Arland D. Williams Jr. Scholarship awarded to Katie Kirts

Katie Kirts was surrounded by her family as she received the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Scholarship at the 33rd annual scholarship presentation. (Above, L-R) Charles Johnston (grandfather), Todd Thomason (stepfather), Debra Thomason (mother), Katie Kirts (award recipient), Kevin Kirts (father), Barb TenEyck (stepmother).

Katie Kirts was awarded the $2,500 Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship at the 33rd annual scholarship presentation luncheon on Tuesday, August 22.

Katie Kirts, a 2002 graduate of Mattoon High School, is currently studying finance and working toward her MBA at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship honors the memory of the late Arland D. Williams, Jr. who graduated from Mattoon High School. Mr. Williams became a well-known example of extraordinary heroism when his actions saved five people after a 1982 airplane crash in Washington D.C. His selfless actions cost him his life but his heroism lives on. As a resident of Washington, D.C., Katie is constantly reminded of Williams’ sacrifice by driving over the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge, stating “When I cross the bridge named in his honor in D.C., I feel extremely honored to have been raised in the same town as him and at the prospect of applying for a scholarship in his memory.”

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