They want to become nurses, doctors, veterinarians, teachers, engineers, missionaries and soldiers. Some wants to study abroad, work in the family business, start their own companies, raise families or “just do something special to help people.” Others have adopted a “wait and see” attitude.
These are some of the career objectives 14 high school graduates from across the U.S. and Canada have in mind when they begin their college careers this fall, with the help of $1,000 scholarships from Goulds Pumps, a brand of ITT Corp.
All of the 14 collegiate aspirants are part of the Goulds Professional Dealers Association (GPDA) family. GPDA is the industry’s oldest and largest association comprised solely of more than 6,500 independent water systems professionals.
“I don’t know if it’s a trend, but this year’s graduating class seemed particularly interested in doing something that helps people,” said Dennis Coggins, vice president of sales for residential and commercial water, ITT. “It’s a credit to these very distinguished young men and women and their parents and mentors that they want to make this world a better place. I hope they will follow in the footsteps of many previous GPDA scholarship winners who have gone on to promising careers. We are proud to assist them in helping them pursue their dreams.”
Education is essential to the future of the water systems industry. In the seven years since the GPDA scholarship program was formed, 78 collegians have been awarded scholarships based on demonstrated academic achievement and potential, community service and leadership.
In addition, Goulds Pumps has created the Future Professional Dealers of America as an offshoot to GPDA, in which young people aspiring to follow in their parents’ footsteps receive technical information and support to further their studies. Independent dealers also receive extensive technical and product training through GPDA. Since Goulds Pumps established a Pump School for customers in the early 1960s, the company has graduated more than 20,000 independent dealers and distributors.
This year’s scholarship winners are:
- Jenilee Parker, daughter of Frank and Vera Parker of Frank Parker’s Plumbing, Westville, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada: In the fall, Jenilee, an honors graduate at Northumberland Regional High School, Westville, Nova Scotia, plans to attend the University of New Brunswick. When her dad was rushed to the hospital recently, Jenilee said she was impressed by how “professional and caring all the nurses were. This experience convinced me that I wanted to go into nursing to help people in need.”
- Geoffrey Cresswell, son of W. Scott Cresswell of Cresswell Drilling Co., Inc., Dalton, Pa.: The Scranton Prep School honors student is attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the Fall majoring in aerospace engineering. As a high school freshman, Geoffrey began alpine ski racing. “I was significantly behind the other kids, but I didn’t quit,” Geoffrey said. “I persevered, and have made it to the state championship race for the past two years. This experience has shown me that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything.”
- Tyler Land, son of David and April Land of Land’s Electric Repair, Inc., Taylorsville, N.C. An honors student while at Alexander Central High School, Tyler said the 15 years he has worked in the family business “has taught me teamwork, leadership and trust.” He hopes to one day take over his father’s company. Tyler is attending North Carolina State University in the fall, majoring in electrical engineering.
- Douglas Griffin, Jr., son of Doug and Sandra Griffin of Griffin Well Drilling, Bainbridge, Ga. In four years at Bainbridge High School, Douglas finished 17th out of a class of 346, and received a Congressional Nomination for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “My father, a Vietnam veteran, raised me with an understanding that the freedoms Americans are possible because of soldiers who have served our country,” Douglas said. “I have worked hard to become a great student so I can become the best soldier I can be for America.” He is attending North Georgia College and State University in the fall.
- Jenna Kuipers, daughter of John and Elizabeth Kuipers. of J. Kuipers Plumbing, Meadow Valley, Calif. “Ever since I was 10 years old, I have wanted to become a registered nurse,” said Jenna, an honors graduate of Quincy High School, Quincy, Calif., and a Silver and Gold Award winner as a Girl Scout for 13 years. “Helping others through community service has always played an important role in my life, and I am convinced my many experiences in helping, coaching and counseling others will make me a better nurse.” She will be attending California State University in Fresno in the fall.
