2017-05-25 / Front Page

Flushing student honored

By Sam Tunningley


[L-R] Varsity Club member Brendan Rawlings, President of Student Leadership Ereni Abuaita and Vice President of the Rotary Club of Flushing’s high school group Marissa Cox present the first ever Project Karma check to FHS senior Ben Church. [L-R] Varsity Club member Brendan Rawlings, President of Student Leadership Ereni Abuaita and Vice President of the Rotary Club of Flushing’s high school group Marissa Cox present the first ever Project Karma check to FHS senior Ben Church. FLUSHING – Ben Church is the first student to receive the Project Karma scholarship, started by his friends to recognize a senior each year who emanates positivity toward his fellow classmates.

Brendan Rawlings, a senior at Flushing High School and Varsity Club member, came up with the idea initially to raise money for a way to provide reliable transportation to and from Mott Community College for Church, who uses a wheelchair. Rawlings created a GoFundMe page and earned the support of the Flushing Restoration Society. By the end of the campaign, Project Karma had raised $20,251.74.

Church has been described as an exceptionally kind person by Flushing High School principal Jason Melynchek and received a ‘Student of the Month Award’ from the Rotary Club of Flushing in 2016.

Adam Smith, a head coach for the boys’ basketball team at Flushing High School who helped Rawlings gain approval for the idea, said the creation of the scholarship was one of the finest moments in his 12 years with the district. He said, as the years go on, his is hoping Project Karma will only grow bigger.

“We have scholarships for kids with high academics, athletics – we don’t have anything for just being a good human being,” said Smith.

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