Being awarded the Evans Scholarship has changed more than one life in select households. A few of our Scholars here at the Michigan State chapter have carried on the Evans Scholar title after older siblings received it before them. Upholding the scholarship legacy is a pride they will never forsake.
For most Scholars, having the financial support of the scholarship changes not only the caddie's life, but also the lives of their parents and family.
"The scholarship took a huge burden and worry off of my parents' shoulders," says Riley Fisher, a freshman here at MSU and younger sister of a U of M Evans Scholar. "It meant that we would be able to attend college without going into financial ruin and losing things like the necessities of life. It basically ensured our family on a steady path in terms of finances."
However, not all Scholars share the same financial background. Sydney DeBlander, another Spartan freshman and younger sister of a U of M Scholar, touches on this subject.
"From a financial standpoint, not too much has gotten much easier for us since my dad is out of work, so things are still tough in that sense," says DeBlander.
Although, the Scholarship effects more than finances within a household.
"Having more than one Scholar in my house seems like I finally have an even playing field to be completely honest. Like it had always felt like a competition at home about who was smarter, who was more athletic, more involved, etc. But now that we have both worked hard enough to receive such an opportunity, it feels like that rivalry is over," says DeBlander.
Other sibling Scholars take note of how their older brothers and sisters have encouraged them to follow in their footsteps and reach their highest potential. Katherine Miller, a freshman Scholar and the fourth in her family to receive the Scholarship, reflects on her conversations with her older scholar siblings.
"My siblings have shown and told me how I should follow my dreams no matter how crazy and ridiculous they are," says Miller. "I have had many phone calls with my older brother Jon, saying how I should always do what I believe is right even though it might be far-fetched; nothing can stop my dreams except for me. But yes, they fully supported me and wanted me to follow their choices in life. From my many chats with Jon, I have followed a lot of his decisions in life and I even want to do the same career as him!"
Riley Fisher shares her testimony, stating, "My brother is the reason that I began caddying in the first place. I've always looked up to him so the Scholarship was just one more way that I could be like him."
Jessie Smith, a sophomore and fourth in her household to receive the scholarship as well, shares the same feelings toward her older siblings.
"Seeing my siblings get the Scholarship motivated me to work as hard as they did to help me get to where I am today," says Smith.
Having older siblings as Scholars is not only motivational, but also resourceful. Their knowledge of the house and chapter living has helped prepare their younger siblings for what to expect. Julie Kurilko, a junior and fourth in her household to receive the Scholarship, touches on this matter.
"My siblings have given me such great advice on how to live and succeed in the Evans Scholarship House," says Kurilko. "It makes it easy to relate to them because we all have similar college experiences since we all received the same scholarship."
Garrett Sarvello, a current sophomore and second in his family to receive the Scholarship, is grateful for his older brother's experience in the House as well.
"Cody helped me prepare for the House simply by being able to tell me exactly what to expect," says Sarvello. "I came into the House knowing what would be expected of me academically and what my responsibilities as an Evans Scholar would be. He made my transition into college and the Scholarship House easier by making sure I did not have any surprises."
Sydney DeBlander mentions the differences and similarities of her brother's U of M chapter experience compared to her time here at MSU.
"Hearing what my brother has done on a day-to-day basis has given me a general idea of to what to expect from the experience of "group living." Though he was at a different Scholarship House and each House seems to have its own culture, they too had an open door policy where everyone could visit each other's rooms, and how everyone had to pitch in toward house upkeep. I also think having seen just how thankful he was for the opportunity makes me want to make sure that I get the absolute most out of what the Evans has to offer as well," says DeBlander.
It is obvious that the Evans Scholarship changes the lives of each of its caddies, but even more so, it has the power to strengthen sibling bonds and familial gratitude.
"My brother's time as a Scholar has taught both him and me that the Scholarship Houses are like big families," says Riley Fisher. "I learned from his experiences that I would always have someone to go to for help, whether it be in school or life, and that I would always have a huge support network."