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Stephen R. Boardman Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$2,500
Application Deadline
Apr 17, 2023
Winners Announced
May 17, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
First generation college student
Ohio or Indiana

Over 44 years of ministry, Pastor Stephen Boardman served 5 churches in Indiana and Ohio. He often preached about how lives were more than just the date we were born and the date we passed- it is what is included in that dash between the dates. Pastor Steve made the most of his dash.

Born into a Christian home, it wasn’t until he was a Freshman at Marion College (now Indiana Wesleyan University) where Steve committed his life to Christ. He had planned to become a history teacher, but God led him into the ministry instead.

Steve was a committed Christ follower, godly Husband, and role model for his children, grandchildren, and each of his congregations.

Steve passed on November 8th, 2018 after battling pancreatic cancer, while bravely showing the world the hope he had in heaven.

The goal of this scholarship is to support first generation undergraduate students, in Ohio or Indiana, to attend a four year college or university.

To apply, please write a brief essay regarding your faith, how it’s impacted your high school experience, and how you plan to continue to grow your faith through your college experience.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 5, 2022
Essay Topic

Tell us about your faith. How has it impacted your high school experience? How do you plan to continue to grow your faith through your college experience?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Andrea Graber
University of Southern IndianaReeve Township, IN
I have no dramatic testimony to tell. There was no moment of epiphany, or gut-wrenching sobs as I surrendered my life to the One who created it. I used to see this as a hindrance, as a missing tool in my evangelical toolbox, but now I see my story for the blessing it really is. I was born into a Christian home, and God, in all of His mercy, claimed me from the very beginning. Technically, my commitment to Christ didn’t occur until I was 12 years old, but looking back, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t feel His presence in my heart, His voice in my head, His hand on my life. High school was difficult for me. Living life for Jesus made it tough to connect with many of my peers. Even if they couldn’t identify the reason, they saw me as separate, as different from themselves. In addition to this struggle to connect with classmates, I was also suffering from severe cystic acne. Most days, I felt like I had a disease. People were hesitant to touch me, to make eye contact. Mean comments were rare; mainly, I was just ignored. Conversations felt patronizing, kindness felt like pity. Nights, I would sob, quietly so my parents couldn’t hear. I would cry out to Jesus, and He would hold me, and collect each of my tears in His bottle. I remember asking Him to take me home. I pleaded with Him, saying I was tired, that living was hurting me too much. Gently, He replied, “The plans I have for you are not yet complete.” In the morning I awoke, and looked at the day as confirmation that God had great things in store for my life. Junior year, my circumstances improved. My skin cleared up a lot, and God blessed me with a group of close-knit, faith-filled friends. However, to this day, I thank God for that painful time of my life. I thank Him for His comfort during that season, and for the growth that came from solely relying on Him. I’ve been attending college for two years now, and during that time my faith has been tested, my values have been challenged, and I’ve asked the Father more questions than during the rest of my life combined. That being said, the growth that has occurred as a result of this uncertainty would not have come to fruition in a less intense environment. I’ve struggled with doubts, with confusion, with weariness. But I’ve sought the Lord earnestly, and He’s given me answers. I’ve brought Him my burdens, and He’s given me rest. I’ve shown Him my brokenness, and He’s promised healing. He’s been my hope, my salvation, my rest, my refuge in times of trouble. In the fall, I plan to move to campus at the University of Southern Indiana and become very involved with the Christian community there. A few of my friends attend a church close to the university, and I’ll likely be going there as well. I’ve been commuting until now, and it’s been difficult to be as plugged in as I would like to be, but I’m excited to connect with the many resources available, such as Bible studies, discipleship programs, and volunteer opportunities. However, these past two years have taught me the importance of sitting at Jesus’s feet, and what I’ve found is that there’s no place I’d rather be. As my college experience continues, I will continue to abide in Him, and Him in me, and together we will face the world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 17, 2023. Winners will be announced on May 17, 2023.

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