Burnout competition leads to $12,000 in scholarships for Ely H.S. graduates

Ely high school graduates are blessed with some very generous donors who give out tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year.
There were $83,000 from local scholarship providers and $44,000 from regional scholarship providers given out on Wednesday night. Ely’s 45 graduates were able to apply for more than one scholarship to help them once they move on to a university or trade school.
For six fortunate students, there was a very significant scholarship that rewards those who will more than likely be mechanics or work in one of the many other trade professions.
Last fall another Jake Forsman Memorial Burnout Competition and Car Show was held in front of the Ely city hall. The event was again a success and through the hard work of a large group of volunteers, monies were raised for scholarships.
On Wednesday, $12,000 from that event was given out to 2020 Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship winners Andre Edgington, Eric Mattila, Justin Nyman, Seann Prigge, Steven Kerntz and Tjae Banks.
For Al and Bonnie Forsman the event is a labor of love and a way to remember a lost loved one.
In his video during the online awards presentation Wednesday night, Al Forsman said:
“Our son Jake was a fun, energetic, hard-working young man that seemed to always make those around him feel that they were important to him. He had a passion for life, a caring heart, an awe of nature, a vision of potential, and a drive to realize his dreams. He chose to forgo high school athletics so he could work and afford his interest in motorsports.
“We believe it is that passion and drive that helped him excel in tech school and his short career as a heating and cooling technician. He just needed to be working towards his goals in a field that utilized his God given gifts. This scholarship was created to encourage young men and women to pursue good paying, honest livings in the trades. Careers where smart, energetic young people can join the workforce doing important work without accumulating a boat-load of debt.
“The 2020 recipients of the Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship also have a passion for mechanics and motorsports. They have worked multiple part-time jobs to fund their hobbies, picking up skills along the way. They have shown that they have learned the importance of being reliable workers by being at work on-time regularly. Hard workers, fast learners, with good attitudes - We believe these traits will make successful vocational students and important members of our workforce.
“2019 was a remarkably successful year for our annual fall event in front of City Hall. Thanks to the hard work of Team Orange, the amazing generosity of our local businesses, and the support of this wonderful community we are honored to be able to award $2,000 to each recipient this year. Share the Love.”
There was over $127,000 in scholarships given out Wednesday night. Those students are our future mine workers, teachers, engineers and even small business owners. For those fortunate enough to have received some financial assistance as they get started, they should feel blessed.
We don’t know what the future holds in today’s world. We do know Ely high school has done its best to prepare our graduates for what awaits them.