Austin Miller

Brian Bergkamp Student Service Award is named for the late seminarian Brian Bergkamp. This award is given to a high school student who has demonstrated a selfless and giving attitude to positively transform society. Austin Miller, who attends Wichita Collegiate High School, volunteers multiple times a week with Little Blessings Miniature Horse Therapy and regularly visits Wesley Children’s Hospital, several Wichita area retirement homes and the local Veteran’s Administration.

Elizabeth Meister – Teen starts CPR Training Program

Elizabeth Meister

Previously published in the Wichita Eagle
Article by Amy Geiszler-Jones
Photo by Bo Rader

When Elizabeth Meister was looking for a capstone project as part of her volunteer efforts, she wanted to find a project that could make a difference in people’s lives.

What she decided on may make more than a difference, it could help save people’s lives.

More than a year ago, Meister, now 17 and a senior at Wichita Collegiate, launched Project Heart to Heart, or H2H, teaching hands-only CPR to students and adults.

A Cleveland Clinic survey released in February 2018 found that while half of Americans said they know CPR, only one in six knew that hands-only CPR is the recommended method. Only one in 10 of the 1,000 people surveyed knew that the correct compression rate is 100-120 pushes per minute. The Bee Gees’ classic disco hit “Stayin’ Alive” has the perfect beat, according to the American Heart Association.

Because she’s taken both babysitter and lifeguard training and has volunteered with the American Heart Association, Meister has been CPR-trained.

“My younger sister, Emily, was my motivation and inspiration for my project,” Meister wrote. “She was born with a cardiac arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm.”

Meister and her mother, Lori, who is her co-trainer, have trained approximately 2,000 students and adults and have taught an additional 7,000 about the importance of CPR, Meister wrote. They’ve gone to schools and public events like Wichita Thunder hockey games to train and spread the word, said Meister, who is also a volunteer for the American Heart Association.

She strongly encourages people to not be shy about visiting the H2H table, which has “faceless, slightly creepy mannequins. There is no shame in learning or refreshing a life-saving skill.”

Meister already has a long list of organizations and efforts for which she volunteers. As an officer of Collegiate’s Pro-Humanitate volunteer club, she helps coordinate volunteer activities for herself and her fellow students. Her family is active in volunteering with Catholic Charities and the Lord’s Diner.

Meister, whose father, Gregory, is a physician, said she is considering a career in medicine. Several of her academic projects also involve health-related issues, like her H2H volunteer project.

As part of a robotics and innovation class, Meister is working on developing a prosthetic flipper for a sea turtle named Montel at the Florida Keys Sea Turtle Hospital, which she and her family have visited while on vacation in the Keys. In chemistry, she’s on a research team examining and analyzing harmful vapors produces by an e-cigarette. The group will present their research findings at a University of Kansas medical forum in April.

Read more here:

The Brian Bergkamp Student Service Award

To be awarded to a high school student who by example has demonstrated the selfless and giving attitude, which was a hallmark of Brian Bergkamp’s life, to positively transform society.

Sponsored byAscension Via Christi

Do-everything Hailey Colburn works to help younger girls

Hailey Colburn

Article by Joe Stumpe – Eagle correspondent
Photo by Bo Rader – Eagle photographer

February 20, 2018

It’s hard to imagine today, but Hailey Colborn struggled with self-esteem as a youngster. Yes, the reigning Miss Kansas Teen USA, former Northwest High class president and ballerina who danced the role of the Dew Drop Fairy in “The Nutcracker” last year.

A self-diagnosed overachiever, Colborn says she wanted to be as good a classical ballerina as possible. “I continually felt like a structure in need of improvement.” Colborn credits her family, an “incredible support system” and a nutritionist with helping her learn to take care of her mental, physical and emotional needs. The upshot was “a drastic improvement in my relationship with the world as a whole.”

Colborn, the Brian Bergkamp Student Service Award winner who will graduate from Northwest in May, started a program called SelfPosi three years ago to help girls with some of the same issues she faced. Originally part of a platform for a pageant she was competing in, she first tried SelfPosi out on fellow students at Northwest. Realizing the message was needed even more by younger girls, she has directed her efforts toward middle schools.

She books her appearances, recruits others to help with presentations and uses her passionate personality to make her audiences are participants in the process. “I’m surprised by how open the girls involved are willing to be,” Colborn said. “They share very personal anecdotes and really engage with the presentation.” She credits her mother – “someone with an already packed schedule” – with helping her stay organized. Hailey hopes more people will come to realize “that self-love is such an important issue that so many girls struggle with as they grow.”

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A program she organized last April at McAdams Recreational Center drew more than 50 girls ages 10 to 16, who took part in workshops on issues underlying self-esteem free of charge.

Hailey is the daughter of Kevin and Denise Colborn. When not maintaining a 4.0-grade point average or volunteering for extracurricular activities, she enjoys hanging out with friends and her two dogs. She’s also a “literature fanatic” – particularly when the writers are F. Scott Fitzgerald or Toni Morrison.

One of the proudest moments of her life to date was when she was admitted early to her top choice, Princeton University. Another was when she presented SelfPosi at her former middle school, Wilbur. “I will never forget a young girl that came up to me afterwards as I was leaving, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Thank you. I really needed to hear that today.’ ”