American Power Systems announces scholarship winners

Davenport-based manufacturer American Power Systems, Inc. (APS) has announced three area graduates as the winners of $10,000 in STEM-based scholarships.

The Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship program is named for the late Thomas Keenan Evans, a local engineer and entrepreneur who founded APS in 2006. The company designs and manufactures advanced mobile power systems for armored, security, commercial, marine and other purpose-built specialty vehicles.

Winners of the 2022 Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship program are: 

  • North Scott High School graduate Taylor Mayhue is the overall winner of a $5,000 scholarship. She will attend Iowa State University in the fall where she plans to double major in food science and agriculture education, with a desire to ultimately pursue an MBA in food science. She was actively involved in her FFA chapter, Lions and Rotary Club, the National Honor Society and the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow program. 

“I want to change the world through learning about the chemistry of food, engineering food, and maintaining food safety and security everywhere,” she wrote in her application essay. “I also want to improve the production of food, so it is more affordable.” 

After college, Ms. Mayhue hopes to work for the USDA.

  • Karl Jensen, of Jensen Home School/Scholé Quad Cities, won a $2,500 semi-finalist $2,500 scholarship. He will attend Valparaiso University in the fall to study electrical engineering with a focus on mechatronics. In addition to his studies, Karl started his own lawn mowing business at age 13. He has been very active with the Boy Scouts of America’s Scouts BSA program, earning many STEM-related merit badges as well as the rank of Eagle Scout in June 2021.

“I have always been fascinated by how things work. You could say, ‘I’m wired that way,’” he wrote in his essay. “From a young age, I wanted to look at the inner workings of anything mechanical. I was curious to know how they worked and were constructed.”

  • Peyton Sanderson, of Pleasant Valley High School, won the $2,500 semi-finalist scholarship. She will attend Iowa State University this fall to study aerospace engineering with a minor in astronomy. With an Introduction to Engineering Design class, she and a group designed, built, and tested a prototype wheelchair tray system that would benefit a classmate. She also participated in Astronomy Club; PNB Aviation; Women in STEM, which allowed her to teach young kids how to code and to encourage other women to have a strong voice in male-dominated STEM fields; and was part of the state qualifying PVHS robotics team No. 7196 Everything That’s Radical.

“I have always found myself striving to be involved in hands-on activities since I was younger,” Peyton wrote in her essay. “Whether it was working on projects with my dad, doing arts and crafts, or learning about new technology, I have always had a passion for the STEM field, and that led me to strive for new learning opportunities.”

APS recognized the scholarship recipients during an informal reception in June at company headquarters in downtown Davenport.

The scholarships are merit- and needs-based one-time gifts for new college entrants pursuing STEM fields. Founded in 2017, the program encourages young people to achieve and excel, and to help them change the world for the better, according to an APS news release.

“We always are impressed by the accomplishments, perseverance and drive of the scholarship applicants, but this year’s class inspired us to expand the program even further,” said Amy Lank, the company’s president  and CEO. “It is so vital for us to invest in our country’s future workforce. Offering this scholarship program not only recognizes all they have accomplished so far but helps propel them forward in their future careers.”

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