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Megan Wileen Berndt
2006 recipient of the Sgt. Andrew Wallace Memorial Scholarship

Megan Wileen Berndt graduated from Ripon  High School's Class of 2006. Her parents are David and Linda Berndt of Ripon. Megan is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. In Megan's own words:

"Being honored with the first Sgt. Andrew Wallace Scholarship has been a true blessing in my life. The honor and privilege of getting to know him through his wonderful family has been something that will stay with me forever. Knowing that through me, part of Andrew's spirit and passion for life and learning will live on, is a feeling that I cannot put into words. I have become so close with Joel and Janie and because of their generosity and love, I have become a better person. I am truly thankful for everything that has happened to me and for me.  Because of Andrew, I have a new family who I love dearly. Our bond is like no other -- but it is close and strong, and that is what makes it truly unique.

 The gift of Andrew's scholarship helped me to start on my path towards achieving my lifelong dream of teaching. I have always had a desire to teach because it runs in my family with my Great Grandma, Grandma, Mom, Ryan, and now me. Andrew's story only reaffirmed my decision to continue on my journey towards making a difference in the world and the people around me- much like he did. Although his time here on earth was shorter than expected, his impact will last forever. He touched the world around him with sincerity, passion, integrity, and love-- and I can only hope to do the same in my life, and in my career.

It saddens me to think that such a wonderful person is no longer with us, but his passing has only taught us another lesson about how precious life is. Even now, Andrew is still teaching, and I would expect nothing less.  

It is often said that it will be hard to "fill someones shoes" when they move on, but in Andrew's case, I have to disagree-- I have no intention of filling his shoes, nor should anyone else- instead, I plan on following in the footsteps of his example towards a life filled with pride hope, desire, passion, and above all *love*"

~ Megan Wileen Berndt

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