity fueled Yuke’s love of learning new languages and cultures. In the future, she dreams of studying law with a concentration in immigration – a dream that she holds dear with her own journey to America.