The July general membership meeting of the Polka Lovers Klub of America Texas Chapter I is my favorite Klub event to attend. That's when we announce the winners of two $500 scholarships given to family members of our members. Each year, I am blown away by what these young people have already achieved. Hearing their plans for the future gives me sense of calm that our country is going to be okay with them in charge. And these are just two outstanding students. The Klub received 17 applications, all to be commended for their achievements and future aspirations. I was also pleased to see these two recipients are proud of their polka heritage, one commenting the the PoLk of A is such a cool club. Meet this year's winners: Michael Laitkep and Abby Sumbera.
Michael graduated from Friendswood High School and is the son of Chris and Donna Laitkep and the grandson of Ernest and Delores Laitkep of Pearland.
Besides being an outstanding student, Michael has aggressively participated in extra-curricular activities and held leadership positions in various organizations while supporting the needs of his school, his community and various church programs. He has participated in sporting events, such as swimming, soccer and track, science fair programs, church activities and played trombone in the marching band. He is an Eagle Scout and member of the National Honor Society.
Michael will be attending the University of Texas at Austin, double majoring in business and Plan II Honors, a broad liberal arts program. Afterwards he plans to continue his education by seeking a master's in business or a law degree.
Polka thoughts Favorite polka memories: Spending time with friends and family and doing the Grand March. Favorite polka: Shiner Polka Favorite polka band: Mark Halata & Texavia
Abby graduated from the St. Agnes Academy and is the daughter of Darrell and Kim Sumbera of Houston and granddaughter of Leonard and Grace Sumbera of Schulenburg.
Besides being an outstanding scholastic student, Abby has held leadership positions for St. Agnes retreats and within the Girl Scouts She was secretary of the Spanish Honor Society and is an accomplished athlete with at least 10 years of competitive soccer. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society.
Abby will be attending Texas A&M, majoring in Biomedical Engineering – a rewarding and important field – certainly for the many veteran amputees looking for new limbs -- an area within her major that she intends to pursue.
Polka thoughts Favorite polka memories: Going to the St. John's 4th of July picnics for as long as I can remember and dancing with my family. I have great memories of learning to dance with my grandpa and my dad. Favorite polka: A Ja Sam (All by Myself) Polka. Favorite polka bands: Red Ravens, Dujka Brothers and Shiner Hobos. Polka on iPod: Vrazels album. Polka promotion: I encourage young people to join clubs like PoLK of A. I intend to try to get groups of my friends together to go to dances so they can see what it is all about.