Prior Scholarship Recipients

2012 Scholarship Recipients:

In May 2012, the Board of the Jefferson Country Association for Gifted Children and other donors provided $600 in funding in Patrick’s name for scholarships to high school graduates in 2012. The Straut family was extremely honored and grateful for this funding. As we believe would have been Patrick’s wish, we split the funding among four very close friends of his who met their graduation requirements in 2012. Those recipients were: Richard Lewis Benton III, who graduated from Dakota Ridge HS, Steven Malunat, who graduated from Brady Exploration HS, Shane Michael Mason who completed graduation requirements at Long View HS, and Avery Worland, who graduated from Dakota Ridge HS.

Richy, Shane (with Brendan), Steven, & Avery.

2013 Scholarship Recipients:

In May 2013, Patrick's friend, Samuel Worland graduated from Dakota Ridge HS and was awarded a scholarship in Patrick's honor. Sam is taking some time off to work before attending college. The first Wheat Ridge HS GT Center senior, Paul Clark, was also awarded a scholarship in May, 2013 and honored at the PEAK Program's Seniors' dinner. Paul is attending Red Rocks Community College.

2014 Scholarship Recipients:

Four Seniors from the Wheat Ridge HS Gifted and Talented program were each awarded $250. for the Patrick Taylor Straut Scholarship for Resilience to acknowledge the achievement of high school graduation. The 2014 recipients are: Noah Hyde, Jeremy Libhart, Flynn Monahan and Reyelle Murillo. This years awards were made possible by a generous donation by the Montoni Family Foundation. Luke Montoni was a childhood friend of Patrick's and the award was made to honor the Montoni family's fond memories of Patrick.

2015 Scholarship Recipients:

Three Seniors at the Wheat Ridge HS GT Center Program (formerly known as PEAK) were awarded $250 in Patrick's name to acknowledge the achievement of high school graduation. The 2015 recipients include: Adam Grossman, who plans to study at University of Northern Colorado, Jennifer Orosco who will study nursing at University of Colorado at Denver, and Andrew Vega who will study at Red Rocks Community College. All three students were honored at the GT Center Senior dinner, where they shared their experiences at Wheat Ridge with the GT Center and talked about their future plans. The Montoni Family Foundation was a key contributor to the scholarship fund again this year.  

2016 Scholarship Recipient:

Simon Becerra was the single recipient of the $1,000 scholarship, awarded at the WRHS awards ceremony on May 11, 2016. Simon is a senior at the Gifted and Talented Center at Wheat Ridge High School. His interests include Psychology and Welding. He plans to attend Metro State University in the fall to study Psychology and he will also take Welding classes at Community College of Denver. Simon has exhibited resilience throughout high school, managing many life challenges while maintaining a positive attitude and displaying grit beyond his years. Simon was also honored at WRHS GT night on May 21, 2016. The Montoni Family Foundation was a key contributor to the scholarship fund again this year.  

2017 Scholarship Recipients:


Five Seniors were awarded scholarships totaling $3,000 in May, 2017. This was the first year that the scholarship applications were evaluated by the Board of Directors of the Patrick Straut Foundation. Ginny Schaible was awarded the top scholarship at $1,000. Rose Merrill and Debbie Velarde each received $500 and Shannon Hannaway and Caitlyn Kastning each received $250 scholarships. The students were honored at GT Night, Paracosm City on May 13. All five recipients are attending university in the Fall of 2017. Dr. Blanche Kapushion, retired Director of Gifted and Talented for Jeffco Public Schools was a key contributor to the scholarship this year.


2018 Scholarship Recipients:

Four Seniors were awarded a total of $3,500, the largest amount awarded by the Foundation to date. Marissa Ritter received $1,500. Marissa will begin her studies with an undergraduate degree in education, and then advance into neurosurgery, a lifelong ambition of hers. Nathan Reich received $1,000, Nathan is studying at University of Northern Colorado to become a teacher (English, Spanish & GT).  Lexie Greenawalt was awarded $500, Lexie is taking a gap year next year, then attending Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont to study film. Jada Lister received $500, Jada is attending Reed College in Portland, Oregon majoring in psychology, then she’ll pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology; her goal is to be a Developmental Neuropsychologist. As always, we are thrilled to honor these students and acknowledge their resilience and hard work throughout high school.

Dr. Blanche Kapushion, retired Director of Gifted and Talented for Jeffco Public Schools was a key contributor to the scholarship this year.

Recipients: Jada, Lexie, Nathan, and Marissa with Terri and Dr. Blanche Kapusion

2019 Scholarship Recipients:

Six seniors were awarded scholarships this year, from twelve applications received. A total of $6,500 in scholarships were awarded. Nathalia Reyes Hernandez received $1,500. She is the first in her family to attend college; she plans to attend CU Denver as a Psychology major. Juleyza Orozco, our resident comedian for Room 13, is attending Community College of Denver; she also received $1,500. Zoe Welch will be studying at Cleveland Institute of Art; and she also received $1,500. Rosemary Howard was awarded $1,000 and plans to attend Metro State University of Denver. Bella Briganti was awarded $500 and is attending CU Denver this fall. Zoe Womble plans to be a middle school teacher and will major in English and Secondary Education at UNC this fall. Zoe received a scholarship for $500. This year two GT Center families donated $1,000 each to the scholarship. We are very grateful for their generosity and the many other donations received during our annual scholarship fundraising drive that allowed us to almost double the amount of scholarship funds awarded this year.

Recipients Left to Right: Bella Briganti, Rosemary Howard, Zoe Womble, Nathalia Reyes Hernndez, Juleyza Orozco, and Zoe Welch. Seated: Roger Dowd  and Josh Cooley.