- Torey Edwards of Olsen Well Drilling, Inc., Boring, Ore., is a high honors student and 2006 class president at Columbia Christian High School, Portland, Ore. Torey said her strong faith has given her the “desire to positively impact others,” and inspired her to “take the first steps toward my goals in life.” Active in music, politics and sports in school, and mission work through her church and community, Torey will be attending Cascade Christian College in Portland in the fall with a double major in music and business.
- Katelyn Junkin, daughter of Murry and Grace Junkin of Murry Junkin Plumbing, Bobcaygeon, ON, Canada. Katelyn graduated with high honors from Fenelon Falls Secondary School, where she headed the school’s Foster Parents Committee, which supports 32 local foster children—the largest in North America. “This position has helped shape me for the future, given me business skills, helped develop a strong ethic, and made improving the lives of others my utmost concern,” Katelyn said. She is attending the University of Guelph, Ontario in the fall, majoring in landscape architecture.
- Megan McPherson, daughter of Steven McPherson of McPherson Well Drilling, Inc., White Lake, Mich. A high honors graduate and Coach’s Award winner for the swim team while at nearby Walled Lake Northern High School, Megan said a recent brush with death while driving home from work late one night “taught me two things: enjoy every minute of your life and challenge yourself to accomplish your goals.” She said she hopes to attend the University of Michigan, “study abroad in Europe and work for a firm in San Francisco.” She’s off to a good start … she will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall, majoring in engineering.
- Melissa Dale, daughter of Mike and Nancy Dale of Dale Plumbing and Heating, Inc., Glasgow, Mont. Melissa gained valuable leadership skills while holding many offices during her four years of high school including senior class president and treasurer of student council. She was an active participant in community, church and school activities, donating many hours to helping disadvantaged youths in the area in addition to working part-time in her family-owned pump business. Melissa is attending Montana State University, majoring in university studies.
- Steven Durand, son of Tammy Durand of A&V Water, Decatur, Texas. A high honors student and member of Decatur High School’s football team and varsity choir, Steven is a hardworking, independent person who has strived to excel both academically and personally. While serving as F.C.A. vice president, Steven learned the importance of leadership. He is attending Weatherford Junior College in the fall, majoring in business management.
- Danielle Bender, daughter of Joseph Bender of Ground Exploration Co., Inc., Arvada, Colo. An honors student at Ralston Valley High School, Danielle lists piano, choir, ballroom dancing, swimming and her church’s youth group among her extracurricular activities. “I have come to realize that life is only 10% of what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it,” Danielle said. “Now I realize that in the end, no matter what happens, it is your decision to change the outcome.” Danielle is attending the University of Wyoming in the fall.
- Brittany Woodward, daughter of Mark and Tammy Woodward of Madison Plumbing and Electric, Madison, Va. An honors student at Madison High School, Brittany has decided to pursue a teaching career. Being a student teacher at a local first grade classroom is “an experience that has touched my life and made me recognize that standing in front of a class of eager minds is my calling,” Brittany said. She will attend James Madison University in the Fall, majoring in elementary education.
- Jennifer Bracken, daughter of James and JoAnn Bracken of Bracken Well Drilling, Burgettstown, Pa. A high honors student and winner of numerous academic awards, Jennifer finished Avella Area High School ranked third in her class. She also was an active member of the school’s colorguard. “Being in the colorguard has changed my life and was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” Jennifer said. She also played volleyball and was her school newspaper’s editor for two years. Jennifer is attending West Virginia University in the fall, majoring in engineering.
- Jamie Armington, daughter of Paul and Martha Armington of Armington Plumbing and Heating, Lovell, Maine. A graduate of The Oliverian School, a private academy in Pike, N.H., Jamie says her most rewarding experience was the eight days she spent on a sail boat with a group of peers. “The Hurricane Island Sailing experience was so meaningful because we had to work with each other,” Jamie said. “Everything we did, we had to do in tandem. We were pushed past our personal boundaries … toward a collective goal.” Jamie is attending Temple University.