York College has announced the finalists for its most prestigious academic financial award, the Presidential Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one incoming freshman each year and recognizes academic achievement as well as high moral character.

Finalists for this award are Marissa Bressler (Lake Benton, Minn.), Mattea Reeb (Marana, Ariz.), Hannah Anderson (York, Neb.), Alexis Martens (Alden, Minn.) and Austin Hackel (Broken Bow, Neb.).

To be considered for this award, students must meet high academic standards as well as submit written essays and other application materials. Top candidates are invited to campus for interviews to determine the recipient of the President’s Scholar. All finalists will receive the Dean’s Scholarship.The Presidential Scholarship recipient will be announced in the coming weeks.

About the finalists

Marissa Bressler

Marissa Bressler is involved in many activities and organizations including a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles, color guard, competitive speech, track, theater, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). She is also the student body president and the color guard captain. She frequently participates in community service activities such as volunteering at a homeless shelter, hospital, library, and elementary school, as well as at her church.

Bressler’s list of awards and honors is impressive and varied: winner of the Freshman Academic Award; FCCLA district top superior, state illustrated talk winner and national gold medalist; Most Valuable Speaker award for oral interpretation; participant in numerous honor bands and choirs; and American Legion Essay contest local and district winner. Bressler participates in pageants and has won awards for poise and appearance, creativity, academics, and community service. In 2015, she was the runner up in the Miss Lake Benton competition.

Marissa intends to major in biology and chemistry.

Mattea Reeb

Mattea Reeb is an honor roll student who has regularly been recognized for her academic achievements. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She is also very involved in athletics as captain of the JV volleyball team for two years and captain of the varsity team for two years. In 2015 she was ranked First Team All State for her prowess on the court. She also participated in the swim team for two years.

Her community service activities include volunteer coaching for a youth club volleyball team, peer tutoring, and as a timer for school swim team events.

Mattea intends to major in pre-med. She plans to attend medical school and become a doctor, as her greatest passion in life is helping others.

Hannah Anderson

A perfect GPA and high test scores are just the tip of the iceberg for Hannah Anderson. The York native is active in music, theater, and speech/debate activities. She has won awards at the Yorkshire Playhouse and for the Aurora Classical Conversations Science Fair and has scored highly in national piano competitions. She has volunteered as a docent at Wessels Living History Farm for eight years. She also volunteers at the local rescue mission and nursing homes. She is very active in service and outreach with her church, including being a featured speaker at a recent women’s ministry event.

Anderson intends to major in history with a minor in music.

Alexis Martens

Honor roll student Alexis Martens is the vice president of the senior class and has lettered in academics. She is active in music and theater and has excelled in those areas, including four “superior” ratings on solos and duets; numerous stage performances; and two directorial experiences for student dramatics.

Her community service activities include volunteering at a community clothing bank, distributing meals as part of a disaster relief program, and a mission trip to St. Louis.  

Martens intends to major in elementary education.

Austin Hackel

Honor roll student Austin Hackel has seen great success participating in music and competitive speech events, including superior ratings for french horn and vocal solos and awards for “Outstanding Novice Speaker” and “Most Improved Speaker” for speech events. He is a member of the National Honor Society and was named “Outstanding Junior Member” for his local chapter. Currently he serves as the chapter president.

In addition to band, choir, and speech, Hackel is involved in journalism as the senior editor of the student newspaper. He is also a member of the spanish club, captain of the quiz bowl team, and serves on student council. He is active in the community in a variety of ways, ranging from work at an elementary afterschool program, to volunteering at a city mission, to trash pick-up projects with 4-H.

Hackel intends to major in biblical studies, but is also interested in pursuing a medical degree.