Pictured above: Riley Thorpe the winner of the First Annual Baltic High School NFYO Incorporated College Scholarship SY 2020*

Part of Never Forget Your Own Incorporated's Mission is to educate our community and our government officials about veteran homelessness and military veteran suicides related to PTSD. One way that we accomplish this task is by involving the next generation. Since we began involving the younger generation, they have proven to be just as passionate, unwavering, and dedicated to issues affecting veterans as we are. 

Since 2018, we have awarded dedicated seniors from Lennox High School in Lennox, South Dakota, Baltic High School in Baltic South Dakota, and East Rochester High School in East Rochester, New York with $500 college scholarships. This scholarship is given to those students who work within their community bringing awareness, educating, and advocating for the rights and causes helping our veterans. Continue reading below to learn about the people the scholarships are named for and our new remembrance scholarship honoring a fellow veteran and family member of NFYO Incorporated Mr. Kevin Kuper.

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Matthew C. Lauck College Scholarship

Foreword by N.F.Y.O. Incorporated's Founder Ryan J. Turner, Mrs. Amanda Olson-Menning and Cynthia Lauck

"Matt" as he was so affectionately called was a special person. He grew up on an acreage in South Dakota, with his parents and older sister. Matt was smart, funny, caring, easy going, and compassionate. Matt loved being part of the drama department and excelled in school. His sister Cynthia noted how school was barely a challenge for him. She recalls "I had to study for hours trying to get good grades, he never studied and got good grades all the time". His best friend Amanda and his sister both remember how talented he was at impressions and creating voices for any character in a book. 

Cynthia also remembered his love for video games. "Matt would easily rack up ninety-nine lives playing Super Mario, and by the time I was done with the water level there was only one life left". When recalling fond memories about Matt, Ryan stated that "trying to describe Matthew's sense of humor or personality is somewhat impossible because it was larger than life. His personality and heart was just as bright and wild like his trademark red hair. Always willing to be the "goof-ball" just to make you laugh".

Matt loved his family, friends, and animals. He would do anything for a friend. Matt would spend hours on the phone talking to a friend, who needed to talk about anything. Matt was always ready with a joke or impression to make you laugh. He was the life of the party and could make anyone’s day better. Matt would stand up for what he felt was right and to protect a person or animal that was not able to stand up for themselves. He loved this country and supported his family and friends who served in the military. His death revealed all the things that could have been but will never be. If only he knew how truly amazing and wonderful he really was. 


Jamison A. Mandile College Scholarship

Foreword by N.F.Y.O. Incorporated's Founder Ryan J. Turner

There’s a saying that goes “People come into your life for either a season or a reason”. Sometimes they come into your life and leave just as quickly as the seasons or they come into your life for a very important reason.

The purpose may not be immediately obvious, but once you realize that person’s purpose in your life you can move forward. Jamison Mandile came into my life for both a season and a reason. I had the honor and privilege of being Jamison’s Section Sergeant.

During that brief season I watched him struggle and grow, I watched him put his problems aside and help others, I watched him become a father, and for the first time I saw him beam with pride and indescribable happiness while marveling at this new precious life.

As that season began to change, I watched as he rejected any form of help or assistance, Jamison started to withdraw into the darkness. I watched as he fought so hard to find the light. I watched as the darkness seduced him with the false promise of no more pain and no more sadness. Finally I learned that even though he tried his best to resist the darkness, the darkness was much stronger than he ever imagined. At the end of that tragic season the reason was revealed.

Jamison’s death ignited a fire and passion in me that I have never felt before. The need to educate the world about veteran suicides related to PTSD is now my life’s work. Never Forget Your Own Incorporated was created shortly after Jamison's death. Jamison’s death and other veterans who gave in to the seductive lies of the darkness will not be in vain. Removing the stigma associated with PTSD and veteran suicides is a battle I am prepared to fight. There are times when the darkness calls for me, but the fire in me is too bright to give in. 


Kevin J. Kuper College Scholarship

Foreword by N.F.Y.O. Incorporated's Founder Ryan J. Turner

Music is such an important part of our lives. Music helps us through key moments in our lives, music helps us relax, music motivates us to give our all or convinces us to let go and become one with the music. 

Music never discriminates or disappoints you, music loves you unconditionally regardless of your flaws or past mistakes. Sometimes in life you are gifted with a rare physical embodiment of music. Kevin Kuper was just that, the physical embodiment of music. His personality provided our family with reassurance, security, love and joy. Sadness was never an option for Kevin, and those in his life were fortunate enough to experience that first hand. Kevin wasn’t selfish, he made certain that everyone around him was included in the music. 

His musical talent was just as vibrant and unpredictable as the crazy hats he wore while performing. The Kevin J. Kuper Remembrance College Scholarship reminds us to stop and enjoy the music, the music of life. Everyday Kevin shared his music with our family, his community, and the world. Kevin’s death made us realize that the music of our lives should be shared with others so that we can all laugh, love, and for a brief moment in time forget our worries and just be happy. Losing Kevin reminded us that the music of life can be silenced in an instant. So let’s enjoy our music everyday while we still can. 


Baltic High School NFO Incorporated College Scholarship

The Baltic High School NFYO Incorporated College Scholarship is awarded to a deserving high school senior who champions for our military veterans by raising awareness about homelessness, military veteran suicides, PTSD, and other mental illnesses through advocating and community outreach. 


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