2013 GBL Scholarship Recipients

As the summer comes to an end, we thought we would take the opportunity to share with you and recap the three local 2013 scholarship winners. These individuals were announced at the GBL 5K run, however, the rainy ending prohibited many of you from sticking around. So here’s a recap of this year’s winners.

The Dylan Meier, Get Busy Livin’ Pittsburg High Football Scholarship is awarded by the PHS coaching staff to a football senior that represented team leadership, a diligent work effort to improve daily, a passion for football, his teammates and Purple Dragon pride. This year’s winner was Spencer Bernhardt.

Spencer Bernhardt

Spencer is the son of Ben and Julie Bernhardt and grandson of former long time Purple Dragon Coach Larry Garman and his wife Karen. Spencer was a 2012 team captain, K Preps Player of the Year award nominee, first team All-SEK and honorable mention All-State player; and an accomplished three sport athlete for PHS. Additionally, he was a NHS club member and participated in numerous high school clubs, church, and community volunteer programs. Spencer plans to attend Pittsburg State University on a football scholarship this fall.

The GBL has also proudly awarded two “Busy Livin” scholarships this year. These scholarships were awarded to two Crawford County high school seniors that had shown through their actions excellence in academics, school, and community involvement. Athletic and/or fine arts achievements and a general desire to create self-character and leadership were also important factors. Over 20 applicants from all Crawford County schools (Pittsburg, Frontenac, St. Mary’s–Colgan, Southeast, Girard, and Northeast) submitted outstanding credentials. This year’s award winners were Erin Collar from St. Mary’s-Colgan and Nick Vacca from Pittsburg High School.


Erin Collar

Erin Collar, the daughter of Tim and Linda Collar presented an application that illustrated strong academic honors, community service and a fulfilling senior year resulting in a leading role for her acting and singing in the school’s musicals.

From Erin’s scholarship essay, when asked where she was going to attend college and what she would major in; she stated “KU and major in… I wish I knew; how about I just “figure out exactly who I want to be.” Additionally, in response to the essay question asking her to explain a moment when she “stepped out of her comfort zone” to experience something new, Erin discussed her moment when talent and hard work helped her overcome her fear of auditions and landed her a great role in the school musical. Erin stated “if I never would have taken a chance, I would never have reconnected with my passion for singing, nor would I have discovered my newfound love of acting.: Congratulations Erin… if you even think for a second that you can… you will!


Nick Vacca

The second Busy Livin Scholarship went to Nick Vacca from Pittsburg High. Nick is the son of Robert and Missy Vacca and plans to attend Ozark Christian College in the fall. At Pittsburg High, Nick was a highly ranked 4.0 student and Kansas Honor Scholar; as well as a student government leader and three sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball.

In Nick’s essay, the following statements exemplified his strong Christian and family beliefs in which love begins at home spending time with his two younger brothers: “I never could have imagined how much of an impact these two little rascals would have on my life, I love them to death and wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

Nick is considering a career in the ministry or in counseling and is certain that he wants to help those less blessed and fortunate than he. “I aspire to change the world. I know it is cliché, but it is my goal to make an impact even if it is one person at a time.” Congratulations Nick, your goals of family commitment and service to others will serve you well.

I’m sure these young people will continue to keep Busy Livin. As Dylan wrote in his daily journal… believe in yourself, trust your instincts and teachings, don’t look back. Keep this attitude and mind set in everything that you do… and there are no limits. As Aristotle stated “we are what we repeatedly do… excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”