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WEBER COUNTY -- Five unique scholarships were presented to Weber County high school students this week. The students may not necessarily have the top grades in their class, but have overcome enormous obstacles to graduate.
The Ogden Noon Exchange Club sponsors the annual ACE Awards. Club president Lee Sather said, "I think for our club, it's one of the highlights of the year."
A highlight of the year, highlighting outstanding high school seniors. At 18 years old, they've often seen the dark side of life more often than most adults.
Take Lauren Montierth, a senior at Ogden High School. Her father committed suicide and another family member is heavily involved in drugs, and yet she plans to go to college next year and study medicine.
"It's not one of those, 'You're amazing at this, you're amazing at this.' It's people noticing you've overcome an obstacle that most other people probably haven't," Lauren said.
Both she and Freemont High School senior Jessika Watanabe received $1,000 scholarships.
"I'm extremely grateful that there are scholarships like this that honor resiliency," Lauren said.
The big winner of the night was Mclain Meenderink, a Weber High School senior. Due to substance abuse problems in his family, he was often on his own and his GPA dipped to 1.9 on a 4.0 scale. Today, it's a 3.9 and he's involved in clubs and extracurricular activities.
Now, a $4,000 scholarship will get him more than started at Weber State University.
"It feels great to know I came back from nothing, and I'm going to graduate and got this," Mclain said.
All in all, more than $6,000 was awarded to five students through the Ogden Noon Exchange Club.
"The Exchange Club raised all this money through our own means to give back to the community and to help these kids who wouldn't have had the opportunity otherwise," said John Adams.
The club hopes the scholarship recipients will come back in four years to share opportunities with others like them.