Loncar Lyon Jenkins is pleased to announce the winner of the Community Leadership Scholarship, Spencer Burke.
Mr. Burke will receive the award for his deep engagement in Boy Scouts leadership, environmental project development, and many other community service projects. A St. Mark’s School of Texas graduate, Spencer will receive the $2,500 scholarship to pursue his college studies in the fall of 2022.
Student Serves as a Decorated Community Leader
Spencer Burke has made an impact on the Dallas community in far more ways than one. As a Boy Scouts Senior Patrol Leader who’s organized several conservation service projects, Mr. Burke has achieved some of the highest honors awarded in the scouts.
One of his most ambitious projects: Expanding pollinator habitats for solitary bees in the Dallas metro area. After watching a “Dr. Who” episode that referenced the declining bee population, the scout immersed himself in learning about the issue—and understanding how to take action.
After taking a course on bees and discovering that one in four solitary bees faces extinction, Mr. Burke consulted with Texas Master Naturalists and planned a major conservation project in the Dallas area to help give local solitary bees a fighting chance. He gathered over 100 volunteers, who lent a hand in everything from removing invasive species to cutting and drilling holes for pollinator nesting boxes. The project took years and three national grants to fund, which Mr. Burke applied for and won himself.
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Mr. Burke Helps Protect Northern Bobwhite Quail, Teach Chess to Children
And that’s far from the end of Mr. Burke’s conservation efforts—or his service ambitions. The scout has been actively engaged in Blackland Prairie conservation, helping to expand the Northern Bobwhite Quail population in this fragile ecosystem.
He’s also made time for youth mentorship through a program called Chess for Humanity. A longtime chess lover and president of the organization, Mr. Burke shared his passion for the game with under-resourced elementary school students.
Every week, he organized fellow students to connect with elementary school learners, teaching the basics of chess and building students’ confidence through their newfound skills. Mr. Burke found deep meaning in these weekly sessions, sharing not only his chess knowledge but connecting with students on a higher level.
Student Earns National Recognition for Service to Community
Mr. Burke’s other leadership efforts include creating educational materials on pollinators for EarthX, maintaining Northaven Trail in Dallas as a designated Trail Captain, and serving as president of the Dallas chapter of the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution.
For his many service efforts, Mr. Burke has received the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award for people making a substantial impact on their communities. He also received the Boy Scout’s William T. Hornaday Silver Conservation Award for outstanding contribution to community conservation, among many other national awards.
Excelling in the Sciences, Burke Aims to Clean Up Space
Mr. Burke has made just as significant strides with his academic achievements as he has as a community leader.
Graduating with a 4.01 GPA, Mr. Burke completed an Honors curriculum at St. Mark’s School of Texas and earned a summer internship at NASA’s Center for Space Research. In his internship, he worked with NASA scientists to map satellite data for an unexpected purpose: predicting mosquito habitats.
In tandem, he put together the first publicly accessible data on the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits the malaria virus. He published his research and presented his findings at the 2021 International Virtual Science Symposium.
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Scholarship Winner Wants to Create Space Debris Database
Most recently, Mr. Burke has been accepted at Texas A&M University and Baylor but has not yet finalized his enrollment decision. However, he knows one thing: He wants to use his education to clean up space.
During his NASA internship, he discovered that millions of pieces of debris are floating through space, but scientists are tracking only about 27,000 of them—an omission that can be hazardous for astronauts and satellites. He wants to change that by creating a database for the debris and removing it. In his future career, Mr. Burke hopes to put his talents to use by “freeing up space so that we can all go ‘where no man has gone before.’”
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Loncar Lyon Jenkins’ Community Leadership Scholarship
Every year, Loncar Lyon Jenkins recognizes a student who demonstrates excellence in service and leadership. Student applicants should be able to show not only good grades but show how they have worked to make their community a better place. Through the scholarship, Loncar Lyon Jenkins looks to promote tomorrow’s business leaders and philanthropists.
To qualify, students should also have:
- Admittance to an undergraduate or graduate program
- At least a 3.0 GPA
Finally, students must submit several application materials by the scholarship deadline, including:
- A 500- to 1,000-word essay
- An unofficial transcript
- Summary of leadership activities
- An application form
- Agreement to the scholarship’s terms and conditions
The deadline for this year’s scholarship has closed. However, applicants should check the Community Leadership Scholarship webpage for updates regarding the next application deadline.