Congratulations Stephen Eckert, the 2016 Iowa District East Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) $1,000 scholarship winner! Stephen is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa.
In his scholarship application, Stephen wrote, "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.” Working in tandem with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) does just as Ephesians 4:16 describes by supporting the Church in fulfilling its mission of making disciples of all nations.
Through investments, loans and services, LCEF empowers ministries, thereby helping to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, growing God’s kingdom and making an eternal impact on many lives. As recipients of His blessings, we have the privilege of God working through us to bless others…. Involvement in LCEF is a conduit for God’s people to meet each other’s needs and build each other up in helpful and practical ways.”
Davenport West High School Technology Education Department Chair Jason Franzenburg wrote the following in his letter of recommendation for Stephen:
“I have taught for 15 years and have many former students working for prestigious companies as engineers and engineering technologists. Stephen is simply the best student that I have ever had.
One specific thing that sets him apart from the rest is passion. Stephen’s passion about academics and the world is very refreshing to see. When faced with difficult problems Stephen has the ability to stay the course and find unique solutions. Stephen can apply self-taught complex math and science to problems.
A couple of examples are sizing a motor to combat spring torsion in a robot sub-system, calculating the robot’s center of mass on an inclined plane, or finding the net effect of friction on a complicated system. Stephen is curious, diligent, and morally/ethically responsible. Stephen’s time management is outstanding and he works well in teams.
…Stephen is the captain of our FTC robotics team #5466 the Combustible Lemons. Stephen was named a FTC Dean List award winner in the inaugural year, 2015! Only 10 students from across the country are selected from the thousands that participate.
Stephen was a founder of our outreach effort, the NXT (robot brain) Repurpose Project. This project has allowed our outreach to take robotics to Ghana, Serbia, and Kenya. This summer we will send Stephen and 10 Combustible Lemons to Kenya to teach hundreds of Kenyan youth basic robotics and many STEM lessons.”
“[Stephen] responded to the Lord’s generosity…, by sharing his life in a variety of ways in the congregation and community…,” wrote Trinity Senior Pastor Michael Vokt in his letter of recommendation for Stephen. “In addition to serving on the staff of our Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for the past four to six years, he has also used his musical gifts in our Trinity School chapel and other worship settings in the congregation.”
According to Vokt, Stephen also served as a First Lego League (FLL) mentor for the Trinity School World Changers, and helped form additional First Lego League teams through two mission congregations in Iowa’s Quad City region.
LCEF is blessed to have the funds available to support our youth as they pursue post-secondary education. It is our prayer that they are equipped to become strong, Christian leaders as adults. There are several more upper Midwest district 2016 LCEF scholarship awards to be announced yet this spring. Watch for announcements by subscribing to LCEF’s upper Midwest districts’ newsfeed or follow our Facebook page.