The Liz Yost Scholarship

Dear Applicants,
Congratulations on applying for this scholarship which is in memory of our precious daughter, Liz.  I thought you might want to know a little about Liz as you formulate your responses to the questions on the application.
Liz moved to Perry Park when she was three years old and right away loved living among the tall trees and mountains.  She spent many hours playing outside, going for walks, having picnics in the woods and watching the deer.  When she was five years old she started Kindergarten at Larkspur Elementary and was there through sixth grade.  Liz loved school and meeting new friends.  She was involved in Brownies and Girl Scouts and Odyssey of the Mind.  She began taking swimming lessons and playing softball. One of her favorite things was saying the alphabet backwards and learning all of the state capitals.
Liz then attended Castle Rock Junior High and graduated from Douglas County High School in 1996.  She was on the yearbook staff and the swim team in High School and also played softball.  She loved being involved and spending time with friends.  One of her teachers said she “filled the room with her presence”. 
After High School, Liz attended Arizona State University and had the opportunity to study Spanish in Guatemala where she lived with a local family.  She really enjoyed learning about a new culture and getting to know the people of Guatemala.  Her goal was to learn Spanish and become a counselor in the inner city of Denver.
Liz had a passion for animal rights and she especially loved dogs.  Whenever we would be walking down the street and we would pass a dog, she would stop and make a new friend.  Her dog, Lotus, was her constant, treasured companion.
Liz was 18 when she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder which is an illness that typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood.   Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by wide mood swings from high to low.  It is very difficult to diagnose and treat.  And it is very difficult to live with.  Liz was on medication to help control her mood swings but it was still a hard time for her.
Liz has taught us to never give up hope and that when one door closes another door opens.  She died at the young age of 28 on a very sad day, August 29, 2006, from an accidental overdose of her prescription medication.  She was a very special person, a loving and beloved daughter and sister.  She is missed greatly and will live in our hearts forever.  We are thankful for the many years we had with her and the good memories we have.  And we are grateful to the Larkspur Elementary School PTO for offering this scholarship in Liz’s memory. 
Thank you for honoring her and us by applying for this scholarship.  We wish you the best in your future.
Winston, Cheryl and Jon Yost

The purpose of this scholarship:
This scholarship was created in memory of Liz and to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the challenges they present.  It is our goal to award this scholarship to the student who demonstrates strength of character; commitment to family and community, and compassion for others. It is not necessarily about financial need, the highest grades or even the best plan for the future.

Liz Yost Application Questions

  1. Describe your experiences regarding your time at Larkspur Elementary School. What did it mean to you growing up in Larkspur?
  1. After reading Liz’s biography and learning of her struggles with mental illness, how do you feel mental illness has impacted today’s society? How do you feel society can positively affect mental health?
  2. What activities (academic, athletic, cultural, community occupational) do you participate in that most builds or reflects your character, and describe where you have taken a leadership role?
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you and describes that influence. How do you plan to be an inspiration to others in your life?
  4. Describe what kind of growth have you experienced since you were at Larkspur Elementary School. What have been some of your key accomplishments? What kind of growth do you expect you’ll have from this day forward?
  5. In closing, in 500 words or less, what advice would you give to the current 6th grade Larkspur graduates, as they move forward into their next educational chapter.

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