This $500 scholarship is dedicated to the memory of long-time NPW member Marianne Beel of Valentine. Marianne loved the Sandhills and shared that love through her writing and photography. Her column “Sand in My Shoes” was much beloved by readers of the North Platte Telegraph. Over the years, her writing and photography appeared there and in numerous other publications. She was inducted posthumously into the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009 for her coverage of and work with the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association.

To be considered for the Marianne Beel Scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Be a graduating senior in a Nebraska high school
  • Be a writer and/or photographer in the general category of rural Nebraska with preference given to Sandhills subject matter, and preference given to residents of Sandhills counties.
  • Seek a post-secondary degree or certificate (not necessarily four- year) in a communications related field.
  • Submit three samples of subject-related work in any combination of writing, photography, or video.
  • Write a 250-word essay on what living in Nebraska means to them, the beauty of Nebraska, the value of rural lifestyle, or the value of agriculture.
  • Submit a copy of their high school transcript with current GPA
  • List community activities and achievements
  • For more information, click on the following. Questions may be sent to the NPW Scholarship Chair listed on the contact page.

Click here for: Marianne Beel Scholarship Criteria

The application form for the 2018 scholarship will be available here soon.

2017 Recipient

Abigail Moody, a 2017 graduate of Moody Christian Academy, plans to attend Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, this fall to major in theater and minor in business.

The Burwell native loves theater and has been involved in the King’s Players, a traveling performing arts society, as well as another traveling drama troupe for several years. Moody is extensively involved with photography and as a technical assistant for Cedar Creek Bible Church in Burwell. In spring 2016 Moody went on a mission trip to the Bahamas.

A member of the National Society of High School Scholars, Moody plans to attend college on theater and academic scholarships. Her extracurricular activities include 4-H and youth group. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, graphic design, photography and baking.

While judging her scholarship essay about the meaning of living in rural Nebraska, a longtime professional writer noted Moody’s writing mirrors that of Marianne Beel, longtime Sandhills columnist for whom the scholarship is named.

Previous Recipients

2016:  Morgan Wallace, a 2016 graduate of Gering High School.  She was feature editor of her high school newspaper during her junior year and editor-in-chief for her senior year. She also got an early start on her professional career, working as a part-time reporter and photographer for the Gering Courier for two years. Her school activities included membership in the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, DECA and the Gering Girls Activities Association. She is a two-year varsity soccer letter-award winner.

2015: Morgan Peterson, a graduate of Arthur County High School. She worked on her school’s yearbook, taking sports, candid and class photos, and then editing them for publication. Peterson also was active in 4-H, Future Farmers of America and the Arthur Rodeo Club and did a variety of volunteer work in the community. In addition to working on her family’s ranch, she also has worked on area ranches and trained horses for others for the past four years. Peterson planned to attend Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

2014: Jessica Thiele of Atkinson graduated from West Holt Public Schools. In addition to compiling a top academic record in high school, Thiele also was active in community volunteer activities, including serving as a board member for the Sturdevant-McKee Museum, as a member of her church worship team and Vacation Bible School teacher, and as a participant in school peer groups’ community-service projects. She also did disaster-response relief work in Mississippi and Haiti. She planned to attend Chadron State College and pursue a degree in communications.

2013: Miranda Wieczorek, a graduate of Grand Island High School, was co-editor of the newspaper, editor-in-chief of the yearbook and did live video streaming of sports. She also volunteered at the Grand Island Independent, won an NSAA State Journalism championship in sports photography and placed in the NPW high school contest. She planned to attend Chadron State College and major in secondary education with a minor in journalism.

2012: Anlan Cheney, a graduate of Cody-Kilgore High School, editor of its school newspaper, and state journalism medalist, planned to attend Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Okla., and major in communication arts and social sciences.

2011: Allison Booras, a Norfolk High School graduate and Norfolk Daily News photo contest winner, planned to attend Wayne State College and major in advertising.

2010: Courtney Baum, a graduate of Mullen High School, was selected as the first recipient of the Marianne Beel Memorial Scholarship. In high school she provided photos to the local newspaper, worked on the school yearbook, and took senior pictures for some of the students. She chose to attend a photography school in Nashville, Tenn., to pursue her passion.