Caring Heart Award Winners for 2016

Fourteen Northwest academy students each were recipients of the $500 Caring Heart Award scholarship, made possible through three-way funding from the North Pacific Union Conference, local conferences and academies. Students were selected by their schools for exemplifying the spirit of the Caring Heart — a willingness to serve others. The North American Division provided each student with a plaque and an engraved Bible. The scholarships may be used toward tuition at an Adventist school or on a short-term mission trip.

Auburn Adventist Academy

Kamryn Klingstrand

Kamryn Klingstrand, a junior at Auburn Adventist Academy (AAA) in Auburn, Wash., is the daughter of current staff members Nathan and Yamileth Klingstrand. A starter for AAA’s Falcons women’s varsity basketball team, Kamryn has mentored her teammates with encouragement and has always led by her example of displaying Christian sportsmanship. She has been involved in student-led week of prayer presentations at AAA and Buena Vista Adventist Elementary School in Auburn. Always willing to lend a hand to anyone needing help, Kamryn’s positive attitude is appreciated by all. This summer, Kamryn has been selected to participate in the MultiCare Nurse Camp in Tacoma, Wash., and plans on a career as a labor and delivery nurse. She hopes to attend Walla Walla University in the fall of 2017.

Cascade Christian Academy

Hannah Stonas

Hannah Stonas, a junior at Cascade Christian Academy (CCA) in Wenatchee, Wash., has spent most of her academic years at CCA, where she has shown strong characteristics of a Christian young lady. On campus, Hannah can often be seen smiling, chatting with everyone, encouraging peers to be involved and helping out where needed. As the student association president for the past two years, she has taken a very active role to encourage all the students to be a team, join in activities and build wonderful high school memories. Her God-given positive outlook on life draws students to her. During Hannah’s eighth-grade year, she had the opportunity to live in Uganda for three months. While there, she broadened her skills in leadership, friendship and diversity. In high school, Hannah has played on the CCA volleyball and basketball teams and again showed her leadership skills. She is a daily blessing and role model to CCA and to those with whom she interacts, which includes all of the K–12 students and staff.  

Off-campus, Hannah is actively involved at church with Sabbath morning breakfasts, children’s stories, praise teams, dramas, youth group activities, preaching and other spontaneous activities. In the Wenatchee area, she is known as a responsible, positive and caring young woman and is often sought after by families for babysitting. She is also involved with the Wenatchee High School tennis team, where her talents and uplifting characteristics reach others.

Columbia Adventist Academy

Brooke Thompson

She’s quiet, soft-spoken, involved, positive, encouraging, big-hearted and caring, especially about people’s spiritual well-being. The “quiet” and “soft-spoken” changes once Brooke Thompson gets to know you, but the other traits remain constant. Her smile is effervescent and bubbles up constantly, brightening the halls of Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash., and the lives of those she touches. Her caring heart extends beyond the walls of CAA, where she fills the role of student leader for the spiritual ministries. Her heart carries into the local community, where she is often seen leading out in Bible study groups and planning Youth Ignite activities for her church, and out into the world on mission trips, where she uses her leadership to enhance the experience for all involved. It's hard, with Brooke’s winning personality, to say “no” to her and easy to feel good when she asks you to participate.

Her spiritual depth does not preclude taking care of academics, being involved in athletics or meeting the “sense of humor” needs of someone having a tough day. She is a National Honor Society member and has led blood drives, sock drives and other community service activities.

Brooke’s love of God is shown in her consistency of character and spirituality. Her love for others goes beyond the physical and mental aspects and shows through her care for the spiritual health of those with whom she comes in contact. After four years of her involvement and leadership, she will be greatly missed on the CAA campus and in the community, but her smile will go with her and brighten the world wherever she is.

Gem State Adventist Academy

Luke Jansen

Luke Jansen demonstrates a genuinely kind and caring lifestyle every day in the halls and classrooms of Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA) in Caldwell, Idaho. Whether greeting by name everyone with a cheerful "good morning," noticing a need and asking how he can help, or displaying friendly sportsmanship on the field, Luke is a continual example of caring, kindness, respect and helpfulness.   

Students and staff alike experience the warmth of Luke’s sincere concern for them as he asks them about their day or when he notices someone alone or on the outside and seeks to draw them in. Luke has a heart for God and notices Him in the everyday things.

Luke stated he has never felt better about helping people than when on a mission trip to Appalachia this year with his family. 

GSAA is proud to honor Luke with this year’s Caring Heart Award.

