In a world where you can be anything,
be kind.

Past Winners

Claire Van Laningham

One of the recipients of our 2020 McKenna's Rae of Hope Foundation Character Scholarship of $1000 is Claire Van Laningham of Hildreth, Nebraska. Claire plans on attending the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and majoring in Secondary English/Language Arts Education. She also plans to also go on and earn a Master's degree in School Counseling. Claire was nominated by Hana Mach, one of Claire's teachers and high school counselors. Congratulations to Claire from all of us at McKenna's Rae of Hope Foundation. Thank you for being a Rae of Hope for those around you.

Here is what Hana Mach said about Claire:

What I appreciate the most about Claire is her thoughtfulness. She above all is a kind student that looks for ways to impact others. Claire doesn't have to be asked to do something kind; she is aware of her surroundings and will go out of her way to make other students feel accepted and cared about. For example, when a younger student was crying on the bus because no would sit with her, Claire not only comforted her, but she sat with her on the drive back home and told her how she cared about her, and she wasn't alone. Claire never told me about this incident, but the student she was there for couldn't stop talking about how much that single act of kindness meant to her. In addition, at a school dance, one of our girls was upset because no one was asking her to dance. Again, Claire went out of her way and took that student to the bathroom to help calm her down. She took time out of her senior homecoming dance and stayed in the bathroom with her until she was able to come back out. Claire not only helped her feel better, but she also had the student dance with her and her friends. This act of kindness was a huge deal to this student. There are countless other times that I have seen Claire's compassion. I appreciate how Claire does not expect recognition for her acts of kindness, she chooses to do act compassionately toward others because she cares. She impacts others by taking on leadership roles in countless activities. In Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she leads lessons and prayers for the athletes. As a member of Circle of Friends, she models appropriate social skills for students with autism and goes out of her way to make our autistic students feel connected with peers. For National Honor Society, Claire saw the alarming amount of students that have been ineligible and helped develop a peer mentoring program at our school. Claire takes time from her difficult schedule to help struggling students with their homework. Claire leads with her heart and our school and students greatly benefit from her kindness. No matter where she ends up going, Claire will make an impact.

Claire Van Laningham
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phone: Todd Schirmer, 308.627.3033
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Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

- Plato -

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