American Power Systems, Inc. has announced the winners of $10,000 in STEM-based scholarships awarded to three area graduates through the 2022 Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship program. North Scott High School graduate Taylor Mayhue has been named the overall winner of a $5,000 scholarship, while Karl Jensen of Jensen Home School/Scholé Quad Cities and Peyton Sanderson of Pleasant Valley High School both received $2,500 semi-finalist scholarships.
The scholarships are merit- and needs-based one-time gifts for new college entrants pursuing education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program was founded in 2017 to encourage bright, creative young people to achieve and excel, and to help them change the world for the better.
It is named for the late Thomas Keenan Evans, a local engineer and entrepreneur, who in 2006 founded APS, which designs and manufactures advanced mobile power systems for armored, security, commercial, marine and other purpose-built specialty vehicles.
“We always are impressed by the accomplishments, perseverance and drive of the scholarship applicants, but this year’s class inspired us to expand the program even further,” said Amy Lank, President & CEO of APS, which funds the award. “It is so vital for us to invest in our country’s future workforce. Offering this scholarship program not only recognizes all they have accomplished so far but helps propel them forward in their future careers.”
APS recognized the scholarship recipients during an informal reception held at company headquarters in Davenport in late June.
About Taylor Mayhue (winner)
Taylor Mayhue is bound for Iowa State University in the fall where she plans to double major in Food Science and Agriculture Education, with a desire to ultimately pursue an MBA in Food Science. She was actively involved as President of her FFA chapter, served as the Vice President of Lions and Rotary Club Communications through her service club and was a member of both the National Honor Society and the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow (T4T) program. During her time with FFA, she participated in numerous FFA competitions relating to food science and won individual and group awards relating to agriscience research, biotechnology and milk quality.
“I want to change the world through learning about the chemistry of food, engineering food, and maintaining food safety and security everywhere,” she wrote in her application essay. “I also want to improve the production of food, so it is more affordable.” After college, Mayhue hopes to work for the USDA.
Read a full Q&A with Mayhue on the APS website.
About Karl Jensen (semi-finalist)
Karl Jensen will attend Valparaiso University in the fall to study Electrical Engineering with a focus on mechatronics. In addition to his studies, Jensen started his own lawn mowing business at age 13, ultimately realizing that that electricity and electronics were what really sparked his curiosity and imagination when investigating mechanical issues with either his or customer’s mowers. He has been very active with the Boy Scouts of America’s Scouts BSA program. Growing his knowledge of science and technology with STEM-related merit badges such as robotics, engineering, electricity, chemistry and nuclear science, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with Silver Palm in June 2021.
Jensen describes himself as curious, determined, and resourceful in his application essay. “I have always been fascinated by how things work. You could say, ‘I’m wired that way.’ From a young age, I wanted to look at the inner workings of anything mechanical. I was curious to know how they worked and were constructed.”
Read a full Q&A with Jensen on the APS website.
About Peyton Sanderson (semi-finalist)
Peyton Sanderson will attend Iowa State University this fall to study Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Astronomy. As a senior in high school, she transferred schools be able to participate in programs and classes that would support her future aspirations in engineering. As part of an "Introduction to Engineering Design" class, she worked with a group to design, build, and test a prototype wheelchair tray system that would benefit a classmate. She participated in multiple STEM-related clubs, including Astronomy Club, PNB Aviation, during which the group constructed an RV-12 airplane, and Women in STEM, which allowed her to teach young kids how to code and to encourage other women to have a strong voice in male-dominated STEM fields. She also competed with the state qualifying PVHS robotics team, #7196 Everything That’s Radical.
“I have always found myself striving to be involved in hands-on activities since I was younger,” according to Sanderson. “Whether it was working on projects with my dad, doing arts and crafts, or learning about new technology, I have always had a passion for the STEM field, and that led me to strive for new learning opportunities.”
Read a full Q&A with Sanderson on the APS website.