By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR
BIG SKY – In a touching ceremony filled with laughter and tears, the Friends of Big Sky Education awarded $80,000 in scholarships to Lone Peak High School students during the 2022 FOBSE Scholarship Ceremony at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center on April 5.
The eighth annual Community Scholarship Program sponsored by FOBSE awarded 46 scholarships to 17 students. The scholarships are sponsored by a variety of community organizations, local businesses and families.
FOBSE is a nonprofit entity formed in 2004 with the goal of supporting education in the Big Sky community. As part of its mission, FOBSE fundraised to build Lone Peak High School, aided in starting the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, and spearheads the scholarship campaign to help fiscally support LPHS seniors in their post-high school endeavors. The organization’s scholarship program has grown significantly since its first year in 2015, when it awarded $30,000 to students.
Anne Marie Mistretta, VP and secretary of FOSBE praised the applicants in her opening remarks and thanked the sponsors for their contributions that will support the next generation of community leaders.
“In addition to making your donations, students, you will hear some nuggets of grit, and persistence that helped these sponsors to make it in Big Sky,” she said. “They want to breathe these qualities into you so that you will be successful.”
During the presentations, each student was called up to the podium along with the sponsor or sponsors of their scholarship and they were all preceded by thoughtful anecdotes and mention of their various accolades.
After all the awards were handed out, Mistretta took the podium to offer her closing remarks.
“This message is for seniors,” she said. “Many of you are headed off to other states this year. We wish you success and we want you to come back and tell us all about what you’ve learned and about yourselves.”
To round out the ceremony, Superintendent Dustin Shipman took the microphone to offer many thanks to Mistretta calling her the “champion” of the scholarship program. This ceremony is Mistretta’s last as both she and her husband Jerry have resigned from the FOBSE board.
After asking the gathered seniors to give standing ovations to Mistretta, the donors and their parents, Shipman made one last request of the seniors.
“So go out there, take the monies that this community has raised for you, use it wisely, use it to change the world and use it to always remember where you came from,” he said. “Congratulations.”