Aitcheson, Owen earn Van Miller scholarships

Dunkirk Senior High School Class of 2014 members Connor Aitcheson and Miranda Owen were named recipients of the Van Miller Scholarships for the 2013-14 school year.

The Van Miller Scholarship committee awarded two $2,000 scholarships this year. To be eligible for the scholarship, interested students had to submit a one-page essay that addressed the question, “Who is your hero?” The applicants also had to make a 15 minute, or less, presentation to the committee, which consisted of the applicant speaking about themselves, their hero and their plans for college, their career and their life after high school. All applicants had to be planning on attending a two- or four-year college in the fall of 2014 and the contest was open to all students.

During his four years at DHS, Aitcheson involved himself with nearly every extracurricular club the school had to offer, including acting as the senior class co-president and being a member of the Business and Marketing Honor Society, Spanish Club, SADD and HOPE while also serving as a writer for the school’s newspaper. Aitcheson was also president of the French Club and vice president of the Dunkirk chapter of the National Honor Society.

Outside the classroom, Aitcheson was a member of the football, wrestling and boys’ tennis teams while also giving countless hours of community service to the Special Olympics, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and many other schools within the Dunkirk City School District.

After high school, Aitcheson will attend Jamestown Community College, where he will begin his major in primary education. After attending JCC, Aitcheson plans on attending the University at Buffalo to complete a bachelor’s degree in education.

Like Aitcheson, Owen played sports during her four years at DHS, as she was a member of the girls’ soccer team, as well as the golf team. Owen also donated her time to helping with her mother’s not-for-profit RO Foundation, helped with the school’s recycling program and participated in a Service Learning Project, the Relay for Life, Catholic Youth Convention (CYO) and SUNY Fredonia’s History Day in 2013. Owen also kept herself busy by working at Big Rick’s One Stop, in Dunkirk, and at the Shorewood Country Club.

After graduation, Owen will attend Mercyhurst-North East, where she will continue to play soccer while she works toward a liberal arts degree. After she graduates from Mercyhurst-North East, which is a two-year school, Owen plans on going to medical school to become a doctor of radiology.