Addy Battel of Cass City, Mich. and Faith Laughlin of Stewart, Ohio have been selected as the recipients of the DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year.
This year, the Sarasota-based ecommerce retailer of Amish furniture received close to 500 applications for its Heritage Scholarship. The three-part application features an essay component that asks applicants to answer the question of how they will draw upon their cultural heritage to shape their vocational aspirations, offer creative value, and serve their community.
Battel attributes her drive and passion for her community to her heritage as a member of a sixth-generation farming family and as the granddaughter of “A1 Stuever” whose way of doing things would come to be known as the A1 Stuever Method. “We’re a family of overachievers; apparently I get it from him,” says Battel. Planning to major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Michigan State University this fall, Battel is committed to “helping keep family farms strong” through soil conservation. “Though growing sugarbeets and milking cows won’t be how I’ll carry on my family’s traditions, agriculture, a sense of community, and a compulsion to make everything I do big are part of me.” Her compulsion for doing things “big” has included co-founding a nationally recognized hunger-relief organization after her small town’s grocery store closed and she learned that 17 percent of her community was food insecure.
Laughlin’s desire to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in food and nutrition science came from growing up in rural Appalachia. Laughlin says she has experienced first-hand how “the majority of rural Appalachians go hungry as they live in food deserts or places where it is difficult to find fresh and affordable foods and lack the financial resources to properly feed themselves.” Laughlin would like to “ensure that all in rural areas are properly nourished through nutrition education and food access.” She plans to do this through her understanding of the culture of rural communities, by changing ineffective policies like “flawed food assistance programs,” and by educating those in rural Appalachian communities how and what to eat “by teach[ing] people to love cooking and eating healthfully, and not just show[ing] them how to do so.”
Battel and Laughlin will each receive $500 to assist with college expenses.
Established in 2012, the Heritage Scholarship is awarded annually to students planning to attend or who are enrolled in four-year universities in the U.S. Recipients are selected based on financial need, grade point average, and an essay that explains how their heritage has shaped them and their aspirations. In its eighth year, $12,500 has been awarded to 25 students.