By Sharon DeCarlo, President of the Will James Society
Congratulations Olivia Ross-Dee on being the first ever winning recipient of the $1,000 Will James Society Scholarship for Girls!
On the morning of October 25th 2020 at the Chappell Ranch in Gardnerville, Nevada it was my great pleasure to present the first Will James Society Scholarship for girls to Douglas High School graduate, Olivia Ross-Dee to help with her education to become a Veterinarian. Olivia’s scholarship application was beyond good, it was more than complete and very impressive. Meeting her in person was equally impressive. I felt like the WJS could not have chosen a better young woman to award this scholarship to. Olivia grew up with animals all around her. Her Mom owns and operates a Pet Sitting business and Olivia was a great help to her Mom. Olivia is also an equestrian and had her own horse from an early age. She enjoyed English riding, jumping and trail riding.
As her gelding aged, he developed arthritis and Olivia became incredibly involved with his treatments and the vet work that helped him stay as sound as possible and free of as much pain as possible. From this experience she became super passionate about helping animals and her life became vested in the world of animal health and her goals to become both a large and small animal veterinarian.
Eager to get a head start and all the education and prerequired classes out of the way as fast as possible she signed up for the Jump Start program in her Junior year at Douglas High school in her home-town. The Jump Start is an award winning design thinking and social entrepreneurship program which empowers high school students to create prosperous futures. Needless to say, this requires dedication and lots of hard work. While still in High School Olivia also took advanced classes at the Western Nevada Community College which included a late-night math class. Her next step was to attend the University of Nevada and while it is still to be determined she wants to go to Colorado State Veterinary School. Olivia is one hard working dedicated young woman with a great future and has set the bar high for herself and I have no doubt she will accomplish all she has set out to do. “I give credit to my Mom who has supported me my whole life and pushed me to be the best person I can be and to work hard for what is important”. Olivia told me that this scholarship will help so much as her Mom’s business, as all small businesses during this Covid crisis, has slowed down right now. “It means a lot to me and my family! Thank You!”
William James Chappell Awarded First ever $1,000 Will James Society Scholarship for Boys!
Congratulations goes to William James Chappell, an exceptionally fine young man that sent an outstanding scholarship application to the Will James Society complete with impressive grades, high praise, and recommendations. He exceeded our expectations, and we are pleased to name him the winner of our very first Scholarship. Speaking of names, isn’t William’s first two names coincidental or is it? William grew up working with animals at his Mom’s business, Chappell Ranch LLC which instructs the young and old about horses, safety, care, and provides hands on learning which teaches young people to be responsible caring individuals that learn to work as a team for the betterment of the group and of course the animals. He knows hard physical work as well as how to study and earn top grades in school. As William grew up his Mom gave him more responsibility with the students and the horses. He told me he really loves working with the kids and the horses. “One of my favorite jobs ever was being Camp counselor at Wild Willy’s Horse Camp”.
William graduated from Sierra Lutheran High School and then attended Western Nevada
College during the summer. He then attended Truckee Meadows Community College, and is now enrolled this semester at the University of Nevada, Reno. His plans are to finish his associates
of science degree at WNC and continue at UNR where he plans on getting a biochemistry degree. William told me that this scholarship will help to further his plans to use this degree to improve hay growth, improve sustainability for crops and pastureland, supplements to improve animal health, etc.
However, while all those fields will be opened to him, he plans on going to graduate school to study acupuncture and oriental medicine. Then with his skill as an acupuncturist he plans on treating both people and animals with a focus on horses. Another of William’s great interests in life is martial arts, which he took at the Methodist Church in Gardnerville. He received his black belt in 2017 and soon after was asked to be head instructor for the class which he did until 2019. Will explained that “all of these wonderful experiences working with kids and adults has taught me to be patient, humble and open minded, and in a place of continual growth.” William gives credit for his opportunity to learn and grow-up with these great values to his Mom, Kim Chappell who he states “has supported my passions and dreams and has remained my example of hard work, determination, honesty and success!
About The Will James Society www.willjamessociety.org
The Will James Society (WJS) was formed in 1992 as a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the memory and works of the phenomenal western author and artist Will James.The WJS is the primary catalyst for a continuing and growing interest in Will James and his many contributions as an author and western artist.
About WJS Scholarship Program
The Will James Society offers two Scholarships, one high school graduate girl and boy, each year. Applicants can already be attending colleges and taking classes when applying for this scholarship but must have at least 2 years still ahead of them.
Application Deadline: April 1
The WJS Scholarship is intended to recognize exemplary youth participation and interest in western heritage, literature, western art, farming, ranching, veterinary services, horsemanship and all agricultural interests including research and community service type careers. Annual Scholarship Awarded: $1,000. Previous scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply each year for a maximum of four years.
1. High School Graduate
2. Post Secondary Enrollment
3. Minimum of twelve hours per semester
4. Maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
5. Parent, grandparent or legal guardian must be a member in good standing of the Will James Society.
6. Scholarship Applications are available online at www.willjamesociety.org
The Will James Society has another program in which the Society will gift new Will James Books free including shipping to schools, county and state libraries, Senior Centers, Children’s Hospitals, military bases and other worthy institutions. Applications for book-gifting can be found on www.willjamessociety.org.
Please consider becoming a member, you will receive the official Will James Society quarterly magazine Cowboys North & South and you can join the fun at our national yearly Gathers and fundraisers! For Membership Applications go to www.willjamessociety.org.