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Will Scholarship winner is multi-talented athletically and academically

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Katelyn Boston, Bethel College freshman from Newton, already has a head start on her dream of becoming a nurse.

And she accomplished that while playing sports, acing her classes at Halstead High School, putting away a few prerequisites at Hutchinson Community College – and also finding time for community service.

Boston, a 2017 HHS graduate, started at Bethel College this fall and is the 2017 winner of the James A. Will Scholarship, given annually to a student who demonstrates a dedication to community service.

Will, who died in 2011, was a native and longtime resident of Halstead. Halstead High School students get priority for the Will Scholarship, after which it opens to any graduating high school senior in Harvey County.

While she was still in high school, Boston completed training and earned Kansas licensure as a certified nursing assistant. She has been working for the last year and a half at Asbury Park Retirement Community in Newton.

She was named to the Principal’s Honor Roll at HHS all eight semesters and has 27 hours of dual credit through HCC, earning a place on the Dean’s Honor Roll there.

As a result, Boston comes to Bethel with an academic scholarship – and with an athletic one as well, in softball.

She was a four-year letter-winner in both softball and volleyball at HHS, and a two-year letter-winner in basketball. In her senior year, she was co-captain in all three sports.

Boston’s hard work on the court and field (and in the classroom) earned her a number of awards, including the Wendy’s® High School Heisman Award for excellence in both academics and athletics.

Boston, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton, was also in the Kansas Association for Youth, or KAY, all four years of high school.

KAY has as its goal to build character and develop leadership in Kansas students in grades 7-12, through team-building activities and service projects that range from Angel Tree and Bingo Night to yard work and Zoo Day.

Boston participated in the Kansas Food Bank Holiday Food Drive and American Red Cross® blood drives, among other activities, to put in more than 100 hours of volunteer service.

She was active in the Spanish Club at HHS and on the yearbook staff, serving as assistant photography editor and then photography editor, and winning a statewide award for sports photography.

Boston is the daughter of Mike and Sue Boston of Newton.

The James A. Will estate’s seven-figure gift to Bethel resulted in, among much else, creation of the Will Family Scholarship Fund, which awards $5,000 annually for up to four years to a qualifying student.

The name of Bethel’s James A. Will Family Academic Center and the Will Family Scholarship memorialize James Will, who died in November 2011, as well as his parents, Henry Gustav and Helen Elizabeth (Mueller) Will, and brother, Ernest “Ernie” Will (all of whom predeceased him), and also recognizes the Will extended family.

After graduating from Halstead High School, James Will completed two years at Bethel before finishing his degree in business at the University of Kansas. He was an officer for the Bentley State Bank and then a vice president at the Halstead Bank for nearly 30 years, until his retirement.

Church and community service was important to Will, a member of First Mennonite Church in Halstead as well as many civic clubs and organizations, including the board of directors for the Kansas Learning Center for Health, Halstead; Pine Village Endowment Foundation, Moundridge; Halstead Chamber of Commerce; Halstead Housing Authority; and Halstead Lions Club.

For more information about the Will Family Scholarship and other scholarships at Bethel College, contact Bethel’s Office of Financial Aid, 316-284-5232, or visit

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges 2017-18 and in the analysis of top colleges and universities for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.