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Published May 23 2010

K-12 notebook: Moorhead senior lands scholarship

A Moorhead High School senior beat out about 100,000 students from across the country to score a $20,000 college scholarship from the Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation.

Jane Loueng, the daughter of a single mom of four who emigrated from Cambodia in 2001, starts at North Dakota State University this fall. The scholarship money, along with an NDSU financial aid package, means she’ll go to college on her terms.

“My goal was not to take out any student loans, and I have reached my goal,” says Loueng, who came only an A-minus in Advanced Placement calculus short of a 4.0 GPA.

Loueng and her sisters are the first in their immediate family to attend college.

This is the fifth year the KFC Foundation has awarded 75 scholarships to seniors. Loueng impressed the committee with her academic chops and an essay about lining up a student sandbagging group in the spring of 2009.

“We’re really looking for a rounded type of individual who has financial need,” said Cindy Harbin, executive director of the KFC Foundation. “We’re looking for leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Loueng has served on the student council since her sophomore year. She runs cross country and works as a certified nursing assistant at a retirement community in town.

“When you work hard, it always pays off in the end,” she says. “That’s always my lesson.”

She heads to NDSU with 23 college credits she racked up in high school and a new goal: get a pharmacy degree in five instead of six years. She sees her chosen career as a way to pay it forward.

“The people in this area are very helpful and care about each other,” she says. “I would like to help the community by giving back to it.”

Safety star

A Fargo fifth-grader’s artwork will be on the cover of a calendar this summer distributed to schools across the region.

Xcel Energy held its 31st annual safety calendar contest, which more than 1,600 elementary school students from across the region entered.

Bennett Elementary School student Izzy Bobby’s work was selected to appear on the calendar’s cover and was honored by the company on Friday.

More than 18,000 calendars with Bobby’s front-cover design will be distributed this summer to schools throughout the company’s eight-state serving area.

Mini marathoners

More than 100 Fargo middle school students, staff and parents participated in Friday’s 5K race as part of this year’s Fargo Marathon.

The Carl Ben Eielson Middle School students, teachers and parents participated in the race as the culminating event to this year’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program.

The national program put on by the NFL and National Dairy Council encourages a healthy lifestyle among students.

It was the second year the school has participated in the marathon weekend events.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524