MONDAY, May 14, 2007

Megan Crowell and Amanda Crowell are the recipients of the Robert Gee Scholarship for the 2007-2008 school year.

The Crowells, who are twins, will enter their sophomore year at Miami High School in the fall.

“My grandmother was really freaked, Megan Crowell said with a grin. “We really didn't expect both of us to receive the scholarship.

“I'm glad we got it, Amanda Crowell said.

Their grandparents are Jay and Norma DeHart.

The Crowells have lived with their grandparents since they were 2 1/2 years old when their parents died in an automobile accident.

Each Crowell will receive $1,000 for use during the next school year on anything that will expand their education.

As long as they maintain their grades, they will be eligible for the scholarship through their next three years of high school.

In a way, the scholarship comes from the youth of Ottawa County itself.

“The applicants have to be recommended by a teacher, fill out a form and be interviewed, said Ginny Stinson, a member of the selection committee. “Students can be nominated starting in the sixth grade.

The Crowells were nominated by a pair or team of teachers, Dione Madson and Georgeann Roye. Madson teaches science and Roye teaches English.

They will supervise the Crowells spending of their scholarship.

Years ago, the building that housed an earlier incarnation of the Boys and Girls Club than the current one burned down. Approximately $60,000 in insurance was placed in the bank with the interest used to provide grants for local teens to do things of interest such as go to band camp, debate camp, etc.

“Bob used to evaluate their applications, said Nancy Gee, his widow. “He said the scholarship recipients could use the money any way they need to. Buying an alarm clock is not a waste of money if they need help getting to school on time.

“The earlier we can connect with the students, the more help we can be, Stinson said.

Both Crowells are straight A students and participate in track and other athletics.

They are both in the band where Megan plays the flute and Amanda plays the clarinet.

To earn extra money, they do a lot of baby-sitting.

They are members of the First Christian Church in Miami and very active there.

“We know we'll always have a home there, said Amanda, speaking of the church.

“There's something there to fall back on, Megan said.

“I think it was their interviews that leaned the committee toward choosing the Crowells, Stinson said. “We were impressed with the quality and the sound moral fiber of these young women.