Livingstone Adventist Academy

Kaitlyn Young

Kaitlyn Young is a kind and caring young lady who demonstrates her caring heart in diverse ways.

Kaitlyn is an athlete. She plays basketball and never fails to give her best. She shows her caring heart by putting the team first and always staying positive.

Kaitlyn is a leader. She is the junior class president and is constantly coming up with ideas to help her class grow and bond. She has more ideas to indicate caring than the class could possibly absorb. 

Kaitlyn is a Christian. She thinks deeply and asks genuine questions. She looks out for those that are struggling and takes steps to end hurt and frustration. She acts in the way Christ taught us to share a caring heart to all people. 

And because Kaitlyn has such a caring heart, she probably never saw this award coming. She would give it to her friends and classmates if she could. Well, Kaitlyn, you already have. Thanks for sharing your caring heart with Livingstone Adventist Academy in Salem, Ore.

Milo Adventist Academy

Katelynne 'Katie Beth' Miller

Katelynne Elizabeth Miller is a senior at Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek, Ore. She plans to major in biology at Walla Walla University next year because her ultimate goal is to work with animals, training and caring for them and helping other people interact successfully with their animals. 

The daughter of Milo alumni and staff Jeff and Kim Miller, Katie Beth has enjoyed Christian education through elementary and high school. She credits that experience with helping her come to value a personal walk with God. During those years she has been a Pathfinder and has helped with Vacation Bible School multiple times. She has been actively involved in Apostles’ Outreach and always looks forward to Milo’s Neighbor Days because she enjoys working outdoors and helping the older folks in the community.

Katie Beth’s love of horses led her to become a wrangler leader in Milo’s equestrian program, where her dedication, dependability and positive work ethic are a model for younger students. She works consistently behind the scenes, caring for the horses, helping other students, pet-sitting for staff and even running heavy equipment on the maintenance crew. When Katie Beth is given a task, her supervisors can relax because they know she will make sure it is done right. 

During her four years at Milo, she has gained the respect of the staff as well as of her fellow students. With her ready smile and her cheerful willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, Katie Beth lets Jesus’ love shine through her every day.

Mount Ellis Academy

Kenneth Jones

Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman, Mont., is proud to nominate Kenneth Jones for the 2016 Caring Heart Award for a number of reasons. Ken has been willing to help run the school's basketball camp held in other towns in Montana. He is a positive leader on the basketball team as captain, encouraging the players in a loving and kind manner. Ken is an encourager both with groups and one-on-one encounters. He is passionate about sharing Christ with his peers as the student body chaplain. He has planned Friday night vespers programs that are grounded, real, stimulating and inviting for the students, making the environment in which they want to participate.

Ken also has a passion for mission trips and will do any task he is asked to do. His sense of humor and positive outlook brighten every room he enters. His presentation of Christianity is very thoughtful and inviting. Ken is continually looking for ways to connect fellow students with the church community. He is quick to support students with a word of encouragement or with a hug. Ken lives out his passion for others and their spiritual and emotional well-being daily.

As Ken transitions out of high school, he plans to pursue a career in the art world.

Orcas Christian School

Elliott Claus

The Caring Heart Award recognizes a sense of empathy, compassion and service. The award for the 2016–17 school year at Orcas Christian School in Eastsound, Wash., is awarded to a student who shows a compassionate spirit through service and leadership. Mission trips were an opportunity for this student to be actively engaged in helping those surrounding him with whatever needs to be done.

International mission trips presented more obvious opportunities because many times you go to a place where there is a recognized challenge. Domestic service opportunities aren’t always so obvious, but when presented to this student he is always willing to lend a helping hand. Elliott Claus is a positive student leader, serving in a variety of roles. He is an activist who is always contributing to activities and events. Elliott’s service and leadership truly identify him as a servant leader now and for the future. Doing all these activities that Elliott has done so graciously, one would wonder how that has affected his academic achievement. Yet throughout his four years of high school, Elliott has maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

Elliott, we wish you the blessings of God’s grace as you continue to serve and change to world in which you live.

Portland Adventist Academy

Adam Nakamura

Adam Nakamura is a senior at Portland Adventist Academy in Portland, Ore. He has a heart for service demonstrated by his participation in several mission trips during his high school years, both locally and abroad. More importantly, Adam cares deeply for his fellow students. He is constantly looking for ways in which he can make someone’s day better and their burden lighter. Adam takes seriously the challenge to love as Christ loves. For this reason, his PAA family is honored to nominate Adam for the 2016 Caring Heart Award.

Adam plans to attend Walla Walla University this fall and will likely apply his award scholarship toward his tuition as he pursues a career in child psychology.

