Lyndsey Piesko Memorial Scholarship

Pieskos thankful Community Foundation scholarship allows Lyndsey’s legacy to live on

It had been a rough week for Lyndsey Piesko: Recovery was slow after coaching a weekend volleyball tournament. Then bronchitis and pneumonia hit.

After eight years suffering from an autoimmune illness and chronic pain, Lyndsey always feared she might die alone. But that cold afternoon, her parents, Gary and Cyndi, were there to drive her to the hospital.

As Gary carried his 29-year-old daughter in his arms, Lyndsey whispered in his ear: “Baby steps, Dad. Baby steps.”

But in the car, her body went slack … and she was gone.

“Quite honestly, it’s still very sad for us to comprehend our daughter is no longer with us,” Cyndi said.

But in the midst of their horrific loss on Feb. 26, 2016, a family member made a gentle suggestion to the grieving parents: Consider creating a Frankenmuth Community Foundation scholarship in Lyndsey’s name.

And they did.

“We feel blessed to continue her legacy by helping other Frankenmuth High School students who have similar passions, morals and character,” Cyndi said.

Created in May, the Lyndsey Piesko Memorial Scholarship Fund is available to young women graduating from FHS pursuing a college degree in education, the medical field, social work or ministry. Applicants should also have participated in volleyball, basketball, soccer or softball and shown service to her school, church or community.

Like their daughter, applicants should demonstrate “compassion for others, have high moral standards, show strong determination, have a great personality and have a strong work ethic.”

A Frankenmuth native, Lyndsey graduated in 2004 from FHS and attended Alma College where she played volleyball for the Scots. She later graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in education.

She had volunteered as a volleyball coach at many mid-Michigan schools after college and worked for Arsenal Volleyball Club in Mount Morris at the time of her death.

“Lyndsey’s passion was working with children and coaching volleyball.  She loved teaching kids how to discover their strengths and to work together as a team,” her mother said.

“As (Frankenmuth United Methodist Church) Pastor Scott Harmon mentioned in his homily at her funeral: ‘She coached for the development of the whole person – for the character of believing that you can make a difference; for the confidence to see that you have something to offer to the team. And when volleyball was over, the young athlete would see they had something to offer the world.’ ”

The first Lyndsey Piesko Memorial Scholarship will be awarded this spring.

The Frankenmuth Community Foundation is always thankful to play a part in commemorating loved ones, said Executive Director Stephen C. List. Today the Foundation oversees 24 scholarship funds for Frankenmuth-area students.

“Losing a child is a loss that most of us cannot begin to comprehend. We’re thankful the Pieskos trusted the Community Foundation to keep Lyndsey’s memory alive for generations to come,” List said.

Criteria for Selection:
The Lyndsey Piesko Memorial Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a female member of the current graduating class of Frankenmuth High School who is pursuing a degree in education, the medical field, social work or ministry. In addition, the applicant should have participated in volleyball, basketball, soccer or softball with volleyball given the highest priority, then basketball, then soccer or softball.
  2. The applicant must be planning to attend a college or university full-time and prior to distribution of the scholarship funds must be accepted and enrolled.
  3. The applicant must demonstrate academic skills by having a grade point of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale while taking courses generally regarded as college preparatory.
  4. The applicant should demonstrate a compassion for others, have high moral standards, show strong determination, have a great personality, and have a strong work ethic.
  5. The applicant must demonstrate service to her school, church or community through active participation.
  6. The scholarship will be awarded without regard to race, place of birth or personal handicap.
  7. Other criteria as recommended by the Donor.

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