2022 Scholarship Recipients!

Congratulations to Elena Sommers, Scott Johnson, Korryn Bachner, Jackie Bafaro, Megan Kolpacki, and Jesseka Boyer , our 2022 scholarship winners.

elenaElena Sommers, 2022 recipient of the Barbara Latenser memorial scholarship from Syracuse, Indiana, will begin her collegiate career this coming fall at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. As a four year old girl, Elena suffered serious burns to her arms due to a grease fire spill while attempting to help her dad in the kitchen. She hasnít let the injury hold herself back one bit. Elena earned National Honors Society recognition as a junior and a senior and Academic Hall of Fame as a senior while participating on the student council and working part-time. An avid animal lover, for as long as she can remember Elena has wanted to be a veterinarian. She will be studying biosciences this coming semester to start herself on that path.

ScottThe 2022 recipient of the Kelly Skiles and Dan Yost memorial scholarships and outlaw kart racer from Melcher-Dallas, Iowa, Scott Johnson suffered a serious burn injury in a fuel fire as a sophomore in high school. As a result he was suddenly in a medical induced coma after having been working his way onto the varsity football team together with maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He would eventually recover, fighting through the intense pain while remaining grateful that it wasnít worse and discovering a determination to fight through and heal in order to fulfill his desire to help others. Despite requiring surgeries for two years following his injuries, he worked himself back onto the racetrack while lettering all four years in football, earning himself class Valedictorian and recognition from the National Honor Society. Scott will begin his collegiate journey studying Finance/Business Management at Central College in Pella, Iowa this coming fall.

korrynKorryn Bachner, 2022 recipient of the Jorge Mijares memorial scholarship, was burned at a bonfire as a high-schooler. But she hasnít let the experience get her down as she and her friends had received much support from the school and the community. Korryn has received love and support from her local Moose Lodge in Lombard, Illinois where she would regularly volunteer her time helping with local kidsí activities both before and after the accident. On top of that, she participated in the RISE program at her high school which provides kids with anonymous support with anything they may be going through in their life. Korryn continues her collegiate journey at the University of Dayton as a sophomore and aspires to be a high school Spanish teacher.

JackieJackie Bafaro, recipient of the 2022 Tim Miller memorial scholarship, has only really ever known being a burn survivor after being scalded with boiling water at only the age of three. Thanks to a neighbor who heard her screams, she was able to get the care she needed for her 3rd degree burns covering 33% of her body including her face and chest. Jackie is a six year camp counselor at Camp I Am Me after having attended as a camper for fourteen years. She will be continuing her education as a nurse this coming fall at SNHU. Crediting the nurses that helped treat her as the motivation to help others once like her, Jackie strives to convince young burn survivors once like her that they can still do anything they want in life.

MeganMegan Kolpacki, 2022 recipient of the Caper Brown memorial scholarship, is an inspirational young woman who was injured when her house went up in flames due to a gas leak at the age of twelve. Her dad was able to find her and throw flaming drywall off of her, getting her out in time. After months of being in and out of the hospital, Megan went back to school attempting to hide her scars, but after a week spent at Camp I Am Me the following summer, she returned with pride in her scars and her experience, even helping another student at her school to find his confidence following his own burn injury. Crediting the nurses that helped in her recovery and already beginning to work as a certified nurseís aide, Megan will start her collegiate career this coming fall at Louisiana State University pursuing a bachelorís degree in nursing.

Korryn2022 recipient of the Alex Collazo memorial scholarship, Jesseka Boyer is a long-time burn survivor and high school cheerleader and track athlete. At just the age of one, she was left near a fire by a babysitter and curiously wanted to touch it. Her injuries resulted in the need for three emergency surgeries over the span of a month at the Madison, Wisconsin burn center. Growing up, her uncle introduced her to Camp I Am Me for burn survivors where she was deeply impacted by another camper who suffered burns to 70% of her body yet remained outgoing positively minded. Jessekaís time at Camp I Am Me over the years has helped inspire her to become a nurse, and will be pursuing her bachelorís degree in nursing starting this coming fall at the University of Iowa.