Puget Sound Adventist Academy

Aaron Bless Mumu

Aaron Bless Mumu was selected unanimously by the staff of Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) in Kirkland, Wash., for his exceptional spiritual leadership and dedication to others on campus. As pastor of the senior class and campus ministries leader, all while maintaining academic excellence, Aaron also takes the time to uplift his classmates on a daily basis. Some words and phrases that describe Aaron include awareness for the needs of others, encouraging, supportive of students, respectful at all times and good-humored. These traits set him apart as a student who cares.

One project in particular that stands out from this year is Aaron’s work putting together a prayer room for week of prayer, which was a blessing to many. He has made a noticeably constructive impact on PSAA and his fellow students, and his teachers know he will continue to do so wherever he goes. For this reason, we are pleased to recognize Aaron Mumu as this year’s Caring Heart Award Recipient.

Aaron plans to work with Souls Northwest in the future and pursue a college degree. His parents are Teddy and Johanna Mumu.

Rogue Valley Adventist Academy

Joseph William Katzenbach

Joseph Katzenbach has been a student at Rogue Valley Adventist Academy (RVAA) in Medford, Ore., since the fifth grade, and is the son of Jerry and Kathy Katzenbach. Joey loves the great outdoors and anything associated with wilderness living. 

This year he has been the physical education teacher’s aide for the young students in first through fourth grades. These younger students love him and can’t wait to see him every day. 

Joey has participated in the RVAA mission trips far from home, but also gives of his time to others close to home. He is currently looking into continuing his education at Walla Walla University, but wherever he decides to go he will be a light to all those who come in contact with him.

Skagit Adventist Academy

Ashlyn Habenicht

Skagit Adventist Academy (SAA) in Burlington, Wash., is pleased to announce one of its seniors, Ashlyn Habenicht, as this year’s Caring Heart Award recipient. Ashlyn possesses a vivacious personality and was selected as this year’s senior class president. She served as social vice president for associated student body as a junior and as junior class vice president. Her caring and thoughtful spirit has her involved in feeding the homeless through the Friendship House and other outreach activities through the local Community Action Agency’s Christmas dinner for families in transition and Project Homeless Connect.

SAA has been blessed with Ashlyn’s creative presence on the yearbook staff for the past four years — this year as the senior editor. In addition to her creativity, Ashlyn has a passion for music and has led out in a variety of singing groups in her school and church. She has played on the SAA volleyball, football and basketball teams and enjoys participating in intramural sports.

Ashlyn has also had the opportunity to demonstrate her missionary spirit through trips to Kenya, Belize and, most recently, Plummer, Idaho, where she led out in a Vacaction Bible School for the tribal school and was involved in hanging drywall and other work in the new Living Hope Church.

The last two years students have selected her to be one of five speakers for the student-led week of prayer. Her plans for next year are to attend Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif., and take nursing. Her parents are Dave and Nerida Habenicht.

Upper Columbia Academy

Charles Buursma

Charles "Charlie" Buursma, a junior at Upper Columbia Academy (UCA) in Spangle, Wash., was selected to receive the Caring Heart Award. “He was chosen because he has exemplified a missionary spirit on campus in the small ways,” Amanda Goad, UCA chaplain, shared. In addition to making a difference on campus, Charlie served with the Upper Columbia Conference Youth Rush team this past summer, going door to door to give various community members the opportunity to purchase religious and health books.

As a residence assistant on campus, he is an example in his conduct and love towards others. “Charlie is one of those people that everyone respects,” says Joe Hess, UCA men's dean and vice principal for student life. “He is willing to talk with you, especially if he believes you are having a tough day.”

Many look up to Charlie, as was demonstrated recently when he was chosen by the student body to be one of their student week of prayer speakers.

Tonakset (Wash.) Church members are proud of Charlie, as are his parents, Henry and Lorilee Buursma. It is nice to see young people rewarded for their positive choices.

Walla Walla Valley Academy

Loanna Mora

Loanna Mora joined Walla Walla Valley Academy (WWVA) in 2013 for the last two years of her high school experience. From the moment she arrived on the WWVA campus in College Place, Wash., she connected with the staff, students and visitors. Her generous and caring spirit have brightened their days, comforted and inspired her peers, and impressed her teachers. Loanna doesn’t stop there. She shares her smile and positive attitude throughout her community through service projects with her classmates, through her church and through her work at SonBridge Community Center. We are delighted to recognize Loanna and celebrate what God is doing in her life.

June 30, 2016 / Feature