Rising Star finalists reflect on their experience

Published: May. 26, 2021 at 11:53 PM MDT
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Tuesday, we announced the winners in our 15th annual Rising Star of the West Scholarship Contest. Wednesday, we had a chance to check in with all four of our finalists.

Bison High School senior Katherine Kvale was the big winner this year, picked by a combination of your scores online and the scores of our Black Hills FOX panel. For that, Katherine gets a $4,000 scholarship from Black Hills FOX and Monument Health. She said the contest was a great experience and garnered her a lot of attention back home in Bison.

Kwale says, “We were getting texts about how excited people were for me and they were voting for me the whole time. Everyone was super excited and I’m sure when I get back to Bison, I’m going to be getting a lot of congratulations.” Katherine is heading to USD in the fall, with a double major in political science and psychology. Wyoming Virtual Academy senior Faith Honey Anderson from Devils Tower finished second in this year’s contest, earning her a $2,000 scholarship. She says the contest gave her the chance to do something new.

Anderson says, “I would highly encourage anyone looking at it to do it. It was great getting out of my comfort zone, definitely having to memorize a little bit and think outside the box sometimes.” FaithHoney will be studying social work and communications at Southeastern University in Florida. This place in this year’s contest went to Little Wound High School sophomore Angelina Swallow. That means Angelina will have a $1,000 scholarship waiting for her when it’s time for college. And she says being on TV had a positive impact on her.

Swallow says, “At first I was really nervous, but then kind of toward the end I was getting used to it. I’m kind of glad, it helped me get out of my shell a little bit.” Angelina says she wants to go to business school or study psychology. And fourth place this year went to Philip High School senior Jaida Haynes. Jaida gets a 500 dollar scholarship for her great efforts. She was impressed with all the support she got in her hometown.

Haynes says, “It meant a lot to me just knowing I had my community behind me, supporting me. It’s kind of a nerve wracking think to do. Then to know you have people behind you supporting you means a lot.” Jaida is heading to Augustana, with a major in interpreting and a minor in communications disorders. And thanks to all 20 of our contestants this year. They all did a great job and had wonderful things to say.