The Morenci Kiwanis Club’s annual Soup and Pie Supper is scheduled next Wednesday as club members serve the public at the Eagles to earn money for college scholarships.
A week before the event, the Observer takes a look at winners of the Rex Riley Scholarship from 10 years ago to see what they’ve experienced since leaving Morenci Area High School.
Despite tough economic times, graduates are finding their way through to interesting experiences and goals.
Alex Pummel: Alex Pummel took his Rex Riley scholarship to Cedarville (Ohio) University where he earned a degree in exercise physiology and played baseball for four years.
He also met his wife, Amanda, while in school and they’re now new parents.
Some time after college the Pummels went on a four and a half month mission project in Togo, West Africa. Alex had no medical training, but he assisted physicians and physician assistants (PA).
“It was a great experience and we’re both open to future mission work,” Alex said.
That experience also gave him an interest in becoming a PA and he’s now enrolled in a 26-month program at Kettering College in Dayton.
Carmen Ely: Carmen Ely went from school to work and she stayed right there.
Carmen earned a degree in accounting from Baker College in Jackson, and for her required internship, she chose Phil Rubley’s CPA office in Morenci.
Her employer must have seen promise in the student because Carmen was hired as soon as she graduated.
Unlike many of her classmates from the class of 2002, Carmen is a home owner where she lives with her dog.
She was never a runner in high school, but since leaving college she’s run several 5K races along with a pair of marathons.
Ashley (Kuebeck) Thompson: Ashley attended the University of Toledo, originally to study pharmacy, but she ended up in the nursing school.
She started working at Mike’s Pharmacy in Morenci and she’s content to stay.
“I just really like what I’m doing,” she said, and besides, she has steady hours and remains close to her family and that’s worth a lot to her.
She and her husband, Travis, are the parents of a three-year-old son, Grady, and a second child is due in May.
Emily Mota: Emily studied at Siena Heights University and works in Adrian. She’s making plans to return to school.
“I’m looking into getting a degree in the nursing field,” she said.
Kay (Dickerson) Holubik: After high school Kay headed to Central Michigan University and majored in biology with a minor in business management.
She was hired by the Ransom and Randolph casting company in Maumee, starting in as a technician but soon developing some of her own products. Kay also had two technical articles published in an industry journal.
She married Jason Holubik in 2010 and their first child, Willow, was born last year.
While Jason teaches with with Camden-Frontier school system, Kay is enjoying life as a stay-at-home mother.
Anthony Roman: Anthony earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and worked a variety of part-time jobs while in school. That, he said, provided him with a well-rounded practical education along with a greater appreciation of the education he was receiving in school.
Anthony accepted a job with a Japanese company in Ann Arbor that makes bearing components, knowing that he would be sent to Japan for a year. He and his high school girlfriend, Kriston Wilt, were married before going overseas.
He was offered a permanent position with the company, but decided to return to America so Kriston could complete her teaching degree. Anthony is also back in school, studying Japanese in night classes.
“We hope to return for an extended stay in the next couple of years,” he said.
The Romans saw the tourist sites, but it was everyday life that they really enjoyed.
“Being able to experience daily life gave us a deep appreciation of some of the nuances of the culture that we would not have normally found,” Anthony said.