Hannah Ramaker
Hannah Ramaker
Hannah Ramaker, daughter of Gene and Jeanette Ramaker of rural Spring Valley, has been chosen as one of the two Spring Valley Kiwanis Club's Kiwanis Scholarship recipients this year.

The Kingsland senior is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Student Council the high school choir and the basketball team. She enjoys her English classes "that involve poetry or reading novels," and has made the most of being a Kingsland High School student.

"I've really enjoyed the social aspect of school, which is a big part of what I will miss. I enjoy knowing everyone in my class and being friends with them. They all make my day great," she said. "I've learned a lot from the friends I've made and hope to carry that with me to the places I plan to go. The classes I've taken have always helped me determine the career path I want to take - after graduation, I plan on attending the University of Northwestern in St. Paul and becoming a nurse who is specialized in an area that allows me to travel all over the world, helping everyone I can, especially those living in poverty."

Outside of school, Hannah is a part of the Just for Kix Dance team and is on the Faith United Methodist Church Worship Committee. She also works at the Spring Valley Public Library and enjoys volunteering as much as she can with the clubs she's in because it gets her involved with the people of the community.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as going to movies and out to eat. She also really enjoys dancing and playing the guitar, too.

She appreciates having had the privilege of growing up in a small community.

"I've really just been grounded in a good foundation. All the people in the community and family members that have supported me, challenged and encouraged me to grow in a number of areas is something that I will always carry with me and will hopefully be able to pass the care and encouragement I've received on to others," she said.

Hannah most admires her very large family, as she knows they will be there to answer her questions and lend a hand when she needs it most.

"My family has influenced me greatly. They are the ones I turn to in life," she added. "My dad really has kept me grounded. He never fails to tell me when I leave the house, 'Don't let anyone else make your decisions for you,' which has reminded me to be an independent person that can be trusted and to choose what I know is right. My entire extended family has always been encouraging and always able to put a smile on my face when I need it."

She expressed her thankfulness to the Kiwanis for choosing her as a recipient of a scholarship, saying, "It is an absolute blessing to be a Kiwanis scholarship recipient. I have deep respect for all that Kiwanis has done for this community and how Kiwanis, as a whole, has helped so many different groups and organizations at a global level. Being able to be recognized as someone who is worthy of their scholarship makes me feel like I am leading a life that reflects the qualities that they are trying to bring out in students. It has given me a feeling of success. It (scholarship) will allow me to attend and pay the tuition for the school that will challenge me and direct me on a great life path."

As for her aspirations to become a nurse and a world traveler, she related, "I truly hope to affect people in a way their lives have never been affected before, to give people a reason to live a life that influences others. I want to make sure that everyone I come into contact with knows that they are loved - and if they don't know this, then I want show them love. I want people to see through my words and actions that they are a human being that has gifts and talents, and I want to help them find a way to use those talents. In terms of my field of study, I want to bring comfort to those who are in medical need. I think that if I can affect someone even in the slightest way, such as with a smile, then I have been a part of changing a life."

Venturing out into the world after studying for the first years of her life excites the 18-year-old, especially because she's certain that she can come home again.

"There is always that challenge of not knowing what lies ahead or being in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. I'm not necessarily scared of anything when it comes to graduating, but I can say that it will certainly be different not living in a small town and being around my family all the time," she said. "But I am ready to take on the challenge, because I know there are good people behind me supporting me and good things to come from those challenges. I'm very excited to move on to newer and bigger things, to have more opportunities to get involved in people's lives."