Jun. 18—PORTSMOUTH — The first two MacKenzie Brown Type 1 Diabetes Scholarships have been awarded to Zeke Emnett, a senior at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and Ty Pendleton, a sophomore at Shawnee State University.
Emnett, a graduate of Wheelersburg High School, is majoring in Ministry and the Bible. Pendleton, who graduated from Portsmouth High School, is working toward a degree in education with an emphasis in history.
The scholarship was established in 2016 by Brown who was the youngest individual ever to create a fund at the Scioto Foundation. As a junior at Notre Dame High School, she set up the fund to help students diagnosed with the disease take care of college expenses.
"We would like to congratulate Zeke Emnett and Ty Pendleton on being chosen as the first recipients of the MacKenzie Brown Type 1 Diabetes Scholarship," said MacKenzie's parents, Kim and David Brown. "Also, we would like to thank those who donated to the scholarship fund. Without their donations and other fundraising activities, this scholarship would not be possible. Finally, we would like to thank the Scioto Foundation for their help, support and guidance over the past few years."
"I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to develop the MacKenzie Brown Type 1 Diabetes Scholarship," MacKenzie added. "This would not have been possible without the help of my parents, David and Kimberly Brown, the Scioto Foundation, fundraising activities and generous donors. Congratulations to this year's recipients, Zeke Emnett and Ty Pendleton! I am proud of both recipients' achievements and for not letting this disease stop them from pursuing their dreams."
McKenzie now resides in Columbus where she works as a behavioral scientist. She plans to attend graduate school next fall to pursue a master's degree in Counseling and Human Development with a minor in Diabetes Education.
MacKenzie and her parents, Kim and David Brown set up criteria for those who are eligible for the scholarship which was established with an initial gift from Flour BWXT. The scholarship recognizes students who are actively involved in the diabetic community, who participate in community or extra-curricular activities, and who demonstrate that they are successfully managing the challenges of living with diabetes.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be continuing his/her education beyond the high school level, have a childhood diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, and be successfully managing diabetes with proper medication, exercise and diet.
Applicants also have to write an essay describing his/her life as a Type 1 Diabetic. Scholarship selections were made by the Scioto Foundation's volunteer scholarship committee.
Brown was diagnosed with T1D in May 2008 at the age of 9. Recognizing the need for T1D awareness and fundraising, she started an education and awareness campaign in November 2015 during National Diabetes Awareness Month. She helped organize many different activities for spreading awareness of the childhood disease, including partnering with Southern Ohio Medical Center to set up a fund for juvenile diabetics; organizing a basketball game fundraising event with Notre Dame and Portsmouth High Schools; developing T1D educational display boards, materials and supplies at Notre Dame High School and Elementary School; speaking to students about T1D signs, symptoms and the differences between Type I and Type II Diabetes; and holding a day camp for all ages of young people who have Type 1 Diabetes, in addition to participating in media interviews on the subject.
MacKenzie's sister Madison, Notre Dame High School's River Days candidate for 2021, has joined the family's campaign on behalf of T1D. She organized a Ride for Insulin for Type 1 Diabetes which was held on June 13 as her community service event.
Family, friends, organizations or the general public may contribute to the MacKenzie Brown Type 1 Diabetes Scholarship Fund at the Scioto Foundation at any time. Donations to the fund may be in the form of cash, securities or property.
Additional information about the MacKenzie Brown Type 1 Diabetes Scholarship Fund or other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Officer — Donor Services, or SF Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.