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Annie Wright Schools
“I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” --Anonymous
In 2012, KABF gifted the Kelly Ann Brown Foundation Endowment Fund at Annie Wright Schools to allow funding in perpetuity for the Kelly Ann Brown scholarships.
Our first Kelly Ann Brown scholar was Elly. KABF directors met Elly shortly after she started at Annie Wright. We ate lunch together with the school’s President and financial director. We were impressed that even in this intimidating setting, Elly was gracious and simply lovely.
Two years later, two KABF directors set up a visit to Annie Wright Schools, and Elly came by to say hello. She was in finals week and very focused on tests, but managed a laugh and a big smile. We gave her a Kelly Ann Brown Foundation tote bag with goodies to wish her well and let her know we were thinking of her.
A few months later KABF Chair Debra Hannula received this unexpected thank you note and update from Elly:
Dear Debra K. Hannula,
First of all, I would like to thank you and the Kelly Ann Brown Foundation from the bottom of my heart, without your generous help, I would not have been able to attend Annie Wright Upper School and have the exceptional high school experience that I did. I am so grateful for the incredible education that I received at AWS, and for your support during the 10th grade to receive your scholarship. I am even more appreciative now that I have graduated and can look back at the wonderful people and opportunities that I was lucky enough to have. Thank you for the bag of goodies at the end of the year as well! They helped tide my friends and me over until graduation.
Sitting here writing this, it is strange to think that the dorms are now filling up with returning students and baby green ties*. I, however, am off on new adventures! I am taking a year off from school to travel, work, and learn in some non-academic ways. Tomorrow I depart for a 3-month National Outdoor Leadership course in Wyoming and Utah. It will involve learning leadership and technical skills, risk management, and environmental studies. I'm extremely excited! My plans after Christmas aren't set in stone yet, but I hope to participate in TEFL certification course and then travel and work in South America. Next year at this time I will attend Willamette University; they approved my request to defer for a year and are holding my spot in the Class of 2020.
Annie Wright was a very important part of my life, and inspired me to follow my own path. Please pass along my thanks to the rest of the board, and thank you again for helping make a dream of mine a reality!
*Each high school class receives a yellow, green, red or blue tie, which they wear for their four years at AWS. This not only connects them with their own class, but creates an immediate bond with future classes and past classes as well.
The Kelly Ann Brown Foundation board wishes Elly and all the future Kelly Ann Brown scholars success in following their heart-felt dreams and of course, “All the things that truly matter: love, kindness, creativity, beauty, joy.”