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Coones Family Memorial Scholarship Winners Announced

Two Olathe high school graduates are the proud inaugural recipients of MNU’s Coones Family Memorial Scholarship, a $500 award that the students can apply to books or tuition at MNU. Mikaela Harris (Olathe South, 2012) is the 2011 recipient and Nathan Brewer (Olathe North, 2012) is the 2012 recipient. They were chosen for the scholarship from essays they wrote about their educational and career goals. Both hope to be youth ministers.

Coones Family Memorial Scholarship recipients, Olathe South grad Mikaela Harris (left) and Olathe North grad Nathan Brewer (right) with Tom Coones, 1991 MNU alum and Pumpkin Run founder (center), at MNU’s scholarship announcement.

“It’s a real honor to be selected for this award,” Nathan said. “I’m really happy that people are willing to devote their time and put opportunities like this together.”

Mikaela, daughter of Phil and Kathy Harris, attends Olathe College Church of the Nazarene, and was involved in choir in high school. Nathan, son of Karen Tucker and Garold Brewer attends Gardner Church of the Nazarene, and participated in soccer, debate and theater in high school. Both families live in Olathe.

The Coones Family Memorial Scholarship is awarded in memory of Jayne and Jared Coones to one incoming MNU student each academic year. Applicants must exhibit financial need and the desire to impact their community. Tom Coones (husband and father of Jayne and Jared, respectively), the surviving Coones family, and hundreds of community members organize the annual Jared Coones Pumpkin Run in Olathe each year to raise awareness and funding for leukemia research. Jared was 10 when he succumbed to the disease in 1998. His mother Jayne later fought breast cancer and passed away in 2006.

The scholarship was started by MNU as a part of the university’s partnership with The Pumpkin Run as a title sponsor.

“MNU is proud to recognize the purposeful lives that Jayne and Jared led in our local community, and the many ways that their courageous and pioneering spirits live on as an inspiration for all of us,” says Kim Campbell, MNU director of marketing. “The scholarship not only honors Jayne and Jared, but also recognizes the family’s continued service to the greater Kansas City community.”

Interestingly, Mikaela attended Black Bob Elementary, the same school that Jared Coones attended, and says she’s long known about the Pumpkin Run.

“I mentioned it [scholarship] to my mom,” Mikaela said. “She thought it was incredibly cool to see how connected the university is in the Olathe community.”

New MNU students may apply for the $500 scholarship by submitting an essay detailing their own purposeful life, and how they seek to make a difference in their community. Recipients are selected based on financial need, GPA and the essay submission. For more information on the Coones Family Memorial Scholarship, contact Student Financial Services at 913.971.3298.

MNU is the title sponsor for the 2012 Pumpkin Run October 13, 2012. More information on the 5K is available at

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