Paonia senior Chelsea Meilner was recently named a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarship.
The scholarship covers full tuition and fees and provides a book allowance and stipend for living expenses for four years at any in-state college or university. Meilner will attend the Colorado School of Mines, where she will major in mechanical engineering, with a minor in computer science. She has been accepted into the honors program at Mines, which entails a minor in public affairs and study abroad. She also plans to be a member of the Society of Women Engineers, an offshoot of Engineers Without Borders.
"It is such an honor to represent my school and community as a Boettcher Scholar," said Meilner. "Many people think that because I'm from a small town, we don't have the kinds of resources and opportunities that kids from bigger city schools have, but my small-town education has allowed me to compete on a big scale."
Meilner is the fourth Boettcher scholar in PHS history. She serves on PHS Student Council, is a Western Slope Honor Choir participant, state qualifying cross country and track competitor, and has a long history of community volunteerism.
Established in 1952, the Boettcher program awards 42 scholarships annually and receives more than 1,400 applications. It is among the largest merit-based scholarship programs in the nation.
"Chelsea really stood out with her accomplishments both in and out of the classroom," said Boettcher Foundation president Tim Schultz in a press release. "We're proud to have her representing the Boettcher community."
"This scholarship came to mean much more to me than just a full-ride scholarship," said Meilner. "It reflects all the great things going on at Paonia High School."