Despite the troubled economic times, paying for college just got easier for at least one Utah student. Bingham High School senior Brad Jencks is the Utah winner of the 2009 AXA Achievement Scholarship In association with U.S. News and World Report. Brad is one of 52 students nationwide -- one from each state plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico -- to win the $10,000 scholarship.
Recipients of the scholarship are graduating high school seniors "who demonstrated ambition and drive, determination to set and reach goals and the ability to succeed in college," according to an AXA Achievement Scholarship release. Brad has exemplified each of those things.
The teen has dedicated much of the past five years of his life to improving the Bingham City Cemetery and researching the lives of those buried there. When the project began, his intention was to dedicate 100 hours in pursuit of his Eagle Scout award. He has since donated more than 6,000 hours to cemetery projects.
With the help of more than 2,000 volunteers, Brad replaced and preserved grave markers, discovered the identities of some 1,100 unknown burials, wrote a 1,500-page historical book about the cemetery, authored a military war hero book, and installed a "wall of honor" for 1,825 burials, a new fence, an information center and a monument honoring veterans of six years.
He has created a job for himself as Lead Cemetery Research Specialist and oversees a five-person team that works to answer international genealogical and research inquiries regarding those buried at the cemetery.
Through Brad's project, "Connecting Families Across the Globe," the South Jordan senior helps living people from about 30 nations find common relatives at the Bingham City Cemetery and learn more about their ancestors' heritage.
You can read more and see a picture of this young man at: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_12229245?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com.