WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published March 29, 2012, 08:24 PM

Community Rallies Behind Devils Lake Senior to Help Win $5K Scholarship

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - The Devils Lake community rallied behind a high school senior to help him win a $5,000 scholarship. He competed against nearly 300 students across the region for the prize.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - The Devils Lake community rallied behind a high school senior to help him win a $5,000 scholarship.

He competed against nearly 300 students across the region for the prize.

Brandon Swanson says the scholarship will help him reach his educational goals after much of his focus has gone to his family.

Swanson says he couldn't have won the Chevy Scholar scholarship without the support of the community.

"I think it just comes down to support-wise. We have a smaller community here, and I think everyone here was on board and a lot of people did a lot for me," Swanson said.

Ten finalists from the Dakotas and Minnesota vied for four $5,000 scholarships based on a popular vote. Swanson received the most votes of any finalist.

"We were pretty proud to hear he raised that many votes in the community. A community like this, it's nice to have that kind of support," Brandon's mother Jennifer Swanson said.

Swanson has a full plate of academics, music and sports, but much of his focus has been on his mother Jennifer, who is battling cancer for the second time.

"He's been a huge support. He's always been there. Anything I ask, he's been there to help," Jennifer Swanson said.

She says her family's story might have influenced the vote in favor of her son, but she says that's not why her son won the scholarship.

"I think it had a little bit to do with it, but just knowing his personality and the friends that he has and the community and I think that was a big help also," Jennifer Swanson said.

The scholarship will now help Brandon re-focus on his academics.

"It will help a lot. With the money I am receiving today, it will help towards the doctorate I will pursue for psychology, and that's 6-8 more years of schooling I have to do," Swanson said.

Swanson says he plans on enrolling at the University of North Dakota in a few years to pursue a doctorate in psychology.

Tags: