Many previous recipients of the prestigious Ruth DeYoung Kohler (RDK) Scholarship for Artistic Excellence have gone on to great achievements in their craft. An award that seeks to support aspiring professional artists, the RDK Scholarship has been given to students pursuing artistic endeavors as diverse as: ballet, fashion design, creative writing (YA fiction), acting/theater, cinematography, painting, works on paper, instrumental and vocal performance, and even lutherie (the craft of stringed instrument construction and repair). Below are a few examples that are intended to inspire current students who may be considering applying for the RDK Scholarship, and to highlight just a few of the many accomplishments of our RDK recipients.
2023 - Maisy Sternhagen, Plymouth High School
Maisy Sternhagen has been involved in art since her freshman year, and her passion and dedication have been evident from the very beginning. She is a member of the National Art Honor Society and has consistently maintained a place on the Honor Roll throughout high school. She has taken various classes to advance her skills and develop her artistic voice. Maisy believes in the transformative power of art and is passionate about using her talents to inspire others. Her work is inspired by the world around her, and she hopes to use animation to create pieces that will move and inspire audiences. This award recognizes her talent, dedication, and commitment to the world of art, and I can think of no one more deserving of this honor. Maisy will be attending the Milwaukee School of Art and Design in the Fall.
2022 - Annika Nelson, Plymouth High School
Annika Nelson is a talented young guitarist. She is driven and hard-working with a dream of becoming a classical guitarist. Her maturity and diligence in her guitar practice have taken her performance to a new level, resulting in top prizes at several guitar competitions. Annika is currently attending the Peck School of Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study classical guitar performance and music education with the career goal of becoming a professor of music at the university level.
2022 - Baxter Salzwedel, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School
Baxter has a high level of artistic talent and is diligent in expressing his artistic abilities. He is already an entrepreneur, having started his Mad Patcher clothing business while in high school. The Mad Patcher ties in three of Baxter’s passions. His ability to express his artistic creativity through fashion, his desire to help others, and his responsibility to make a positive impact on the environment.
2022 - Sherahan Tahiri, Kohler High School
Sherahan is driven and invested in her writing and career goals. She demonstrates her creativity and natural talents through her writing; creating stories, characters and scenery. Sherahan is currently attending the Dodge College of Film and Media at Chapman University to study television writing and production. Her career goal is to become a television writer.
2021 - Camille Staats, Etude High School
Camille is an exceptional student who has been described as having “the potential to transform the arts and community through the arts.” Through her experiences as a Maker Break educator, Camille has already positively contributed to the Sheboygan community. Her leadership and mentorship led to a model for how Maker education can look in Sheboygan and across the country. Her drive to grow and learn how her future lies in dance and choreography is full of promise. Camille is attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
2021 - Elliot Straub, Plymouth High School
A participant in both visual and performing arts in school, Elliot balances a love for art with academics and graduated in the National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude. Believing that art is universal and it not only transcends the barriers of language, race, gender, and culture, he strives to be a voice for the underrepresented through media and literature. Elliot is attending Columbia College in Chicago to study Illustration.
2020 - Miguel Guevera, Etude High School
Miguel Guevara is a gifted guitarist. His body of work, which included pieces that he composed as well as played, impressed our scholarship committee with its intricate and romantic sound. The committee believes Miguel’s energy and passion for playing and composing will lead him to a future that is full of promise. Guevara will attend the University of Madison with a major in music. He aspires to be a composer.
2020 - Leonardo Viglietti, North High School
Leonardo Viglietti is an accomplished flautist. Classical music has inspired Viglietti, and he is hopeful that through his flute performances, he will introduce others to the power of classical music. Viglietti will attend University of Michigan School of Music with a major in music performance. He aspires to play in a professional orchestra.
2019 - Clara Montes, Kohler High School
Clara captivated our scholarship committee with her violin performance. She will attend Boston University, with a double major in music performance and microbiology, she aspires to play in a professional orchestra.