Grace Bjustrom of Eldridge has been named as the 2020 recipient of the Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship.
Bjustrom, a soon-to-be graduate of North Scott High School (Eldridge) will receive $5,000 toward tuition at Iowa State University (Ames), where she plans to study agricultural engineering and marketing in the fall.
She is the daughter of Larry and Carolyn Bjustrom of Eldridge.
“After college, I want to pursue a job in the power, technology and machinery industry and help design agricultural equipment that will be able to revolutionize the ag industry. I also want to be able to have an impact in finding innovative solutions to feed 10 billion people by 2050,” she said.
She is the third recipient of the scholarship, which was established in 2017 to honor the late Thomas K. Evans, the engineer and entrepreneur who founded American Power Systems, Inc. (APS).
“Grace has an impressive academic record, and she wowed us with her involvement in STEM activities. She also has met significant challenges in her life with much determination and the will to succeed. We are so pleased to present her with this year’s scholarship,” said Amy Lank, president of APS, which funds the award.
Because of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Lank congratulated Bjustrom via video in lieu of an informal scholarship reception as in previous years.
Bjustrom and the rest of her class are finishing their senior year through distance learning and will graduate with a drive-through ceremony followed by a parade through Eldridge.
Despite the current circumstances, Bjustrom remains optimistic, sharing gratitude and a bit of advice for students coming behind her.
“I believe that even though we were not able to finish our senior year, there are many blessings that came due to the pandemic,” she says. “My advice to younger students would be to build a firm foundation in your faith. Then, when unexpected hardships happen, you will know that you are never alone, and God is always with you. My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’"
"When I remember this verse, I remember that with God, all things are possible -- and with him by your side, you can do things you would never imagine. With hard work, perseverance and faith, you will be able to overcome anything life throws at you.”
Read Grace Bjustrom's scholarship essay.
Read the official press release.