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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Highlands Student, Ramey Hensley, Wins First Ever Michelle Chalk Scholarship

It was August 28, 2017 when Keith Chalk sat down with me to record a podcast about the worst day of his family's life.

Just 27 days earlier, his daughter, Michelle, was tragically killed in Fort Thomas.

The Fort Thomas community was shaken to its core and rallied behind the Chalks.

RELATED: Keith Chalks Talks About His Family's Life-Changing Tragedy

During the podcast conversation, Keith revealed that he and his wife, Patty, were planning on organizing a scholarship in Michelle's name.

"It was Patty's insistence that the first recipient be awarded in 2018," he said.

At Highlands' Senior Night, it came to be.

"It was not easy, but thanks to so many people it happened," said Chalk.

In October of 2017, they created the website,, and began discussions with Laura Menge from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to discuss the terms and conditions of having the Michelle Chalk Scholarship Fund under their care.

Then in November of 2017,  they signed a contract with GCF and transferred all the money that was gifted to them through the 5/3 bank account and published their connection with GCF.  As money continued to trickle in to the 5/3 bank account, they would make monthly transfers from 5/3 to GCF.

On the morning of March 16, 2018 Chalk picked up 33 applications from the HHS guidance counselor's office and scanned all of the applications into PDF files and returned the originals to the Highlands Guidance Office before the final bell.

After hours of screening the applications, the scholarship screening committee, comprised of Michelle's adult cousins and their spouses gave their recommendation to the selection committee comprised of the Highlands High School administration.

On May 10th, Elizabeth Roberts Nelson, Michelle's oldest cousin & godmother, made the presentation to Ramey Hensley. You can watch that here. 

"It was not easy, but we got it done. Family members there to witness the event and on June 16, 2018, which is Michelle's birthday, Patty and I will be writing a check to GCF to cover the amount of the first scholarship awarded," said Chalk. "We hope to meet up with Ramey this summer. We continue to feel thankful for the love and support of the Fort Thomas community."

Photo: The Chalks. 

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