Three high school seniors awarded prestigious UNK Honors Program scholarship

KEARNEY – Three future Lopers will attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney as Omaha World-Herald/Kearney Hub Scholars.

Kajetan Hubl and Michael Sambula-Monzalvo, both of Grand Island, and Thomas Schmidt of Topeka, Kansas, are this year’s recipients of the prestigious scholarship, awarded to the top students admitted to the UNK Honors Program.

Offered by the Honors Program and supported by the Omaha World-Herald and Kearney Hub newspapers, this scholarship is one of the premier academic awards at UNK. It covers room and board, tuition and fees and books for up to four years. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.85 and an ACT score of 30 or better to qualify.

A total of 149 students applied for the scholarship, now in its 39th year, and 39 were interviewed by the selection committee before the three recipients were chosen.

“Every year, I am amazed at the level of talent that we see in this pool of applicants. Our job within the Honors Program is a difficult one, to only award this top scholarship to three students. The Honors Program community at UNK is an incredibly welcoming, high-achieving group and these three students will be fantastic additions,” said associate professor Angela Hollman, director of the UNK Honors Program.

Kajetan Hubl

Hubl is a senior at Grand Island Central Catholic High School, where she’s active in the journalism program, speech, Art Club and National Honor Society. She serves as president of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter and Crusaders for Life and competes on the tennis team. Hubl has also participated in Quiz Bowl, the Scholastic art competition and Nebraska High School State Journalism Contest, earning numerous awards.

She’s involved in church activities, the Big and Little Crusader mentorship program, Youth Leadership Tomorrow and Youth Philanthropy Board.

Michael Sambula-Monzalvo

Sambula-Monzalvo is a senior at Grand Island Central Catholic High School, where he serves as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and participates in National Honor Society, Art Club and Future Business Leaders of America. He’s also a member of the swim team and he plays saxophone in the jazz band, pep band and marching band. Sambula-Monzalvo has earned Academic All-State recognition for both swimming and music.

A recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, he’s involved in the Big and Little Crusader mentorship program.

Thomas Schmidt

Schmidt is a senior at Topeka High School, where he competes on the soccer and swim teams, serving as a captain in both sports. He’s also a member of National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and Chess Club. Schmidt was named Senior of the Month at his high school and selected as a National Merit Commended Scholar. He placed second at a National History Day competition.

The Eagle Scout participates in productions at the Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy and Auburn Community Theatre, and he’s completed more than 120 service hours through volunteer activities with his church, middle school math competitions, youth sports programs and other commitments.